Prepare OSGeoLive for Spatial Ecology courses

In order to execute the Spatial Ecology exercise we will need first install the OSGeoLive Linux Virtual Machine and then populate with additional software and data.

OSGeoLive is a self-contained bootable DVD, USB thumb drive or Virtual Machine based on Lubuntu, that allows you to try a wide variety of open source geospatial software without installing anything. It is composed entirely of free software, allowing it to be freely distributed, duplicated and passed around (source

You can follow the below instructions, moreover the OSGeoLive installation YouTube video can guide along the full procedure. Pay attention that the video is base on the Osgeolive 13 version, so some differences can be present comparing with the current version.

For running a Virtual Machine in your OS we need a virtualization software such as Virtualbox and a vmdk file that contains the virtualized OS.

Install Virtualbox

Open you browser and go to and base on your OS download the Virtualbox executable and install it.

Download OSGeoLive

Open you browser and go to Click on the last version-folder and proceed to download the osgeolive-??.0-amd64.vmdk.7z. At the time of writing the last version is 15 so vmdk file is osgeolive-15.0-amd64.vmdk.7z. The osgeolive-15.0-amd64.vmdk.7z is a quite large file therefore according to your Internet connection it can take several hours. When the download is finished unzipped using 7zip. Mac users can use The Unarchiver for unzip the osgeolive-15.0-amd64.vmdk.7z. A this point you are ready to load the osgeolive-15.0-amd64.vmdk inside Virtualbox.

Install OSGeoLive inside Virtualbox

Lunch Virtualbox from OS and follow the below instructions.

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Test your OSGeoLive Virtual Machine

If you follow all the steps correctly the OSGeoLive Virtual Machine you should pop-up in the Virtual Box window showing something like this:


Setting you keyboard layout

If are not use the US keyboard you have to add your keyboard layout to the bottom menubar. Therefore on the left bottom corner write “keyboard” in the search box, and select Keyboard and Mouse.


Then select “Keyboard Layout” > “Add” and select your keyboard layout in accordance to your country and language.


Your keyboard layout will appear as below. Move up to select it as default keyboard layout.


Open the terminal (black icon in the down left corner of the menubar, close to the firefox icon) and test if the keyboard layout is correct.

Update the OS

The first operation after the installation is to run un update of the OS. Therefore, open the bash terminal and run line by line the following codes. The sudo password is “user”. For security what you type is not shown, anyway it is recorded. After typed the password press enter.

Update the OS. This operation can last few minutes. Be patient. If during the installation, some screen pop-up asking some question just accept the default option.

sudo apt update      # update the repositories
sudo apt upgrade -y  # installation of the sw
sudo apt install linux-generic linux-headers-generic linux-image-generic # install the "The following packages have been kept back:"

Troubleshooting screen size/resolution of your OSGeoLive Virtual Machine

If the screen is very small try to enlarge clicking “”View -> Auto-resize Guest Display”, and if the enlargement is not working properly try to reboot. If you still have issues after the reboot, there are mainly two options:

  1. Re-install the Virtual Box guest edition

  2. Use “arandr” for setting a customized resolution

Re-install the Virtual Box guest edition

Sometime the Virtual Box guest edition is not installed correctly so you have to do the procedure described below.

From the Virtualbox menu press Device > Insert Guest Addition CD image

If during the installation some screen pop-up asking some question just accept the default option.

The download procedure will start and a screen will pop up:

pres “cancel”.


Open the terminal and type:

cd /media/user/VBox_GAs_*
sudo ./

At this point you can reboot your machine. Now all screen setting, screen scale (View -> Auto-resize Guest Display) and drag/drop should work properly.

Use “arandr” for setting a customized resolution

For some OS the “Auto-resize Guest Display” is not working properly. Therefore is possible to select a customized resolution by installing “arandr”.

Open the terminal and type:

sudo apt install arandr

then run arandr in the terminal


and following the below figure select the best resolution that suitable for your screen. Select in such a way that you have the full screen cover without sliding lateral bars or white areas.


You can also save the screen settings by “Layout -> Save as” -> leaving a default directory (~/.screenlayout/)


Now the script need to be run every time that you boot the machine. The easy way is to add to the ~/.bashrc. But you will need to open the terminal to allow the enlargement

echo "bash ~/.screenlayout/"  >> ~/.bashrc

Test your shared folder

Another test that you should do, is to see if the shared folder is correctly done. Open a bash terminal and run

ls /media/sf_LVM_shared

If are able to list the folder then means that the sharing folder operation is properly done. Moreover try to insert a file from your host OS in the LVM_shared folder and see if visible in the OSGeoLive.

If you get an error “ls: cannot access ‘/media/sf_LVM_shared’: No such file or directory” means that you did not correctly done the sharing folder operation so try to redo it.

Populate OSGeoLive with additional software

At this point the OSGeoLive Virtual Machine is ready to install additional software and data for running Spatial Ecology courses. In the bash terminal run the following lines

cd /tmp/
sudo bash ./

as before the sudo password is “user”.

Test installed additional software

In the bash terminal run the following lines one by one. Close the window that each time pop-up.

Test pktools

pkfilter --help

You should see the pkfilter manual instructions

Test OpenEV

source ~/.bashrc
openev /home/user/jupyter/notebook_gallery/Rasterio/data/world.rgb.tif

You should see the openev software popup and open the the tif file.

Test R studio


You should see the rstudio software pop-up

Git Settings

The below instructions together with the Git Setting for the Spatial Ecology courses YouTube video can guide along the full procedure to retrieve dataset and material for the courses.

The folder data ‘SE_data’ from github will be download and you see under ‘/home/user/SE_data’. If you have already the folder it will prompt an error: ‘fatal: destination path ‘SE_data’ already exists and is not an empty directory’.


Below the same commands for an easy copy-paste

cd ~/SE_data
#### git clone  ## only run the first time
git pull                                           ## run every 5min before each lecture
rsync -hvrPt --ignore-existing ~/SE_data/* /media/sf_LVM_shared/my_SE_data

Now you should be ready to follow the lectures of the Spatial Ecology courses. Remember always to work on

cd /media/sf_LVM_shared/my_SE_data