School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
MACS Virtual Machine

MACS VM for teaching

To use this virtual machine you will first need to download and install Oracle VM VirtualBox. This is available for all major operating systems.

Download, using IE, the standalone VirtualBox virtual machine in OVA format here. (Requires a Heriot-Watt login.) The size is about 17GB so it might take a while. MACS users if this VM doesn't work on your setup, use x2go client


For Windows and Linux users, you need to make sure that virtualisation is enabled in your BIOS settings.

For MacOS users that encounter an error "Kernel driver not installed", follow this solution: MAC OSX

If you still can't get the VM to import and install, you can email so that a member of the CS Staff can look at the continuing problem.

See this video guide to installing the VM.

The login details are:

User: hw

Initial Password: ChMe210+4

Once you have downloaded the OVA file, start VirtualBox and use File->Import Appliance to import the file. 37GB of disk space is used by the VM initially, which can expand up to 60GB, so you'll need to make sure you have enough space wherever you create the VM. (This can for example be a 64GB or larger USB drive if you are short on space on internal disks.) Once you have imported it the OVA file can be deleted if you need to save space.

The default hardware used is 2 CPUs and 8GB memory. It should run on 1 CPU and about 3GB memory if resources are tight.

Database notes


Initial username and password are the same as for login. Access using mysql -u hw -p. phpMyAdmin is available at http://localhost/phpMyAdmin.


Initial username and password are the same as for login. Access using psql -U hw -d hw -W. pgadmin4 is available at http://localhost/pgadmin4. To become the postgres administrative user to create or modify databases use sudo -u postgres psql.


No authentication needed, access using cqlsh.


No authentication needed, access using mongo.