From Ubuntu Doctors Guild
The installers that Astronaut uses are packaged for one of several Linux operating systems.
- Debian/Ubuntu/Kubuntu Linux (.deb)
- Red Hat/Fedora Linux (.rpm)
A virtual machine (installed in Windows) will be used to run the VistA server using an Ubuntu server operating system within the virtual machine. While you can install any operating system as the "guest OS" within a virtual machine, these instructions are oriented towards using Ubuntu as the guest OS and the use of the corresponding (.deb) version of the Astronaut VistA server installer.
The VistA clients (which are Windows-based) will then be able to directly access the Ubuntu / VistA server running in the virtual machine.
In this fashion, an entire self-contained VistA EHR can be created and run on a single computer.
Install Astronaut WorldVistA server in a virtual machine on Windows
There are several choices of virtual machine programs available for Windows in which the Ubuntu / VistA server can be run.
VirtualBox (by Sun) has a free proprietary edition as well as a subscription-based enterprise edition. The free edition only allows the usage of a 32-bit operating system (as the guest OS) whereas the subscription edition allows a 64-bit guest OS. (There is a free open source edition, but installing it in Windows is not very easy (unlike in Linux).) It is possible to convert virtual machines created in VirtualBox to VMWare and vice versa.
I found both the installation process and the interface for VirtualBox very user-friendly, so it is my preferred solution for stand-alone systems and for smaller networks.
- VMWare -- the newer version (2) has a quite complex browser-based user interface setup and a networking scheme which is somewhat tricky to configure. However, once it has been installed it can be administered over a network and has many more configurable networking and remote control options (achieving greater flexibility than some other virtualization platforms). This may make it more suitable for multi-server installations (such as cloud-computing environments, for example). The free Server edition allows the creation of virtual machines and is recommended.
- QEMU -- free, but must be compiled from source. (Instructions not completed. Use VirtualBox instead.)
Other virtual machines
- Parallels -- requires VT-x or AMD-V CPU extensions. License is $80/each. (I have not used this product.)
- The WorldVistA EHR Personal Toaster is a self-contained appliance for Windows that includes a bundled QEMU virtual machine, a Damn Small Linux operating system, and a WorldVistA server (it does not use the Astronaut format). All are installed in a one-step process.