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:
- TurboVNC: (enables remote network access to graphical desktops)
- 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.
In order to use Strudel Desktop you must first install the following software:
- TurboVNC (this is a client/server software package that allows remote network access to graphical desktops - install this software before installing Strudel)
- The Strudel application
- In addition, you may require a file transfer application.
Download TurboVNC: Go to the TurboVNC download site. This site automatically detects the operating system of your machine and displays a link to the version you should download at the top of the list of folders.
MacOS users: if you experience any problems with the default TurboVNC-2.1.1-AppleJava.dmg (e.g. Java issues), try the alternative version. To access this version: click on the folder 2.1.1. and locate the file TurboVNC-2.1.1.dmg, near the bottom of the file list. If you need help, email the MASSIVE helpdesk for assistance.
Install Strudel Desktop for Windows
If you have any copies of Strudel installed on your machine, it’s recommended that you uninstall them and then install the latest Strudel (see link below). Windows Firewall may try to block Strudel, if you’re not sure how to unblock it, contact MASSIVE/CVL help desk.
Download Strudel for Windows (! link automatically begins download)
Install Strudel Desktop for Mac OS X
- Before installing Strudel for Mac, close any previously installed instances of Strudel
- Drag the Strudel application icon to your Applications folder
- Drag the Strudel disk image icon to the Trash to eject it
Strudel for Mac OS X (! link automatically begins download)
Install Strudel Desktop for Linux
A variety of Linux builds are available for download. Other Linux builds may be created by submitting requests to the MASSIVE helpdesk.
File transfer software
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').
- 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]
Fig 1. step 1 - select from the available sites
- On the login screen (see Fig. 2 below) select M3 Standard Desktop from the drop down list
- Ensure your username and project are correct and adjust as required
- 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
- 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
Fig 2. step 2-5 - the Strudel Desktop login
- 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]
Fig 4. step 6 - information regarding authentication security options
- 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.
Fig 5. step 7 - select your preferred authentication security option
To continue, expand the instructions for your chosen authentication security option.
When you select Remember me on this computer the system will create an SSH authentication token (an SSH key pair) on the machine you are currently using. You will be required to create a passphrase that will be used to decrypt the key. (In the next step, you will be asked to use your CVL@M3 account password to insert the encrypted key.) The passphrase is used to decrypt the private key on your computer. Once you’ve done this, your machine will have access to other systems using the same key, without your needing to use your passphrase (or password) again.
- The key is set on the machine you are currently using, so you will be asked to repeat the process, if you later use a different machine to access a CVL desktop. (Find out more about Secure Shell on Wikipedia
- If you haven’t installed TurboVNC, you will see a popup with a link to the software download site. You will need to install TurboVNC to proceed. If you dismiss this popup you may also get a form requesting debug information, which you can cancel
- For more information about using the Remember me … option contact the MASSIVE helpdesk
- On the next screen enter and confirm your passphrase and select the [OK] button. Note, a passphrase can be a word or sentence, using any letters or symbols (handy guide for choosing strong, but easy to remember passphrases).
Fig 6. step 1 - enter your passphrase (applies only if you selected Remember me on this computer)
- The Enter Password screen will display. Enter your CVL@M3 account password and select the [OK] button. (Note: this screen requires your CVL@M3 account password, not the passphrase you created in the previous step!)
Fig 7. step 2 - enter your password
- You will no longer be required to enter your CVL@M3 account password again on the computer on which you created the passphrase. However, you will be required to reenter your passphrase after you reboot your machine
Fig 8. you will be required to enter your passphrase again only if you have rebooted your machine
- The Enter Password screen will display. Enter your MASSIVE / CVL account password and select [OK]. (Note: this screen requires your MASSIVE / CVL account password, not the passphrase you created in the previous step!)
Fig 9. step 1 - enter your password
When you log in again you will be required to enter your CVL@M3 account password.
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.
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.
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.)
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!