Attention: the MASSIVE team have developed a web based version of Strudel. Please feel free to trial this new service called Strudel Web

Strudel is a cross-platform application which is used to access interactive desktop sessions on high performance computing systems and cloud environments. 

Strudel is a newly rebranded and updated version of the original "MASSIVE Launcher" which is now being used across many computing sites. The name is a partial acronym of Scientific Remote Desktop Launcher (and a tasty pastry), and has been developed under the NeCTAR-funded Characterisation Virtual Laboratory

Strudel is developed by the MASSIVE team for users of MASSIVE and the Characterisation Virtual Laboratory but is also preconfigured to access other facilities, including computers at  CQU, and other resources on the cloud. Other facilities are being configured and will be available in the future - please read our FAQ for more information. 

DISCLAIMER: Strudel is research software and it may contain bugs, and may fail to display important error messages which would otherwise be displayed in a Terminal window. If you have any issues, please email


  1. Install TurboVNC if it is not already installed. For Windows and Linux we recomend the latest stable TurboVNC version 2.1+. For MacOS X Yosemite please use the 2.0 release for Oracle Java. If running Mac OS X, you will need to install a Java Runtime Environment if you don't already have one.

  2. Download and install Strudel for your system below.


Mac OSX related problems

Java Issues

Since upgrading to Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite (or possibly earlier) a number of Mac users have reported seeing the dialog below:

screen shot 2015-01-21 at 11.51.46 am

We do NOT recomend clicking more info and installing the Java SE 6 for Apple runtime as this appears to be no longer supported by Apple. Instead we recomend installing a new Oracle Java runtime and the 2.0 release for Oracle Java (Use the build for Oracle Java not Apple Java).

Another known Java issue is with colours being displayed incorrectly. Such as the dialog below:

turbovnc java issue

This is also fixed by installing the Oracle Java runtime.

XQuartz Issue

Strudel reports "estimated time: warning: x11...." and does not connect.

There is an issue with XQuartz-2.7.7 on Yosimite, the solution is to update to a newer version XQuartz 2.7.8_beta2 or higher.

Ubuntu Problems

There is a known issue with the libssl packaged with Strudel. The workaround is to remove the libssl library and make use of the system libssl. To fix the issue:

rm -f /opt/Strudel/libssl*

On newer versions (15.10+) the above may not work. The workaround for the moment is to use the Studel Web version until a fix can be released.

Download - Stable Release 20150417


After upgrading from a previous version of Strudel, please select the File menu, then Manage Sites and click OK. This ensures that you get the latest options for various MASSIVE desktop flavours.

If your configuration file is not correct you may receive the error message "Outdated configuration file or an old version of the MASSIVE Launcher/Strudle". 

Download Strudel for Windows:  Strudel for Windows

Note on Windows, it is recomended to uninstall any copies of the MASSIVE Launcher before installing Strudel. Windows Firewall may try to block the SSH tunnel, but this can easily be unblocked.

Download Strudel for Mac OS X :  Strudel for Mac OSX

Close any previously installed instances of the MASSIVE Launcher or Strudel,

drag the Strudel application icon to your Applications folder,

and then drag the Strudel disk image icon to the Trash to eject it. Mac OS may prevent the application from running stateing that the code is unsigned.

You can alter this in the operating "System Prefernces" "Security and Privacy" "General" tab, check allow unsigned developers. The stable release of Strudel will be correctly signed, so this is only necessary if you wish to use the beta.

Strudel for Linux

A variety of linux builds are available at the following link:

Other linux builds are can be created on as they are requested. Please contact:

Download - Beta Nightly

These files are created each night based on work the developers have done the previous day.  They only undergo minimal testing, but if you are being bitten by a paricular bug, this is the first place the fix will appear.

Nightly Windows Build: Strudel (Nightly)

Nightly MacOS Build: Strudel (Nightly)

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Strudel work and is it secure? 

Strudel launches a remote desktop instance by programmatically requesting a visualisation node on the MASSIVE server, creating an SSH tunnel and launching TurboVNC

Can I use Strudel at my HPC or cloud site? 

Yes, this is easily implemented with just a simple configuration file and has been done for a range of sites other than MASSIVE or the CVL. Instructions to achieve this will be published soon. Until then please feel free to email us for more information. 

Can I change the size of the Desktop after it has been started?

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.

I have a slow connection can I make TurboVNC perform better?

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 quailty of the rendering but increase the interaction speed.

I have forgotten my passphrase, how do I proceed?

You can recreate your passphrase key by deleting the old one, this will prompt you to create a new passphrase when you first login with your MASSIVE id. To delete the key: Indentity > Delete Key, from the Strudel menu. You can also avoid the key by using Identity > Don't Remember Me.


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