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Bioinform Biol Insights. 2015 Sep 10;9:125-8. doi: 10.4137/BBI.S28636. eCollection 2015. A Catalog of Virtual Machine Images for the Life Sciences.

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SNIC-UPPMAX, Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. ; Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. ; Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
SNIC-UPPMAX, Department of Information Technology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
CSC - IT Center for Science Ltd., Espoo, Finland.
SLU-Global Bioinformatics Centre, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.


Virtualization is becoming increasingly important in bioscience, enabling assembly and provisioning of complete computer setups, including operating system, data, software, and services packaged as virtual machine images (VMIs). We present an open catalog of VMIs for the life sciences, where scientists can share information about images and optionally upload them to a server equipped with a large file system and fast Internet connection. Other scientists can then search for and download images that can be run on the local computer or in a cloud computing environment, providing easy access to bioinformatics environments. We also describe applications where VMIs aid life science research, including distributing tools and data, supporting reproducible analysis, and facilitating education. is freely available at:


catalogue; cloud computing; container; software repository; virtual appliance; virtual machine image

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