The Grammix VM is a Virtual Machine (VM) that can be started with VirtualBox and that contains a complete grammar development system (the TRALE-System) and example grammars, which correspond to the respective chapters in the text book Einführung in die Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar. In addition, the VM contains the Babel System and grammars for Chinese, Maltese, and German wich have a common core and use Minimal Recursion Semantics for semantic representations.

You may use the software in the VM to:

  • load grammars, display analyses as trees or as feature structure with arbitrary level of detail
  • display type hierarchies
  • change and extend existing grammars (and of course write new ones ...)
  • A chart display makes it possible to watch the Bottom-Up-Chart-Parser doing its work, visualize grammar rules, and explore newly developed grammars systematically.
  • You may use [incr tsdb()], which is also included in this distribution, for systematic testing and grammar profiling.

System Requirements

You need 6GB for downloading and installing the VM. After installation you need appr. 4GB.

The virtual machine simulates a complete computer. All requirements that are mentioned below are resources that have to be availible in addition to the resources that your normal operating system and its applications need.

If you want to work with more complex grammars (starting from Chapter 10), you need 256 MB memory, 512 MB are recomended. For grammars like the Persian grammar you need more than 512 MB, 1GB are recommended. If you work with [incr tsdb()], another Trale process is started and you need the coresponding amount more memory.

You need a good internet connection for the download! At least DSL is required, since the size of the CD image is 1.2GB.


  • install VirtualBox
  • download .ova file
  • click .ova file
  • choose settings for VM
  • press Import (If you are getting cryptical error messages, the reason may be that your hard disk is full. Please delete unnecessary files.)
  • click VM in order to execute it
  • the password is hpsg
  • use sudo synaptic to install further packages. Use sudo su to become super user.
  • You can modify the keyboard assignments under K (left lower corner), System Settings, Input Devices, Keybord, Layouts. Use Add to add further keyboard layouts. These will appear at right side in the task bar.
Apart from full harddisks there can be problems with certain CPUs and operating systems. See this page for solutions of problems with AMD-CPUs and Windows


The VM contains a chart display that was developed by the DFKI GmbH. For using it, you need a licence, which is free for non-comercial use. Please write an EMail to Stephan Busemann in which you inform him that you will use the CD rom.

Apart from the chart display the VM contains only software that is also contained in the Ubuntu distribution or is available in other Linux distributions. The VM does not contain SICStus-Prolog. The Trale in the VM is a runtime executable that can be used without a SICStus licence.



Updates will be announced on Twitter: Follow @StefanMuelller.