Installing open source GIS software to cPouta

An easy way for installing open source GIS software to cPouta is using images provided by OSGeoLive.

OSGeoLive includes a very long list of open source GIS software, including QGIS, PostGIS, R spatial, SpatiaLite and many others. The created virtual image runs on Lubuntu operating system and provides user a graphical user interface like any desktop computer.

OSGeoLive in cPouta

We will use here the OSGeo Live 11 pre-made virtual machine (in VMDK format). Note that you could follow the same procedure to create a virtual machine in cPouta from any virtual machine you may have created using for example VM Ware or Virtual Box.

Once you are finished with the installation, you will be able to access the OSGeoLive virtual machine graphical interface using the using the Console tool from the cPouta web interface. If needed, you can install and set up your own external access types like SSH or VNC (these are not installed by default in the OSGeoLive distribution).

There are two steps needed to create an OSGeoLive cPouta virtual machine:

  • Create a cPouta image from the OSGeoLive package (in this case a VMDK file) to cPouta
  • Launch a cPouta virtual machine

Create a cPouta image from the OSGeoLive package

Basic access to cPouta

First of all, you need to set up your own cPouta account and set up access and security settings.

  1. Administrative access to cPouta. For using cPouta you need a CSC user account and a CSC research project.
  2. Accesing cPouta in practice. Log in to cPouta web interface and set up your SSH key, security groups and firewalls as needed. See instructions in Using cPouta.
Once you have access to cPouta and know how to access the platform, you can create an image from which you will be launching virtual machines. Follow this steps:
  1. Donwload the osgeo-live-vm from OSGeo Live Dowloads. The download is about 3.2GB in size.

  2. Extract the contents of the zip file. Note that the extracted file, is over 9 GB (you will need to upload it to cPouta).
  3. Log in to the cPouta web interface.

  4. Select Images from the left panel. Then click on Create Image.

  5. To create a cPouta image from the virtula machine file you downloaded use the following basic settings (see also image below):
    • Fill in a Name and add a short description
    • Browse to the file location in your local machine
    • Format: be sure to define the format of the file you are uploading, in this case VMDK - Virtual Machine Disk
    • Make sure that the image you are creating is set to Private at the bottom of the dialog window
    • Leave the rest of options to defaults and click on Create Image


Note that the file you are uploading is over 9 GB, so it will take some time (leave the web session open while uploading).

Once the virtual machine image has been created in cPouta, you can use it to create new cPouta cloud virtual machines.

Launching and setting up the OSGeoLive virtual machine

Go to the Instances tab in the cPouta web interface and click on Launch Instance.


In the Launch Instance dialog you have a number of tabs, each containing a group of settings. It is enough to edit some of the settings in the Details and in the Access & Seccurity tabs.

In the Details tab you define the resources used by the virtual machine and what image it is created from. Set the following settings (leave the rest as defaults):

  • Instance Name: for ex. osgeolive11
  • Flavor: standard.small
  • Instance Boot Source: Boot from image (creates a new volume)
  • Image Name: osgeolive11-vmdk


In the Access & Security tab you define how and where from you cloud machine can be accessed. You should already have created an SSH key and a security group. Set the following settings (leave the rest as defaults):

  • Key Pair: <Select one of your key pairs>
  • Security Groups: <Select one of your security groups>


Finally, click on Launch an your cloud virtual machine will be created. The machine should be ready and running in a few seconds.


Accesing the virtual machine from the cPouta web interface

Your virtual machine should be now visible in the cPouta, in the Instances section.

To access your virtual machine directly from the cPouta web interface console:

  • Click on the instance name

  • Then click on Console tab. Set your local computer keyboard layout to English for best control of the web console (the default keyboard layout in the OSGeoLive is English). You should be seeing the OSGeoLive virtual machine's desktop. Congratulations!