The instructions for installing transmart either from sources or as a predefined VM assume that you have access to a tool or environment for running a vm. These notes discuss how to find information on setting up such an environment. There are three main methods discussed, using VirtualBox, using VMWare, and using Docker.
VirtualBox is a Virtualization tool; is an Oracle product (and is available for free); see the web site at: https://www.virtualbox.org/. VirtualBox runs on Max OsX, Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Solaris. it is supplied "freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL)". It supports among many others, "guest" virtual machines running Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Mac OsX. For our purposes, Ubuntu is supported.
VMWare is a Virtualization tool; it is a product of VMware, Inc., an EMC Corporation subsidiary; see http://www.vmware.com/. A free but limited version of VMware, the "Viewer" is available (is is only for running previously defined Virtual Machines). In addition modestly priced version of VMWare are available for private use.
Docker is a wrapper around VirtualBox that manages instances, called containers, and runs then as images; see https://www.docker.com/. It is free.
If you already have VirtualBox or VMWare installed, use then. If not Docker is a reasonable alternative and has a quick startup time with a shadow learning curve.
Another option, discussed below, is to use one of the various cloud services, we will use Amazon's AWS EC2 as an example.
Setting up a "Clean Ubuntu"
under https://aws.amazon.com/getting-started/launch-a-virtual-machine/ following the instructions and select "Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS" as you machine option.