Building PtolemyII on Oracle Linux-6 VM on VBox

When Red Hat decides they've had enough of Microsoft and can afford to go on the offensive, what do they do? They get rid of the gcc -mno-cygwin switch. All applications that do not rely on the cygwin1.dll runtime executable cease to function. This is what monopolies do. They exert inertia. The path of least resistance is to immediately quit cygwin on Windows and immediately embrace Linux on a VM.

As of gcc-4, the -mno-cygwin build option has been deprecated. As a result it is still possible to build PtolemyII on Cygwin, however the EmbeddedCFileActor class functionality which depends on the -mno-cygvin switch, will not compile. The EmbeddedCFileActor class is important for providing convenient access to the incorporation of native C functionality in simulations. For any serious DSP developers, access to C functionality is mandatory. The only option is to build Ptolemy on Linux. This tutorial will describe the building of PtolemyII8.0.1 on a Oracle Linux Virtual Machine on Vbox.

Oracle Linux Release 6 Update 4 Media Pack for x86_64 (64 bit)

Oracle Linux-6 VM Download

Import your VM: File > Import Appliance to launch Appliance Import Wizard. Click Choose... to browse to the directory where you downloaded the file in and select the file OracleLinux64.ova then click Next to begin importing the virtual machine. It will prompt you to agree to the appropriate licenses while importing. You will see 'Oracle Virtual Sysadmin Days (Powered Off)' when it is finished importing. Please create a snapshot of the VM at this point, so you can always revert back to the pristine state in case something goes wrong or you want to repeat an exercise without manually reverting all the changes.

Increasing logical volumes and file systems

    1. Cloned the .vmdk VM disk image into an .iso format with the VBoxManage “clonehd” command.

“C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe” clonehd –format VDI “C:\SPB_Data\VirtualBox VMs\Oracle Virtual Sysadmin Days\OracleLinux64-disk1.vmdk” “C:\SPB_Data\VirtualBox VMs\Oracle Virtual Sysadmin Days\OracleLinux64-disk1.vdi”

    1. Re-sized the .vdi image with the VBoxManage “modifyhd” command.

"C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" modifyhd "C:\SPB_Data\VirtualBox VMs\Oracle Virtual Sysadmin Days\OracleLinux64-disk1.vdi" --resize 14000

    1. Use Gparted to increase the volume group vg_oraclelinux6 partition size to its full capacity.

    2. Booted into Oracle-linux6 and extended the vg_oraclelinux6 volume group with the Linux “lvextend” command.

$ sudo lvextend -v -l +900 -r vg_oraclelinux6/lv_root

Determine the file system type (Linux how to determine the file system type)

$ df -T

The Oracle Linux distribution uses the btrfs filesystem for volume groug vg_oraclelinux6. This file system can be extended online.

[oracle@oraclelinux6 ~]$ sudo btrfs filesystem show

Label: none uuid: 89810a0a-7ed4-4756-a1df-c159ddd14dcd

Total devices 1 FS bytes used 4.50GB

devid 1 size 7.53GB used 7.53GB path /dev/dm-0

The file system volume can easily be grown with the following command (BTRFS Fun)

$ sudo btrfs filesystem resize +3g /

[oracle@oraclelinux6 ~]$ sudo btrfs filesystem show

Label: none uuid: 89810a0a-7ed4-4756-a1df-c159ddd14dcd

Total devices 1 FS bytes used 4.50GB

devid 1 size 10.53GB used 7.53GB path /dev/dm-0

[oracle@oraclelinux6 ~]$ df -h

Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on


11G 4.5G 4.7G 50% /

tmpfs 1004M 272K 1004M 1% /dev/shm

/dev/sda1 485M 56M 405M 12% /boot

/dev/sr1 57M 57M 0 100% /media/VBOXADDITIONS_4.2.18_88780

Note that df -h now shows that the file system volume has indeed been increased by the specified amount.


Storage management with LVM2 (mounting Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) for PtolemyII)

YUM install java-1.6.0-openjdk-devel on Oracle VM Linux-6 VM on VBox

The Java JDK is necessary to run PtolemyII so we do the following

$ su -c "yum install java-1.6.0-openjdk-devel"

Guest Additions Not Loaded in VM Error

This error occurs when the ISO was mounted, but removed from the virtual drive while the VM was paused or for other various reasons.

Simply unmounted the ISO and Guest Additions will auto re-mount asking for permission to reinstall.

Failed Vbox Guest Additions Install

Compile PtolemyII from source

Download the sources

PtolemyII Installation instructions are here

Move the source archive to /orion

$ sudo mv ~/Downloads/ptII8.0.1.src.tar.gz /orion

Change ownership on /orion

$ chown oracle /orion

Decompress the archive

$ cd $PTII

$ tar -zxvf ptII8.0.1.src.tar.gz

Edit the JARCS (Java actors compile list) in the $PTII/ptolemy/actor/lib/makefile

    1. If you are using make to build Ptolemy II, then the makefiles need to be updated.

    2. Edit the $PTII/ptolemy/actor/lib/makefile and add the actors found in


      2. These actors are:






      8. to the value of JSRCS. A good place for this is just after the \ line:

      9. \ \ \ \ \ \ \

      10. Note that there is a TAB character before

      11. This step is not strictly necessary, but it is good programming practice to put all source files in the makefile. Another reason we add it to the makefile is so that our new actor will be included in the lib.jar file.

    3. make users: Run make in the $PTII/ptolemy/actor/lib directory (which is where you should already be). make will descend into the subdirectories and compile any needed files and eventually run

      1. rm -f `basename .java`.class CLASSPATH="../../.." "/cygdrive/c/j2sdk1.4.2_06/bin/javac" -g -O

      2. and Ramp2.class will be produced.

      3. ant users: Run

      4. cd $PTII ant

At this point, a class file at $PTII/ptolemy/actor/lib/*.class will have been created.

Note: The preceding step was not absolutely necessary as it appears that on Linux the actor EmbeddedCFileActor and its associated actors are automatically built with make, as on Linux, gcc's -mno-cygwin switch is clearly not required.

Instantiate Entity

To instantiate an entity, follow these steps


Graph → Instantiate Entity →

Double Left Click on the imported CCompiledCompositeActor Symbol

Click on Preferences

Change the embeddedCCode field to Text

Check the expert mode box

Click OK

In the codeBlockFile field, enter <c_code_file_name.c> or Browse to the c file.

Example: For the example C:\Share\PID\codegen\agc_fsm.c, Browse to the windows /mnt/Share/PID/codegen directory and select the file agc_fsm.c

Alternatively, enter the c code text in embeddedCCode text box

Example Project:


Detailed directions:

    1. Start up Vergil and do File -> New -> Graph Editor

    2. In Vergil, select Graph -> Instantiate Entity

    3. In the Instantiate Entity window, edit the Class name field and replace its contents with

    4. Leave the Location (URL) field blank

    5. Hit OK

    6. The Ramp2 icon will appear.

    7. To test the Ramp2 actor:

        1. Click on Actors -> sinks -> GenericSinks and drag a Display actor over to the main canvas.

        2. Connect the two actors by left clicking on the output of the ramp2 actor and dragging over to the input of the Display actor.

        3. Select Directors -> SDF and drag the SDF director over to the right window.

        4. Select View -> Run and change the number of iterations from 0 to 10, then hit the Run button.

        5. You should see the numbers from 0 to 18 in the display.

Pros: Easy. Instantiate an actor and use it in the model. When the model is saved, the reference to the class is saved in the model.

Cons: Each time the modeler wants to use the actor, they must instantiate the actor, which means they need to know the name. The .class or .xml file must be present in the CLASSPATH of the JVM when the model is opened.

A few notes about Instantiate Entity:

Composite Actors can also be instantiated in this way. For example is an Actor Oriented Class definition of a composite actor.

The Graph -> Instantiate Attribute menu choice is used to instantiate Ptolemy Attributes such as parameters or Directors.

Installing PtolemyII

As we have previously performed the installation of OpenJDK-6 on Ubuntu Vbox, step 1. below can be skipped.


export PATH

    1. Set the PTII environment variable to the top level installed Ptolemy source directory. If the Ptolemy sources were installed to /opt/ptII8.0.1, then in a bash shell type:

Change ownership of the Ptolemy install directory

$ sudo su

# chown -R usysinc /opt/ptII8.0.1

# exit

Export the PTII environment variable

$ export PTII=/orion/ptII8.0.1


add “export PTII=/orion/ptII8.0.1” to the file /root/.bash_profile

    1. If autoconf has not already been installed then install it like

      1. $ apt-get install autoconf

      2. OR

      3. $ sudo su

      4. # yum install autoconf

      5. # exit

    2. Run configure.

      1. $ cd "$PTII"

      2. $ rm -f config.*

      3. $ autoconf

      4. $ ./configureOR$ cd "$PTII"; rm config.*; autoconf; ./configure

    1. The safest thing to do is to run make fast install on the entire tree:

      1. $ make fast install

    1. Start Virgil

$ $PTII/bin/vergil

Note: The PtolemyII directory after make is 621MB, which is why we have installed the application to a separate VHD mounted as /orion.


Subpages (1): PtolemyII on Linux VBox VM

Mount a Shared Folder on the Host


1. Open the VBox VM Settings and go to Shared Folders.

2. Click on the Add button and browse for a folder you want to share.

3. In the VBox Settings window, an entry per-appended with the name of the selected folder will appear. This will be the name of the Linux share. For instance if the name of the Windows host folder was "E:\Design\RESEARCH\PID" then the name of the Linux share folder would be "PID".

4. Open a Terminal window in the Linux guest and create a mount point such as below.

$ mkdir /mnt/Share

Note: You may have to delete and recreate the mount point if you closed and reopened the VBox VM.

$ su

Password: ******

$ rm -r /mnt/Share

$ mkdir /mnt/Share

5. In the same Terminal window in the Linux guest, mount the share as follows.

$ sudo mount -t vboxsf PID ~/mnt/Share

6. Now boot up Vergil

$ $PTII/bin/vergil &