Installing ExpressionPlot

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ExpressionPlot can either be run as a VirtualBox virtual machine or directly on your web server.

VirtualBox is an open source virtualization solution. The advantages of using the virtual machine are as follows:

  • You will not have to install ExpressionPlot, since it comes pre-installed on your virtual hard drive. Regular installation may be tricky on untested platforms.
  • You do not need root access to install.

Disadvantages of virtual installation include the following:

  • If you don't already know how, you have to figure out how to use VirtualBox (but I've included some detailed instructions for you to get started).
  • The virtual hard disk takes a lot of space since it contains its own copy of the Operating System.
  • The virtual hard disk is dynamically expandable up to 2TB. However, it is not easily compactable if you want to free space, for example by deleting alignments.
  • The virtual installation runs a little bit slower.
  • In my experience the virtual machine has a tendency to use up memory and then crash ("Guru meditation"). You can always restart it, but this is really annoying.

In short, I recommend the virtual installation for trying out ExpressionPlot, or if you have trouble with the regular installation. For production scale, I recommend the regular installation.