Simtools is a tool for creating and running virtual environments of guests that use User Mode Linux (UML) kernels. UML is a type of paravirtualization to run Linux guests over an unmodified Linux kernel that serves as hypervisor. Simtools provides several preconfigured scenarios using a modified version of a tool called Virtual Network User Mode Linux (VNUML). VNUML allows us to easily define and run virtual networks using UML Kernels. In particular, VNUML provides us a language and a parser to create these scenarios.


Currently, simtools is only packaged to be installed in Debian-based Linux systems. In particular, installations have been tested using Ubuntu 12.04/14.04/16.04 and Debian 7.


To install simtools in Ubuntu you have to execute the following commands.
First, to add our repository to your list of APT repositories:

wget -O - | sudo apt-key add -
echo "deb http:// /" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/simtools.list

Then, type the following command to update the software lists:

sudo apt-get update

If your Linux is a 64-bit system, install the package libc6:i386:

sudo apt-get install libc6:i386 -y

Finally, to install all the simtools packages:

sudo apt-get install simtools-meta-* -y

Note. You can repeat the previous steps if the software is not installed correctly at the first time, for example, if the network connection is lost.
If you are having trouble, you try the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -f install

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install simtools-meta-* -y


There is an issue if you are using Debian. Simtools depends of the mkisofs package but this package has been replaced by genisofs in Debian. However, in the repository of Debian lenny, there is a packet to satisfy this dependency that
creates a symlink to genisofs. So, in addition to the previous steps, you have to type the following commands to finish the installation on Debian:

sudo apt-get install genisofs
sudo dpkg -i mkisofs_1.1.9-1_all.deb

Initial Configuration

Copy the configuration file of screen into your home directory:

cp /usr/local/share/doc/simtools/screenrc.user ~/.screenrc

You can also create a vnuml profile on your gnome-terminal (Edit->Profiles->New) with different colors to clearly differentiate the terminals of guests.

Important Directories

There are several important directories for simtools:
• /usr/share/doc/upc/fxt. Simtools installs documentation related with the subject and its scenarios in this directory.
• /usr/share/vnuml/kernels. Simtools stores the UML kernels of the guests in this directory.
• /usr/share/vnuml/filesystems. Simtools stores the filesystems of the guests in this directory.
• /usr/share/vnuml/scenarios. Simtools stores the definitions of the scenarios of in this directory. By default simtools searches predefined scenarios in this directory. If you want to use another directory, you can set the variable DIRPRACT.
• /.vnuml. Simtools stores data about executed scenarios in this directory (local changes).

Update Simtools

You can update the software (scenarios, filesystems, documentation etc.) executing the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install simtools-meta* -y

Remove simtools

If you want to uninstall simtools type:

sudo apt-get remove simtools*

Other Ways of Obtaining Simtools

Virtual Machine (OVA)

We also provide to you a Virtual Machine with everything already installed on it that can run with hardware virtualization (with VirtualBox or VMWare) . In this case, it is very important that you check that your processor supports hardware virtualization and that you activate this feature in your BIOS. You can check this with the following command (on Linux):

grep -E "(vmx|svm)" --color=always /proc/cpuinfo

If nothing is displayed after running that command, then your processor does not support hardware virtualization, and you will not be able to use our virtual machine fluently.
You can download the OVA on this

USB Stick

Another possibility is to boot from an USB Stick with Ubuntu and simtools installed on it. Currently we have an image for a 16GB pendrive. Then, when booting, select in your system too boot from the USB stick (most modern computers support this disabling UEFI boot). To create the USB stick follow the instructions in our web site LINK.