Connecting to an M3 desktop using Strudel Desktop

In order to use Strudel Desktop you must install some software.

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

Instructions for software installations

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.

TurboVNC

Download TurboVNC: Go to the TurboVNC download site. This site detects the operating system of your machine and automatically suggests the version to download at the top of the list of folders.

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MacOS users: if you experience any problems with the default TurboVNC-2.1.1-AppleJava.dmg (e.g. Java issues), try the alternative 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 the MASSIVE helpdesk.

Download Strudel for Windows (! link automatically begins download)

Install Strudel Desktop for Mac OS X

  1. Before installing Strudel for Mac, close any previously installed instances of Strudel

  2. Drag the Strudel application icon to your Applications folder

  3. Drag the Strudel disk image icon to the Trash to eject it

Strudel for Mac OS X (link begins download)

Strudel 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

You may require a file transfer utility to move files to and from your CVL desktop. Filezilla FTP is recommended. More information on using SFTP with your desktop.

Connect to an M3 desktop using 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 appropriate checkbox and select [OK]:

  • Note: M3 users should select the checkbox for MASSIVE M3

Fig. 1: step 1 - select MASSIVE M3 from the available sites

Fig. 1: step 1 - select MASSIVE M3 from the available sites

 

2. On the login screen ensure that you have selected the desired option

  • M3 users should select M3 Standard Desktop from the drop down list

Fig. 2: step 2 - select the M3 Standard Desktop configuration in the Site drop down list

Fig. 2: step 2 - select the M3 Standard Desktop configuration in the Site drop down list

 

3. Set various parameters for your session.

The default desktop access session is set to 4 hours. After this period, any unsaved processes will be shut down and lost. 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. Important notes about setting time periods:

  • Desktops run for a fixed amount of time. On M3, the default session length is 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

  • Maximising availability of resources: Avoid reserving sessions for longer than needed to maximise availability of resources for other users

  • If you require a session to run continuously for a prolonged period of time, contact the MASSIVE helpdesk to arrange an accommodation

Fig. 3: step 3 - set parameters

Fig. 3: step 3 - set parameters

 

4. Enter your M3 account username and select [Login]

5. 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 5 - information regarding authentication security options

Fig. 4: step 5 - information regarding authentication security options

 

6. 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 the CVL. If you select this option, an SSH authentication token will be created on your computer - find out more about Secure Shell on Wikipedia)

  • Don’t remember me (use your MASSIVE/CVL password to log in each time)

Fig. 5: step 6 - select your prefered authentication security option

Fig. 5: step 6 - select your prefered authentication security option

 

See instructions below for you chosen authentication security option.

Remember me on this computer

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 MASSIVE 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.

Important notes:

  • 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)

  • This option is not recommended if you share your computer with other users. Select an option from the drop down list and select [OK]. Additional notes:

    • 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/CVL help desk

1. The next screen will ask you to enter and confirm your passphrase. Select [OK] when done. 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 a passphrase (applies only if you selected    Remember me on this computer   )

Fig. 6: step 1 - enter a passphrase (applies only if you selected Remember me on this computer)

 

2. The Enter Password screen will display. Enter your M3 account password and select [OK]. (Note: this screen requires your M3 account password, not the passphrase you created in the previous step!)

Fig. 7: step 2 - enter your password

Fig. 7: step 2 - enter your password

 

3. 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 re enter your passphrase after you reboot your machine

Don’t remember me  

  1. The Enter Password screen will display. Enter your M3 account password and select [OK]. (Note: this screen requires your M3 account password, not the passphrase you created in the previous step!)

Fig. 9: step 1 - enter your password

Fig. 9: step 1 - enter your password

 

When you log in again  you will be required to enter your M3 account password.

Access 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.

Close your desktop

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 M3 VM pool. If you no longer require the desktop, ensure you end the session.

Fig. 11: You can leave your session running, if you need to …

Fig. 11: You can leave your session 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

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!

Need help?

If you have any questions or require assistance with connecting to your desktop, contact the MASSIVE helpdesk.