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OLA on Windows with VMWare


Revision as of 08:29, 5 October 2011 by Nomis52 (talk | contribs)
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This explains how to run OLA on a Windows system using VMWare. This uses virtualization so it's not recommended for real time lighting control. However it's useful if you want to experiment with OLA and perform tasks that aren't time sensitive like Running RDM Responder Tests


  • A Windows PC with a working internet connection.
  • At least 20G of free hard disk space. Chance are you won't need that much.

Setting up the Linux System

This tutorial is based on these excellent instructions. The instructions are for Windows 7, but works fine on XP as well.

Download & Install VMWare Player

Download the free VMWare Player. You'll need to complete the survey and provide an email address. Install this on your windows machine. Reboot.

Download & Install Linux Distribution

I recommend Ubuntu. It's fairly easy to use and stays up to date. Get the latest version from here. Once this is done you should have an .iso file which will be around 600MB.

Setup a New Virtual Machine

Open VMWare Player, select "Create New Virtual Machine". Choose "Installer Disk Image" and point to the Linux .iso file you downloaded.

On the next screen setup a username & password. You can then control where the VM image is stored and the size of the image. The defaults are fine.

Click Finish to setup the Linux image. Installation of Ubuntu then begins.

You'll be asked if you want to install VMWare tool for Linux. Say yes as we'll use them later. The download will continue along with the install. This stage can take quite a while.

Once complete, you'll be presented with a graphical login screen showing the username that you setup before. Login to the system and you'll be shown the desktop.

Next enter Unity mode. This seamlessly merges the Linux windows with the Windows desktop. You can also copy and paste between Windows and Linux at this point.

Enter unity.JPG

Finally open the Linux terminal application as shown below. You'll need to move your mouse to the Start button for the Unity menu to appear.

Open terminal.JPG

Now we'll confirm that the network is working. Type:


You should see responses like what's below. Hit Control-C to exit the ping program.

Linux terminal.JPG

At this point we have a working Linux system. Time to install OLA

Installing OLA

These instructions closely follow OLA on Linux.

Install the dependencies

sudo apt-get install libcppunit-dev libcppunit-1.12-1 uuid-dev pkg-config libncurses5-dev git libtool autoconf automake  g++ libmicrohttpd-dev libmicrohttpd5 protobuf-c-compiler libprotobuf-lite6 python-protobuf libprotobuf-dev  zlib1g-dev

Then run ldconfig:

sudo ldconfig

Checkout OLA

Run the following to clone the OLA code:

  git clone ola
  cd ola

Configure, build and test OLA

Type these

  autoreconf -i
  ./configure --enable-python-libs
  make check
  sudo make install
  sudo ldconfig

If you want to do RDM responder testing you must add --enable-python-libs

Using OLA

At this stage you can start OLA by running

  olad -l 3 

The -l flag controls the logging level from 0 (log nothing) to 4 (debug logs). 3 is log level info, which is usually enough for most people.

Now find the IP address of your Linux instance:

  /sbin/ifconfig eth0

Look for a line that starts with inet addr:.

Linux ip address.JPG

Open up a browser on the Windows PC and type in the IP address followed by :9090. This will bring up the OLA web console.

Windows ola webui.JPG

Updating OLA

From time to time you may want to update the code. From within the existing ola directory run:

  git pull
  autoreconf -i
  ./configure --enable-python-libs
  make check
  sudo make install

Not all of these steps are required each time, but unless you have a good idea of what changed it's easier just to run everything.