Starting the VM & logging in

  • Press the Start arrow at the top of the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager window to turn on the VM. A console window will open and you will see the machine booting in it. You don’t need to press anything when the boot menu briefly appears. Once the machine has finished booting, you should see a “Welcome to the Gemini IRAF VM!” banner with a login prompt underneath.


    If your mouse pointer stops working, press the left command key to toggle off mouse/keyboard capture by the VM window.

  • Note the password shown in the banner in the console window.

  • Minimize the console window, which is only used for controlling the VM and not for processing data. The VM has no graphical desktop enviroment and graphics are instead displayed to the host desktop using ssh and XQuartz.

  • Log in remotely to the VM from one or more terminal window(s).

    • Open a Terminal window (eg. by typing term in the Launchpad search box and pressing the Terminal icon).
    • Log in to the following fixed IP address with X11 forwarding, using the password noted above:

      ssh -Y irafuser@


      Use -Y, rather than -X, to help avoid time-outs that cause graphics display to stop working.

      There is already an ~/iraf directory with a default & uparm/.

      The necessary conda environment is activated automatically on login.