KIM Bootcamp - Virtualbox installation, 64-bit vs. 32bit vm


I am going through the process of installing the openkimvm system for the boot camp tomorrow. I am following all of the steps under the virtualbox tab, I am able to install virtualbox, however, I am running into some issues when setting up the vm.

  1. I am only able to select ubuntu as a 32-bit vm, there is no option for 64-bit. (see attached picture).

  2. I have gone through a maze of forums and I do not believe I will be able to run a 64-bit vm. I think the issue boils down to my cpu being too old and not supporting Intel VT-x.
    My cpu:


  1. When I complete vm setup process (with 32-bit Ubuntu) and start the machine, I get a black screen with a cursor. I wait awhile, but nothing happens. I am guessing this is a broken vm due to my inability to setup a 64-bit ubuntu installation?

Does anyone have experience with the issues I am having? Next steps? For reference, I am currently running Ubuntu 12.04 (64-bit), could I potentially bypass the whole vm system?

Thanks in advance for any help,



Hi Jason,

Yes, unfortunately, if you’re running an old 32-bit CPU that doesn’t support Intel VT-x (or AMD-V), you won’t be able to emulate a 64-bit Guest such as is used on the OpenKIM VM. I ran across this when I was first trying to install the VM on my netbook. However, do note that the KIM API itself can be installed on any machine so you can still do the bulk of your development on your 32-bit machine…you just won’t have access to some of the convenient utilities and simulators (e.g. LAMMPS and ASE come ready-to-use on the VM) that come stock on the VM.

Let me know if you have further questions,
Dan Karls

Hi Dan,

Thanks for the quick response. My cpu is 64-bit, I just don’t have the virtualization support, so hopefully I can take advantage of everything. For the sake of the workshop, if I have LAMMPS and ASE setup properly with the KIM API, will I be able to do everything in the workshop? Anything else you would suggest installing with KIM API off the bat?



Hi Jason, For the Boot Camp, we will be presenting some details of how the KIM VM is used to create, test, and run OpenKIM Models and Tests through the OpenKIM Processing Pipeline framework. However, the exercises we will be asking you to work through can will only specifically require the KIM API, and a small MD package called MiniMol. These are available on the KIM VM, but we'll make sure you can also download them from the site for use without the VM...



P.S. We have a number of add-ons to ASE that implement KIM API support. These are only available on the KIM VM at the moment. The ASE development team is currently working on a native implementation of KIM API support.

Right, I believe you still need VT-x or AMD-V to run a 64-bit Guest even on a 64-bit machine. Unfortunately, this means you won’t be able to follow along with the LAMMPS tutorial during the afternoon session of the boot camp step-by-step without a working VM. However, the LAMMPS tutorial will also be made available on the website, so you’ll be able to walk through things hands-on as soon as you get access to a VM. You’ll still be able to do everything in the rest of the boot camp without a VM.


Ryan and Dan: My initial issue was on my laptop and I thought I had the same issue with my desktop. Fortunately I was able to get the vm running on my desktop with a little more work. If anyone reading the thread has the same issue, I had to enable VT-x in my BIOS. I should be good now for the bootcamp. Unfortunately, I will have to use my laptop without the vm for the upcoming content carnival. Thanks for all of your help. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.