CVL desktop FAQs

This page contains some of the most frequently asked CVL related questions. Technical user guides for using MASSIVE and CVL@M3 can be found on the HPC documentation site.

Accessing the CVL Desktop

  1. Accounts:
  2. Getting started on the CVL Desktop includes step by step instructions for getting an account to use the CVL, installing the required software and connecting to a desktop
  3. Software required:

Accounts and passwords

  1. How do I get an account for a CVL desktop?
  2. How do I change or reset my password?
  3. Why is my password not working?
    • Are you using the right password? Note that your CVL@M3 password is NOT the same as your organisational login password, it is specific to the HPC systems
    • Have you tried resetting your password?
    • If you get stuck email the MASSIVE helpdesk for assistance


  1. SSH: What is an SSH key and should I use it?
    • SSH, or secure shell, is the encrypted protocol used to connect to the CVL. SSH "keys" are authentication tokens that are created on your computer and are used to identify that computer to the system on subsequent log ins
    • The Strudel desktop application that connects you to a CVL desktop has an option called "Remember me on this computer" that sets an SSH key on your computer. The Remember me ... option is not recommended if you share your computer with other users
    • Find out more about Secure Shell on Wikipedia

Technical user guides

Technical user guides for using MASSIVE and CVL@M3 can be found on the HPC documentation site.

Using the CVL desktop

  1. Resizing the desktop
    • You can change the desktop size by entering a value in the "xrandr" command from a terminal on the desktop (e.g. xrandr -s "1920x1080"). If that does not work check the options in TurboVNC (CTL-ALT-SHIFT-o). Newer versions have a "Remote desktop size" under "Connection Options", set this to "Server" or the size you would like. [Lance: is this info. Still correct?]
  2. Forgotten passphrase (not to be confused with password - the passphrase is only used with the Remember me on this computer option, using Strudel)
    • You can recreate your passphrase key by deleting the old one; this will prompt you to create a new pass phrase when you first login with your MASSIVE ID. To delete the key: Identity > Delete Key, from the Strudel menu. You can also avoid the key by using Identity > Don't Remember Me
  3. Syncing files:
  4. Transferring files:

Using Strudel

Desktop launcher

  1. How does the Strudel Desktop application work, and is it secure?
    • Strudel Desktop launches a remote desktop instance by programmatically requesting a visualisation node on the MASSIVE server, creating an SSH tunnel and launching TurboVNC
  2. Using Strudel on HPC and cloud sites:
    • You can use the Strudel Desktop application on HPC and cloud sites using a simple configuration file. Email the MASSIVE helpdesk for more information

Strudel Web

  1. Why can't I copy and paste?
    • In order to copy and paste from your machine to the remote desktop you will have to use the Strudel Web clipboard tool. Instructions for using this tool are located on the Connecting using Strudel Web page
  2. Performance issues
    • If you have a slow connection, try the following to improve performance: from the options menu (CTL-ALT-SHIFT-o) you can set the connection speed Encoding method to one of the WAN options. This will reduce the quality of the rendering, but increase speed