Wednesday, 17 November 2010

VirtualBox setup

The FigureEnergy project I worked on over the summer involved programming of a system to empower consumers in managing their energy consumption at home. A major part of this project is the annotation of energy usage with what appliances or activities were going on. This is clearly highly related to the HCI element of my PhD.

To enable me to make any changes to the FigureEnergy deployment, I need to use a python library called fabric. Fabric wasn't designed for use within a Windows environment, so Enrico and Gopal recommended I set up a Ubuntu VirtualBox.

After downloading VirtualBox and creating a new virtual machine and hard disk, I installed Ubuntu 10.10 from a disk image. The next step was to get at my Windows files stored on the host machine's drive. To do this I followed the steps in this tutorial, which involved installing guest additions, sharing the folder with the VirtualBox application and then mounting the folder within Ubuntu.

Once I'd done that, I needed to install fabric. Given that Ubuntu came with Python 2.6, all I needed to do was install pip using the Ubuntu Software Centre, and then install fabric using pip.


  1. Thanks for posting this. I think that VirtualBox will be helpful in the future.

    However, just out of curiosity regarding fabric on windows (possibly for future reference), did you see/try this?

  2. I looked for windows installers for pycrypto but could only find 32-bit versions, and my machine is 64-bit windows. Unfortunately, the 32-bit versions fail to find python in my registry and refuse to install.