Getting Started
Prerequisites for installing XNAT
Download XNAT
Step by Step Guide to Installing XNAT

Installing DicomServer

Custom Installation Options

Build From Source

Download XNAT in a Virtual Machine

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About the Virtual Machine

We are releasing a XNAT Virtual Machine (VM) to allow for easy testing and demonstration of the XNAT 1.4 release.

A virtual machine is a full "virtual" operating system that runs as a program within your existing operating system (see the screenshot below of our XNAT VM running inside Windows 7). The XNAT VM contains a fully configured XNAT installation with the RSNA 2000 data set loaded into a project. Additionally, the XNAT VM has a fully operational DicomServer that allows you to send DICOM data to XNAT. The VM runs Ubuntu 9.10 with Java, Tomcat, and PostgreSQL already installed.


The XNAT VM is ideal for:
  • Trying out XNAT 1.4. You no longer need expertise setting up PostgreSQL and Tomcat to experiment with XNAT. With the VM, all the hard work is done--just log in and start using XNAT.
  • Developing against the XNAT REST API. Developers can get their own "playground" version of XNAT to develop new features for.
  • Testing data modeling. When creating custom schema definitions, it becomes trivial to wipe away mistakes and start from scratch--never affecting users of your live XNAT site.
  • Running XNAT in a single lab. The XNAT VM is suited for small labs and studies without expertise in installing and managing XNAT and its depedendies.

VirtualBox is our preferred virtualization tool. It is open source, cross-platform, and extremely easy to get started with. There are a number of other
virtualization tools, including VMWare, Xen, Hyper-V, Virtual PC, KVM, Parallels, and QEMU. We also plan on releasing a VMWare version of the XNAT VM.

While it possible to run a virtual machine on an older or minimal physical machine, we recommend using a machine with a dual or quad core processor and at least 1 GB of RAM. The virtual hard drive can expand to up to 100 GB.

There are several points to consider before doing substantial work using the Virtual Machine:
  • The XNAT Virtual Hard Drive is configured to grow to up to 100GB. If you plan on going beyond 100 GB, consider mounting an NFS share, using the VirtualBox mechanism for sharing a folder, or mounting an additional Virtual Hard Drive.
  • The XNAT VM uses simple passwords for the Linux "xnat" account, the PostgreSQL "xnat" account, and the XNAT "admin" account. If you are exposing the XNAT VM on the Internet or your Intranet, you may want to secure these accounts and use a firewall (ufw and FireStarter are common wrappers in Ubuntu around iptables).
  • A virtual machine typically has poorer performance than a physical server, although we have found performance acceptable for development and testing purposes. If you are running a small study, you may be able to use the XNAT VM as your "production" server (after you secure it, as mentioned previously). If you decide against using the VM, you may nonetheless be interested in our viewing and using the scripts we used to create the Ubuntu virtual machine.

Download & Configure

Low-Level Details on How We Created the VM

If you are interested in our process of building the virtual machine, please see the Building a XNAT Virtual Machine page.

Virtual Machine Details

Operating System
Ubuntu 9.10 32-bit
OS username/password (with "sudo" priveleges)
XNAT Version
XNAT Admin username/password
XNAT Location
Postgres Version
Postgres username/password
Tomcat Version
Tomcat Location

Comments & Issues

If you discover any issues or have ideas on how we can improve the XNAT VM, please contact us on the xnat_discussion mailing list.