Connecting to a CVL@M3 desktop using the Strudel Desktop application

Installing the Strudel Desktop application

In order to use Strudel Desktop you must install the following software:

  1. TurboVNC: (enables remote network access to graphical desktops)
  2. Strudel Desktop

Expand the collapsed section below (the grey rectangle) for step by step instructions for installing the software required for your operating system.

Strudel Web is an alternative to Strudel Desktop and requires only a modern browser to run.

Using the Strudel Desktop application

The following instructions assume you have installed Strudel Desktop on your computer (see the section above 'Installing the Strudel Desktop application').

  1. The first time you launch Strudel Desktop a dialog will pop up asking you to select the site you want to connect to from the list of available sites. Tick the checkbox for MASSIVE M3 and select [OK]

    Screenshot of Strudel Desktop site selection modal

    Fig 1. step 1 - select from the available sites

  2. On the login screen (see Fig. 2 below) select M3 Standard Desktop from the drop down list
  3. Ensure your username and project are correct and adjust as required
  4. The login screen includes fields for various parameters. The default settings are suitable for most users, however you may want to adjust the resolution to suit your machine. Important notes about setting time periods in the Hours field:
    • The default desktop access session is set to 4 hours. Once the desktop session hits the time limit, all processes will be killed and the desktop session ends. Any unsaved data will be lost at this point in time. Data that has been saved will not be impacted. Think about how long the process you want to run will take and add a reasonable margin for safety. You can always create new sessions when you’re ready to continue your work. You can set the length of time your session runs by selecting and editing the number of hours directly or by using the arrows that appear when you hover your mouse over the field
    • Maximising availability of resources: bear in mind that in order to maximise the availability of resources for other users, avoid reserving sessions for longer than needed
    • If you require a session to run continuously for a prolonged period of time, contact the MASSIVE helpdesk to arrange an accommodation
  5. Select the [Login] button
    • Note that while you access your account on the HPC ID system with your organisational credentials, your CVL@M3 account may use a different username and password

    Screenshot of Strudel Desktop modal for selecting a desktop configuration

    Fig 2. step 2-5 - the Strudel Desktop login

  6. The first time you log on to Strudel a popup warning will display concerning authentication options you will be presented with when you proceed; read the information and select [OK]

    Screenshot of Strudel Desktop security options modal

    Fig 4. step 6 - information regarding authentication security options

  7. The Global Options screen displays with the Authentication tab preselected. This tab provides you with two authentication options:
    • Remember me on this computer (This option uses SSH keys. SSH, or secure shell, is the encrypted protocol used to connect to CVL@M3. If you select this option, an SSH authentication token will be created on your computer - find out more about Secure Shell on Wikipedia). Note: This option is not recommended if you share your computer with other users!
    • Don’t remember me (use your CVL@M3 password to log in each time)

    Select an option from the drop down list and select the [OK] button.

    Screenshot of Strudel Desktop security options modal

    Fig 5. step 7 - select your preferred authentication security option

To continue, expand the instructions for your chosen authentication security option.

Accessing your desktop's applications

Once you’ve logged on you will be presented with a Linux desktop. To access the desktop’s applications, click on Applications in the top menu to display a drop down list of applications.

Screenshot of CVL desktop showing expanded application menus

Fig 10. CVL@M3 desktop applications menu

Closing your desktop

To close your desktop simply close the browser tab.

Note: When closing your the desktop you will be asked if you would like to leave the current session running so that you can reconnect to it later, or to end the desktop session and release the VM back into the CVL VM pool. If you no longer require the desktop, ensure you end the session.

Screenshot of Strudel Desktop asking if you want to stop the desktop

Fig 11. You can leave your desktop running, if you need to ...

If you choose to leave the desktop session running, the next time you connect you will be given the option to either connect to the previous desktop session or start a new one. (Note or For example if you’re working in the lab where you’ve opened a desktop and then close your laptop and go back to your office, or home, or even overseas when you try accessing the CVL@M3 desktop again, you will be asked if you want to reconnect to your existing session or start a new one.)

Screenshot of Strudel Desktop asking if you want to reconnect to an existing desktop

Fig 12. Reconnect to an existing desktop or start a new one

Note clicking on new desktop KILLS the previous session!

IMPORTANT REMINDER: ALWAYS REMEMBER TO SAVE ANY UNSAVED WORK BEFORE YOU DISCONNECT - AND ESPECIALLY BEFORE YOU KILL A DESKTOP SESSION!