Box File
A file used by Vagrant to create Vagrant environments. A box file represents a template from which Virtual machines can be created.
Host Machine
A machine that uses virtualisation software to host virtual machines. Host machines allocate resources, including memory and disk space, to support the running of a virtual machine. Note that a virtual machine can host other virtual machines, making it both a host and virtual machine.
Idempotent provisioning runs only the commands required to achieve the desired state of the system. Commands that do not change the state are not run. This can save considerable build time when handling dependencies, because a dependency should not be downloaded and reinstalled if it is already in the state it should be in.
Manager software provides an interface for managing Virtual machines from Virtual environments. Vagrant is an example of manager software, which provides a command-line interface to virtual machine management which can be automated. See Managers.
Vagrant Environment
The directory structure (including Vagrantfile) created by Vagrant when vagrant init is commanded. A single virtual machine can be managed in a given environment.
Virtual Environment
Virtual environments produce the same virtual machine on all virtualisation-capable computers. Virtual environments are also box files, but are not Vagrant environments.
Provider (or virtualiser) software supports the creation of, and interaction with, virtual machines from a host machine. VirtualBox is an example of a free provider software. See Providers.
Provisioner software runs a set of commands on a machine, virtual or otherwise, to ensure it is in a particular state. Ansible is an example of provisioner software that enables idempotent provisioning. See Provisioners.
System Virtual Machine
Virtual Machine

“An efficient, isolated duplicate of a real machine.” [1]

Software that imitates certain other software on certain hardware. In this project, this includes a complete operating system, and a combination of one or many simulation packages and dependencies. General system virtual machines are described in brief at Virtual Machines and Related Software.

More strictly, a virtual machine is a specific instance of a virtual environment. When we build box file artefacts, we are creating virtual environments, not virtual machines. Once Vagrant creates a Vagrant environment from a box file and vagrant up is commanded, a corresponding virtual machine is created. Virtual machines created on a host are managed by virtual machine providers, which typically list the machines they are maintaining.

Virtual Micromagnetics

“Enabling accessible and reproducible micromagnetic simulation.”

The name of this project, which represents the collection of virtual environments and the software written to create them.


[1]Smith, J., Nair, R. (2005). “The Architecture of Virtual Machines”. Computer (IEEE Computer Society) 38 (5): 32–38. doi:10.1109/MC.2005.173