OpenStreetMap logo OpenStreetMap

OSM Server Virtual Machine Available Now.

Posted by AndrewBuck on 13 September 2012 in English.

Over the last few days I have been putting together a virtual machine image of an Ubuntu 12.04 install set up to act as an OSM tileserver and Nominatim server. The Virtualbox virtual machine image boots up and after logging in and running the ‘startx’ command to start the graphical environment, has a “configuration wizard” script on the desktop.

Running this wizard will prompt you to download an OSM PBF extract to the desktop. This PBF file will then be loaded into either a tile rendering database, or a Nominatim database, or both. The configuration is entirely point and click and took about 30 minutes to have a fully functional tileserver and Nominatim server with up to date coastlines downloaded automatically for the Washinton, DC, extract (about a 10 mb PBF extract, processed on a typical dual core PC). I wrote a wiki page about how I set up the virtual machine starting from the bare Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit desktop build to the fully functional server.

The 2.2 gb virtual machine image can be downloaded via BitTorrent using the following torrent file or magnet link. You will find a Readme file in the torrent telling you how to import and boot the image in Virtualbox and further instructions in the VM image itself.


I hope people find this VM fun and useful to play around with. Hopefully now when people want a quick testserver for an app they are developing, or people who want to scrape tiles, or do bulk geocoding can easily download and run this VM on their own hardware, and avoid placing undue load on the OSM community’s donated servers.

Please share any comments or feedback about the VM either in the comments here, or on the talk page on the wiki.



Comment from robbieonsea on 13 September 2012 at 19:31

Good stuff!

I’ve always thought about doing something similar, but other things have taken priority.

I thought maybe the setup for the VM (as far as possible) should be configured itself (and as such held under source control eg in github) rather than a collection of [Wiki] instructions.

Vagrant seems a good open system for defining Virtual Box images, see:

but I can’t say I’ve actually used it.

Comment from Gnonthgol on 14 September 2012 at 12:18

Great work. Next version have to include OSRM and TileMill and maybe a version of the rails port for completeness as well. Maybe I will start developing on that image in the future.

Comment from geekasylum on 15 September 2012 at 14:28

Thanks Andrew for pointing me to this - great work. I’ll play with it gleefully in the very near future. “)

Comment from ngt on 19 September 2012 at 17:35

Hey, just started the vm and it is up and running! But I wonder where I can find the rendered tiles g

Comment from free_as_a_bird on 23 September 2012 at 18:11

Hey Andrew!

Thanks a lot for that wonderful compilation of tools!!!

Can’t remember exactly how much time I spent with trial&error when I tried to setup a tirex / rendering server manually..

Having this a ready-to-go Rendering & Nominatim server is really a major benefit!

In case you need a helping hand on testing, extending, etc. please let me know

Best regards Toby

Comment from japharl on 29 September 2012 at 20:53

So far, so good. A few minor suggestions for future builds…

  1. Progress meter (or some other simple feadback mechanizim) while downloading ocean files / other long opperations.
  2. If possible, detect if the nominatum server is available (processed at least one file), so that someone like me won’t get confused as to why it isn’t working out of the box after loading a pbf file and seeing the visualization layer working ok, but nomintim not quite working yet.
  3. Configure nomintum to use local tile server instead of remote server. (Comes in handy for offline searching use.

Best, Zak

Comment from Guttorm Flatabø on 22 October 2012 at 19:59

I recommend you take a look av vagrant, as robbieonsea mentioned. It makes the whole makingn, distribution and use process a bit simpler. I made a box for running Waymarked Trails with it the other day.

If you started out with the Ubuntu server 12.04 box you’d probably manage to make it much smaller in size. It looked like you installed a lot of software not needed to serve tiles.

Comment from racer005 on 2 September 2013 at 05:21

Dear friend, thank you very much! This server work great!

Please write a root password!?

Comment from ZoranR on 14 December 2013 at 10:14

Hi. I downloaded the vm and it’s up and running, but for some reason when I download the pbf it’s imported to the database (or at least its says it is) and when I get to the part of showing the tiles I don’t see any generated tiles? I tried it a few times and every time with the same result. Coastline file is also downloaded. And the weird part is that when the import to Nominatim happens it works? I can search the data through Nominatim. Do you have any idea what is going on? What I’m doing wrong?

Log in to leave a comment