Hui OpenVista 4.1 VivitA available

Hui OpenVista 4.1 VivitA is now available at the WorldVistA project page at Source Forge ( The MD% sum is:

-bash-2.05b$ md5sum HuiOpenVista4.1VivitA.iso
77f699e6b62b99face25f7790fe4f6dc HuiOpenVista4.1VivitA.iso

Please verify your download before use, and if you repeatedly get the same erroneous MD5 sum, please let me know ASAP.

Like other VivA and VivitA releases, Hui OpenVista 4.1 VivitA is a complete VistA on GT.M on x86 GNU/Linux system that boots and runs from a CD-ROM. A database of course needs read-write storage, and this can be provided with a 1GB (or larger) USB flash driver (also called a thumb drive or jump drive), or an IDE, SCSI or USB hard drive. You can use this on any PC, even a diskless PC, and at the end, when you shut down and eject the CD-ROM, the disks on the PC are untouched (unless you choose to use them for the database). A VivitA CD combined with a USB drive together make an instant, portable, VistA system.

Since Hui OpenVista 4.1 does not support the direct connect CPRS GUI protocol, you will need to start up Taskman and a listener process (which calls back to the client). This is readily accomplished with the easy-to-follow Hui documentation, which is included on the CD. Remember to shut Taskman and the listener down before shutting down your CD.

A browser screen on bootup tells you everything you need to know to get started. [If there is something you need to know that is not there, please tell me so that I can include it next time.]

In addition to the Hui documentation, the CD contains a copy of the complete GT.M documentation web site, as well as an online copy of Paul Sheer's "LINUX: Rute Users Tutorial and Exposition" which is a well regarded book for learning Linux. So, the CD is an excellent way to learn Linux without having to first install Linux on your PC.

I did think of including a copy of the VA's VistA documentation library (, but did not want to burden the typical user with so much downloading so many megabytes.

Also, I did not include the GT.M tutorial from the GT.M Acculturation live CD ( because I would like to update it for the support of logical multi-site configurations introduced in V5.1-000.

Hui OpenVistA 4.1 VivitA is the most technologically advanced VistA live CD to date. Using unionfs, Damn Small Linux 3.0.1 creates read-writable file systems by marrying the CD-ROM resident compressed read-only file system with a RAM disk. Unionfs allows DSL extensions to be created without remastering DSL by overlaying the CD-ROM resident compressed read-only file system with another.

I am interested in collaborating with anyone who would like to explore the use of live CDs for applications other than demos. I think they have value beyond making easy software demos.

For example, we don't know when or where the next natural (or manmade) disaster will strike and cause hordes of refugees. If a special version of VistA were available as downloadable live CDs, PCs could be commandeered and could be used to manage supplies, register refugees at shelters, etc. [This was part of the idea of the vista-responders group set up after Katrina last year.]

As another example, I have switched completely to live CDs for teaching GT.M administration and operations, and am considering using them to teach the computer merit badge at boy scout science camp in the summer of 2007.

So, if you are interested in customizing VistA for any purpose, I am available to help you package it in a live CD.

Meanwhile, please take a look at Hui OpenVista 4.1 Vivita, and send me your comments. Errata are also welcome (while supplies last, I'll send you a "got mumps?" T-shirt if you report errors).

Hats off to our friends at the Pacific Telehealth and Technology Hui for creating Hui OpenVista 4.1.

-- Bhaskar

Posted by K.S. Bhaskar 2006-08-07

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