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Installing CASMACAT on Your Own Computer

CASMACAT is built as an application that runs on a web server that uses several tools in the backend, such as the Moses and Thot Machine Translation systems. These were developed on Linux.

Still, CASMACAT can be installed on any machine - Windows, Mac, you name it.

It does require running a virtual machine on your computer. Don't worry that is much less scary than you think and does not cost any money.

Get Software

First, download Ubuntu Linux 14.04. This will give you a large file (almost 1GB), so this may take a while. Save this file in a place that you can find.

Go to the download section of Virtualbox and follow the download instructions for your operating system.

Set up the Virtual Machine

When you start Virtualbox, its opening screen looks like this:

First you need to enable host-only adapters. Go to File -> Preferences -> Network -> Host-only Networks and click on the green button with the plus sign on the right. After that, your screen will look like this:

Now you can set up a virtual machine for an Ubuntu installation as follows:

  • Click on "New"
  • Screen Name and Operating System
    • Pick any name, for instance "CASMACAT"
    • Type: Linux
    • Version: Ubuntu (64 bit)
  • Screen Memory Size
    • Allocate as much memory as possible. A rule of thumb is half of the memory of your machine (your machine should have at least 8GB RAM, so allocate 4GB).
    • More memory allows you to run more powerful machine translation systems.
  • Screen Hard Drive
    • Select "Create virtual hard drive now" (default)
    • Select "VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image)" (default)
    • Select "Fixed size"
    • Select size of the hard drive
    • Allocate as much disk space as you can spare, but at least 100 GB.
    • More disk space allows you to keep multiple machine translation systems on disk, and keep more log files and translated documents.

Creating the hard drive is a slow process, this will take several minutes.

You will get back to the main screen. Your virtual machine is now visible as "CASMACAT" with the status "Powered Off"

Install Ubuntu Linux

You now have to install Ubuntu on the your new virtual machine.

  • Click on the logo for the virtual machine CASMACAT
  • Click on the big "Start" symbol with the arrow
  • You will be prompted for the installation disk, select the Ubuntu ISO file, and press "Start" in the dialog
  • Ignore the warnings about audio devices, mouse pointers etc.
  • Click on "Install Ubuntu"
  • Screen Preparing to install Ubuntu
    • check "Download updates while installing"
    • click "Continue"
  • Screen Installation Type
    • check "Erase disk and install Ubuntu"
    • do not worry - this only formats your virtual hard drive you just created, not the main hard drive of the computer.
    • in fact nothing you do from now on has any impact on your main computer (called the "host"), only on the virtual machine (called the "guest").
    • click "Install Now"
  • Screen Where are you?: Pick your time zone
  • Screen Keyboard layout
  • Screen Who are you?
    • Your name: e.g, "Judy Translator"
    • Your computers name: e.g., "judy-casmacat"
    • Pick a user name: e.g., "judy" (preferable all lowercase, one word)
    • Choose a password
  • Screen One account
    • just click "log in later"
  • Installation will now take a few minutes, depending on your network speed
  • Once it is done, click "Restart Now"

Configure Networking

After installing Ubuntu, the virtual machine will boot for the first time

  • You may get the message "Please remove the installation media...". Just press enter.
  • Once booted, you will see a log in screen with your name.
  • At this point shut down the machine, you will get to this screen:
  • Select Machine -> Settings -> Network
  • Select Adapter 1 and select NAT (should be the default)
  • Select Adpater 2
    • check Enable Network Adapter
    • check Host-only Adapter
    • press OK
  • If you have multiple cores on your machine, you will see benefits by committing more than one core to the CASMACAT virtual machine
    • Select Machine -> Settings -> System
    • Select Processor
    • Give all but 2 CPUs to the virtual machine (so 6 CPUs if you have 8)


Now we can install the CASMACAT software.

  • First start the machine by pressing the Start button (with the green arrow)
  • Once booted, you will see a log in screen with your name. Enter the password you selected during installation.
  • There will be some messages about your keyboard and mouse pointer. You can close them.
  • After logging in, you will reach the Ubuntu desktop
    • Click on the top left Ubuntu logo
    • The search box "Search your computer and online source" will appear
    • Write the word "Terminal" into the search box
    • Click on the Icon "Terminal" (looks like a black computer screen)
    • A black box should appear - this is called the terminal
  • After this command, enter
    • sudo sh ./install.sh
    • You will be asked for your password again - enter it
  • After a while, a web browser will pop up which will inform you about the installation progress and also about how to access the virtual machine from your host computer.
  • At this point, you are done with the installation. You can minimize the virtual machine and interact with it from now on solely through the web interface
  • For more information on how to use the administration page, see the user guide
  • For more information on how to upload and translate a document, see the upload document guide and follow-ups.