Photoacoustic imaging (PAI) is an emerging functional and molecular imaging technology that has attracted much attention in the past decade. Recently, many researchers have used the vantage system from Verasonics for simultaneous ultrasound (US) and photoacoustic (PA) imaging. This was the motivation to write on the details of US/PA imaging system implementation and characterization using Verasonics platform. We have discussed the experimental considerations for linear array based PAI due to its popularity, simple setup, and high potential for clinical translatability. Specifically, we describe the strategies of US/PA imaging system setup, signal generation, amplification, data processing and study the system performance.