Virtual Micromagnetics

Virtual Micromagnetics is an environment that creates system virtual machines and containers designed for high-performance, reproducible, and distributable research. This essentially means it emulates a configured set of software on your computer. Instead of managing many different software packages on your computer for simulation, you only need to manage the single software that supports the virtual machine. This creates an environment far simpler to maintain for research, meaning you have more time to solve the mysteries of the universe, instead of:

  • wondering why the latest version of a package is incompatible with earlier simulations.

  • wondering how to maintain multiple versions of a package to support old simulation software.

  • persuading your (high-performance-computing) system administrator to support your software.

  • setting up user accounts and packages for new students to run simulations.

Deployment with Vagrant and VirtualBox

Vagrant is a software that allows the user to deploy development environments, like Virtual Micromagnetics. Its friendly command-line interface is the primary way to construct and manage Virtual Micromagnetics environments. The provider we support for Vagrant environments is VirtualBox, which directly manages virtual machines. We recommend the user download both of these packages to use the Virtual Micromagnetics environment, but they are not mandatory if one wants to use Virtual Micromagnetics from scratch (see Get Started).

Deployment with Docker

Docker containers are another solution for software deployment supported by Virtual Micromagnetics. Containers are lightweight and faster than virtual machines as they use many features of the host operating system, but at a cost of being less isolated (see Get Started).

Suggestions, Contributions, and Contact

Email: mark.vousden[at]soton[dot]ac.uk

If you are working on an open-source micromagnetics simulator, feel free to talk to us if you wish to include your work in the Virtual Micromagnetics environment. If you wish to contribute to the project, you can first look at our project in more detail on GitHub. Suggestions and comments are also welcome.


Virtual Micromagnetics source code, documentation, and build artefacts are licensed by the 3-Clause BSD License. Check out our full license here. These tools are provided by the University of Southampton (Mark Vousden, Max Albert, Hans Fangohr and others). Neither the University of Southampton nor the authors assume any responsibility whatsoever for its use by other parties, and makes no guarantees, expressed or implied, about its quality, reliability, or any other characteristic.