Sunday, July 27, 2014

using vGATE 3.0 - a virtual machine with GATE, GEANT4, ROOT

vGATE is a virtualbox virtual machine image of Ubuntu 64 bit running GATE and associated tools. Tried it out. Running it on an Ubuntu 13.10 host, would not boot with the default virtualbox settings. On Windows XP, virtualbox was very flakey. The virtualbox control panel would come up only right after an install if "Run virtualbox" was ticked in the last step of the Install wizard. At other times, it would silently fail to start - the process would be seen in task manager for a few seconds before it vanished. Running the virtualbox image directly after a first run, by double-clicking (on Windows XP)

C:\Documents and Settings\Username\VirtualBox VMs\VGATE3VM\VGATE3VM.vbox

would work sometimes, and not work sometimes. Flakey. Also to be noted, the various issues of running Ubuntu with a non-3D-accelerated VM display - becomes very slow.

So I converted the virtualbox image to a VMWare image using the tool supplied with virtualbox,
C:\Full-path-to\VBoxManage clonehd --format VMDK vGATE_v3.0.vdi vGATE_v3.0.vmdk
The process took around half an hour for the 7 GB file on an external USB hard disk.

Running on VMWare Player was much more stable - at least for me on a WinXP host. Enabled 3D acceleration before starting the VM, of course.

Speeds - using a VM with 1.2 G ram, 1 processor,

SPECT benchmark - each acquisition of 37.5 sec was taking around 2 minutes to run.

Running the LXe example of GEANT4, from command-line the virtual machine was not too much slower than the bare-metal Ubuntu install. But with graphical display, was 3x slower.

VM - ./LXe

Run Summary
  Number of events processed : 3
  User=0.92s Real=1.17s Sys=0.09s

Ubuntu 13.10 bare metal - ./LXe

Run Summary
  Number of events processed : 3
  User=1.05s Real=1.06s Sys=0s

Using GUI, running .LXe and then running the macro with /control/execute inside the LXe application, 
VM on VMWarePlayer, WinXP Host - 

Run Summary
Number of events processed : 3
User=1s Real=6.7s Sys=1.57s

Ubuntu 13.10 bare metal - 

Run Summary
Number of events processed : 3
User=1.44s Real=2.11s Sys=0.07s

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