Importing Resources

Warning

The EaaSI platform is currently in “beta”! At this point our goal is to test critical network functionality and gather feedback for further development. We can not guarantee the persistence of any resources in the system when we transition from the ‘beta’ to our first ‘official’ release.

In other words, any environments (Base, Software or Object) created and saved by the network (other than those sourced from and maintained by Yale University Library) during the beta may be deleted at the end of the beta, and Software or Digital Objects may need to be re-imported from storage.

EaaSI staff will communicate details of this transition well ahead of time to allow node hosts to plan accordingly.

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Importing an Object

To add a new Digital or Software Object to your EaaSI installation, navigate to the “Import Object” page using the sidebar menu.

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The Object Upload page displays two options: uploading Objects “From File” (anywhere on the local filesystem of the computer the user is accessing the interface from), or “From Repository”. Only “From File” is supported during the beta; connections to digital repositories at node hosts will require further development.

Use the Object ID field to name the Object. Avoid using special characters or spaces in the Object ID to prevent unexpected system behavior (hyphens and underscores are OK).

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There are four Media Types available to describe the file(s) being uploaded. The Media Type will be used by EaaS to communicate to emulators where/how to mount an object into an environment (i.e. relevant file system and/or virtual drive).

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  • ISO - Mounts the object in an environment’s virtual optical/CD-ROM drive. Should accept any file extension.
  • Floppy - Mounts the object in an environment’s virtual floppy drive. Should accept any file extension.
  • Disk - Attempts to mount the object as a hard drive (success may thus be highly variable depending on an environment’s configured hardware, the operating system’s compatibility with the image’s file system, etc.). Should accept most if not all hard disk image formats (IMG, DMG, DD/raw, QCOW, VDI, VMDK, E01/EWF, etc.)
  • Files - This option will accept any set of non-disk-image files. To allow for maximum compatibility, imported file sets are currently packaged by EaaSI into an ISO file and file set objects will thus mount in an environment’s virtual optical/CD-ROM drive.

Click the “Add Files” button to pull up a file browser and select the file(s) that make up your desired Object. You can add as many individual files to an import as desired to create multi-file Objects. The files that make up an Object should be of a consistent Media Type to allow for successful mounting into an emulator.

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Note

For example, An operating system installer might contain a boot floppy and then multiple CD-ROMs. The floppy image and the CD-ROM images must be considered and imported as different Objects, but the CD-ROM images should likely be imported together as a single Object.

Once all desired files have been selected, click “Import” at the bottom of the page. A pop-up window should display the progress and success of the Object import.

On successful import, the new Object will be available in the Objects overview. If the imported Object is considered a Software Object (rather than a Digital Object/collection item) see Adding Software.

Importing Base Environments

Note

To import a new Base Environment into EaaSI using the demo interface, the base disk image file must first be directly accessible at an HTTP web address. This could include cloud storage services (Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, etc.)

If this is not possible, environments must be directly uploaded into the EaaSI container’s file system and synced into the system. Contact the EaaSI team for instructions.

To import a new Base Environment, navigate to the “Import/Create Environment” page using the sidebar menu.

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Choose the most appropriate system for the environment from the available dropdown menu. These options are provided Hardware Configurations that will determine the emulator program and settings EaaSI uses for this environment (the displayed “System Properties” will change accordingly).

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Under the “Disk” section, copy the HTTP link to the base image file (accepted disk image types are raw/dd, VDI, E01/EWF and QCOW2; VHD and VDMK are also accepted but will be converted to QCOW2). If importing from a cloud storage service, this must be a direct link; consult your service’s sharing settings.

Note

If importing an EWF image, this must be contained in a single E01 file. Multi-file forensic images are not supported.

If the Base Environment is running a KVM-compatible operating system (e.g. Windows XP), you can enable virtualization here.

The “Native Config” field will specify the actual flags/options passed to the underlying emulator according to the selected Hardware Configuration template. You can edit the Hardware Configuration here accordingly (consult each emulator’s) documentation for available options.

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Click “Start” to begin the import process. The base image will first be cached into EaaSI’s temporary storage. Once the base image has been cached, an emulation session will load to allow the user to preview the new environment before saving. The length of the import process will depend on the size of the base image, data rate and bandwidth of the local network, etc.

When the user is satisfied with the new environment’s operation, shut down the emulated operating system and select “Save Environment” from the Action Menu. When the new base has been named, described and saved, it will be available in the Private sub-section of the Base Environments overview.

Note

If creating an Apple/Mac OS environment using Mini vMac, BasiliskII or SheepShaver emulators, additional steps are required. Please see Special Consideration for Mac/Apple Environments.

Importing Emulators

Please see Managing Emulators for more detailed instructions on managing and importing new emulators into an EaaSI node.