Installing LilyDev in VirtualBox

This section discusses how to install and use LilyDev with VirtualBox.

Note: If you already know how to install a virtual machine using a disc image inside VirtualBox (or your own virtualization software) then you can skip this section.

  1. Download VirtualBox from here:

    Note: In virtualization terminology, the operating system where VirtualBox is installed is known as the host. LilyDev will be installed ‘inside’ VirtualBox as a guest.

  2. The zip archive you downloaded contains the raw disk image and its SHA256 checksum. You can verify the integrity of the downloaded archive with any hashing tool your OS does support. On Linux, run the following command in the directory where you have extracted the files (this may take some time):
    sha256sum -c SHA256SUMS

    For Windows, look for the tools FCIV or certutil to compute the archive’s hash.

  3. As VirtualBox does not support the raw format, you have to extract it and then convert it to VDI format. Make sure that ‘VBoxManage’ is in your PATH or call it from your VirtualBox installation directory:
    VBoxManage convertfromraw LilyDev-VERSION-debian-vm.img \

    Note: You need a fair amount of disk space (around 30GB) to extract the raw image. After converting to a dynamic VirtualBox image it will take up much less space (only the amount of space that is actually allocated by the guest filesystem)

  4. Start the VirtualBox software and click ‘New’ to create a new “virtual machine”.

    The ‘New Virtual Machine Wizard’ walks you through setting up your guest virtual machine. Choose an appropriate name for your LilyDev installation and select the ‘Linux’ operating system. When selecting the ‘version’ choose ‘Debian (64-bit)’. If you do not have that specific option choose ‘Linux 2.6/3.x/4.x (64-bit)’.

  5. Select the amount of RAM you allow the LilyDev guest to use from your host operating system when it is running. If possible, use at least 1GB of RAM; the more RAM you can spare from your host the better
  6. In the ‘Hard Disk’ step, you use the VDI file you have previously created. You may move it within the virtual machine’s folder already created by the wizard (in GNU/Linux the default should be ~/VirtualBox VMs/NAME). Click on ‘Use an existing virtual hard disk file’ and browse to the VDI file.
  7. Verify the summary details and click ‘Create’ as soon as you are satisfied. Your new guest shall be displayed in the VirtualBox window now.
  8. Enable EFI within the virtual machine’s settings – click on System → Motherboard and select ‘Extended features: Enable EFI’. Otherwise, you won’t be able to boot the image.
  9. VirtualBox ‘guest additions’, which are installed by default in the debian image, provide some additional features such as being able to dynamically resize the LilyDev window, allow seamless interaction with your mouse pointer on both the host and guest, and let you copy/paste between your host and guest if needed. It seems that dynamic window resizing works only with the ‘VBoxVGA’ graphics controller, which you can choose in Display → Graphics Controller. To enable clipboard sharing between guest and host, choose General → Advanced → Shared Clipboard → Bidirectional.
  10. Click the ‘Start’ button and wait until the login screen appears. Log in as dev user then; type the password lilypond. Before starting any work, be sure to complete the next steps.

    Note: Since the default keyboard layout is US (American), you may have to type the password differently if you are using another layout, like ‘lilzpond’ on a German keyboard, for example.

  11. Open a terminal by clicking Applications → Terminal at the upper left of the screen. You may want to change the password of user ‘dev’ before doing further work with the command passwd.
  12. You might need to change the keyboard layout from default US (American) to your national layout. Therefore open a terminal and run
    sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration

    Note: You need supernotation rights to change certain aspects of the system configuration. The sudo tool allows to gain supernotation rights temporarily. It does show you a warning message on its first use that reminds you to use your extended rights carefully.

    At first, you are prompted for the model of your keyboard. Press Enter to show further models. In most cases, it is sufficient to choose ‘Generic, 105 keys’. After that, choose your keyboard layout. Now, you can customize the function of your AltGr key. Normally, the default layout settings fit well, so take number 1. The same holds for the question of whether you want to configure a ‘compose’ key. At last, you are asked if you want to configure Ctrl+Alt+Backspace as a shortcut to terminate the X server. Presumably, you do not need this, so you can safely type ‘no’.

  13. To set up your system language (charset, localized messages etc.), continue with
    sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales

    Note: Restarting is required in order to take the changes into effect.

  14. Finally, you should run a setup script. If you are on the command line already, simply type ./ to run the interactive script that does set up git and downloads all the repositories needed to build LilyPond.

LilyPond Contributor’s Guide v2.25.18 (development-branch).