Astronaut VistA is an installer for the Linux-based VistA EHR (Electronic Health Record), a derivative of the largest EHR in the US (the Veterans Administration's health information system). The primary derivative is known as WorldVistA, and the server is entirely Linux based. It uses an open-source database (GT.M, an open-source MUMPS database derivative). The instructions in this article are oriented towards installation of WorldVistA, since all the components are in the public domain and do not require licensing. Complete instructions can be found at Ubuntu Doctors Guild: Installing Astronaut WorldVistA on Ubuntu. However, Astronaut also provides an installer for OpenVistA (a product of the Medsphere Corporation). There is a community edition of this EHR (which is what Astronaut installs in the OpenVistA version). See Ubuntu Doctors Guild: Installing Astronaut OpenVistA on Ubuntu.
Preparing your server
- The Astronaut installer uses an emerging standardized installation framework for VistA derivatives (WorldVistA and OpenVistA currently). These instruction reflect this framework, with modifications I have used in setting up my system on Ubuntu.
- A secure SSH tunnel (using port 22 by default) is used to connect VistA clients with the VistA server. The server should have a static IP address on the LAN, and the LAN (router) should forward port 22 traffic to the VistA server's IP address. (Make sure the client and server firewalls, if any, allow SSH traffic on port 22.) (Within the SSH tunnel, port 9260 traffic between the VistA server and clients will be tunneled. This is set up automatically during the Astronaut installation process.)
It is easiest to set this up before using the Astronaut installer, since the Astronaut installer autodetects IP address settings.
WorldVistA (Enterprise Electronic Health Record)
WorldVistA is the largest and most robust CCHIT-approved electronic health record platform in the public domain. It is GPL licensed, is based on the US Veterans Administration health record system, and can be installed as an integrated database, server, and client system. Detailed download and installation instructions are at Ubuntu Doctors Guild.
- Install the VistA server:
- Apache2 is required. It can be installed individually
sudo apt-get install apache2
or as part of a LAMP (Linux, Apache2, MySQL5, PHP) installation:
sudo tasksel install lamp-server
- The OpenSSH server is required:
sudo apt-get install openssh-server
- Install prerequisites:
sudo apt-get install xinetd whois apache2-suexec
- Astronaut VistA is made for a 32-bit operating system. If you are using a 64-bit system, then also install ia32-libs:
sudo apt-get ia32-libs
- A beta .deb package called of the Astronaut WorldVistA EHR is available here. Obtain and install Astronaut WorldVistA:
wget -O astronaut-wv-server-current.deb http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/worldvistaautoi/Astronaut%20WorldVistA%20Server%20Installers/astronaut-wv-server-beta-0.9-3.deb?use_mirror=superb-sea2 sudo dpkg -i astronaut-wv-server-current.deb
It is also possible to install the VistA server in a virtual machine. When the VistA client(s) and a VistA server (running in a virtual machine) are on the same computer, a self-contained EHR can be created on a single computer. See the Ubuntu Doctors Guild website for details.
- VistA clients to connect to the VistA server are available for Windows computers. See the Ubuntu Doctors Guild website for installation instructions. (A closely related system (OpenVistA) also has clients for Linux available for use with OpenVistA servers.) A secure SSH tunnel (using port 22 by default) is used to connect VistA clients with the VistA server. Port forwarding and an open firewall for this port should be enabled.
- Further detailed instructions are at Ubuntu Doctors Guild: Astronaut VistA installation on Ubuntu. Also see the Astronaut installation YouTube video and the Astronaut Client Server Manager YouTube video.
- The MUMPS database (GT.M) is installed into /opt/lsb-gtm/V5.3-004A_i686.
- The WorldVistA EHR p[rogram is installed into /opt/worldvista/EHR.
- m2web is installed into /opt/worldvista/EHR/web/m2web.
- A startup file is installed as /etc/init.d/vista-EHR.
- The listener port for clients like CPRS is 9260.
- The listener port for m2web is 80.
The following default actions were done:
- gtm Mumps interpreter installed in: /opt/lsb-gtm/gtm
- Default user id created: worldvistaEHR in /home/worldvistaEHR
- textEHR user id created.
- VistA software installed in: /opt/worldvista/EHR
- Started port listener on port: 9260
- Open port: 9260
- Log in as user worldvistaEHR with default password: vista!123
- You will be prompted to immediately change the password. Use a strong password.
- Full disk encryption of your Linux is strongly recommended.
- Write down the IP address of this machine and port:
IP address of this machine: "192.168.0.24" Instance name: EHR Port: 9260
(Obviously, use the IP address of your own server). These details will be needed for installing the Astronaut VistA client package.
- Ubuntu Doctors Guild: Installing Astronaut WorldVistA on Ubuntu
- Ubuntu Doctors Guild: Installing Astronaut OpenVistA on Ubuntu
This article was originally adapted from the originals at