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Introduction to Virtual DICE

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Virtual DICE gives you a DICE environment in a virtual machine. The virtual machine can run on a variety of computers (see Installing Virtual DICE).

Virtual DICE is available for any DICE user to download, install on their own computer, and use. However some of the components of Virtual DICE may not be freely redistributable, so please don't share it.

These are the main differences between DICE and Virtual DICE:

  • Virtual DICE runs in a virtual machine on your computer, rather than on an Informatics desktop computer in a lab or office.
  • On Virtual DICE every user can get root access.
  • Virtual DICE has less memory and disk space than DICE - but you can change that on your copy.
  • Licence restrictions mean that we have to exclude a few pieces of software from Virtual DICE: Adobe Acrobat Reader; Adobe Flash Player; Allegro Common Lisp; Maple; Matlab; Webots. To use any of them, login to a normal DICE machine instead.
  • You can't submit a student practical exercise on Virtual DICE. The submit command has to be run on a normal DICE machine (see How to submit a practical exercise).
  • DICE home directories are on AFS. You can access them from Virtual DICE too or you could choose a local home directory on the VM itself. See Files on Virtual DICE for more details.
  • To login to a DICE machine, it needs to be on the network. Virtual DICE can allow logins when its host computer isn't on a network. Logging in to Virtual DICE explains that.
  • Software on DICE is automatically updated. On Virtual DICE you control when software is updated using update-vdice.
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