How to install STAR EPICS VM environment

STAR EPICS VM enironment is initially intended for the internal use for STAR Experiment Control Group, however, since I created it, I decided to share with the wider EPICS community.

For now, it is based upon 32-bit Scientific Linux 6.6. It includes the following EPICS tools:

Seq 2.2.2
Asyn 4-26
MEDM 3.1.9
EDM 1.12.99
caQtDM 3.9.4
VDCT 2.6.1274
Strip Tool
StreamDevice 2.6

For what we need to use for, this may be complete, but if there is a request, I may consider adding more EPICS tools.
For now, I am using VDI format (which is used only by VirtualBox), but I may convert this to VMDK (VMware Virtual Machine Disk format), as VMDK can be used not only by VMware, but also by VirtualBox. VMware can be more useful in production system, so I see a value there...
However, for the research involving undergraduate students, my first priority is with making sure that our students can use this with VirtualBox (which can be used for free on MacOS X/Windows/Linux, which covers practically all the operating system I am likely to run into with students).

I personally liked the idea of Linux boot CD approach such as LiveEPICS or MiniEPICS. That worked well for many of our students, as most of them were using Windows five or so years ago, but nowadays, I find at least 50% of them are using Macs. After some discussion with a student, it became obvious to me that this would be a better way to go. The downside is that the image size is MUCH larger than a CD image, but also gives ability to easily save the files they have created. Besides, one can always run this off of an external drive. A 32 GB USB flash drive isn't all that expensive any more...

Any feature request, comments, etc, please send an e-mail at:

1. If you haven't already done so, download and install VirtualBox at:

*Note: This has not been tried on anything other than VirualBox 4.3. Since the image was created on VB 4.3, I assume it will not work on older VirtualBox (ver 3, 2, etc).

2. Once you have the VitrualBox installed, download the STAR EPICS VirtualBox image file:


You may want to place it where it makes some sense to place (for example, place it in Documents folder on Mac or My Documents folder on Windows).
If needed, extract the 7z file before continue to the next step.

I now use 7zip as compression as opposed to zip. You may need to download & install 7zip on your computer. If you are on a Mac, then, you may want to try Keka to uncompress the 7zip file.

3. Start VirtualBox.

4. Once started, click "New" from the menu.

5. Enter name. Give some descriptive name (I called it "starepics"). Select Type "Linux", and select Version "Redhat" (not 64-bit version).

6. Give some amount of RAM. I recommend to give at least 1024 MB (1 GB). More is better, provided that you have enough RAM to begin with...

7. Select the VirtualBox disk image from Step 2.
Select "Exisiting" as shown here.

8. Click the folder icon with green "^" on the right of the list. This should let you select the image file.

Navigate and select the starepics.vdi as shown, click "Open" to add the disk image.

9. At this point you should be good to go with installation of the VM.

10. You will need to know login/password to use this Lnux VirtualBox image. Please e-mail me at if you need to have the login/password information.

Page History

July 9, 2015 Initial commit.
July 10, 2015 Made a small change in the VM.