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Getting started with the CVL

Account setup and software download 

  1. Apply for a CVL account at

  2. Install TurboVNC and the Desktop Launcher (or ask your local I.T. support for assistance with installing it)
    1. Download and install the latest version of TurboVNC from
    2. Download and install Strudel, from

Connecting to the CVL

  1. Run Strudel

  2. When running Strudel for the first time you will be prompted to configure the sites - a setting that specifies the computer systems (either CVL virtual machines or HPC systems) that you are most likely to connect to via Strudel.
    Select 'NeCTAR - Characterisation VL' in the list of available sites and click 'OK'.

    CVLUserGuide StrudelConfigureSites

  3. Select the 'CVL Desktop' as the 'Site' to connect to using Strudel.

    CVLUserGuide StrudelSelectSite

  4. Enter your CVL username and click Login

  5. Enter your CVL password and/or passphrase when prompted

    Logging in for the first time:

    • You are prompted to select your preferred authentication method:

      CVLUserGuide StrudelAuthenticationMode

    • SSH key pair
      • If you select the SSH key pair mechanism, then you will need to enter a passphrase to secure the private key stored on your local computer
      • Re-enter the passphrase
      • Enter the password for the CVL account provided
    • Password
      • Enter the password for the CVL account provided

    Subsequent logins:

    • SSH key pair
      • The password is not required for subsequent logins when using the SSH key pair method. However, the passphrase may be required (for e.g. if the computer has been re-booted). 
    • Password
      • If the password authentication method has been selected as the preferred authentication mode then the password is required when logging in.

Using the CVL Desktop

  1. The CVL Desktop provides a remote desktop session on a Virtual Machine (VM) in the CVL pool of VMs, which is maintained in the NeCTAR cloud. These VMs are pre-configured with analysis tools in the domains of Structural Biology, Neuroimaging and Energy Material - Atom Probe.

    CVLUserGuide CVLDesktop

  2. To end the desktop session click on the red cross on the tool bar at the top of the screen.

    CVLUserGuide CVLDesktopEndSession

  3. When ending the desktop session you will have the option to either 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.

    CVLUserGuide CVLDesktopEndSessionOptions

  4. If you choose to leave the desktop session running, then the next time you try to connect to a CVL desktop you can choose to either connect to the previous desktop session or start a new desktop session.

    CVLUserGuide CVLDesktopReconnect

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