The instructions in this workshop are meant for a previous version of the UI, which looks very different now. Instead, please see a more recent workshop (after 2017-01-25).

UvA course 2016-06-15 - part A

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This is part A of the Tutorial UvA course 2016-06-15.

This tutorial will touch the following topics:

  1. Access the user interface
  2. Add your public SSH key
  3. My first VM

1. Access the User Interface

The UI (User Interface) is the web site that allows you to manage your Virtual Machines (or VM s) on the HPC Cloud.

Log in to the UI

Change your password

Once you login to the UI, it is a best practice to change the initial password.


Let’s check whether it worked.

From now on you can use your new password to log in to the UI. Do so now.

2. Add your public SSH key

To complete the setup of your HPC Cloud account, you need to add an SSH public key to your profile. This is a one-time task.

Next, you will copy the public SSH key ( to the UI, but you will keep the matching private key (id_rsa) safe in your laptop.

3. My first VM

Using the HPC Cloud revolves around making Virtual Machines (VM). We provide the HPC Cloud AppMarket to facilitate creating simple VMs. The AppMarket contains common ready-made appliances for you to pick and use. In this section you will use the AppMarket to build your first VM with the following steps:

Let’s run your first VM on the HPC Cloud.

Import an appliance from the AppMarket

Food for brain:

  • When you click on an appliance (anywhere on the row except for the tick-box), then you can see detailed information about that appliance. Can you see this detailed information about the appliance we are using in this exercise?
  • When you import an appliance, this will create one image and one template, as explained during the introductory presentation. In the UI you have an Images tab and another Templates tab under the Virtual Resources entry on the left menu. You should see your new image and template there.
    • Can you see them?
    • What is the STATUS of the image just after it you import it?
    • Refresh with the symbol of the two arrows chasing each other, , next to the green button until it is READY.

Review the Template

When you imported the appliance from the AppMarket, it created an image and a template for you. In the template you can define how many cores you want your VM to have, how much RAM memory, what storage drives, which network connections, etc. Following the instructions of the extended information of the appliance that you imported, we will have to adapt the template before we can use it to create VMs out of it.

Edit the imported template with these steps:

Start the VM

A template is just a description of the virtual machine that we want to build. Let’s create the actual virtual machine from it.

What happened?

Congratulations! You have just created a fresh, clean virtual machine!

Let’s summarise what you have seen so far. From the menu on the left side, click on each of the tabs to inspect the information. A vertical blue bar to the left of one (and only one) tab tells you which one you are currently seeing.

Your VM will appear in the list of virtual machines. At first, it will have the state PENDING. That indicates that the HPC Cloud is looking for a place where your virtual machine can actually run.

Finding the right place depends, among others, on: the number of cores, amount of memory, and disk that you asked in the template. Keep refreshing the list by clicking on the symbol of the two arrows chasing each other, , next to green button. When the required capacity becomes available, your VM will show the status RUNNING. Only then can you actually use your VM.

Food for brain:

When the VM has been instantiated, check and refresh the Images tab. What is the status of your image?

Log in to the VM

You can interact with your VM in several ways: command-line (e.g.: SSH), VNC (UI in your browser) or a remote desktop. We will use SSH in a terminal for the time being.

The way to log in to your virtual machine is the SSH key pair that you stored in your profile earlier.

Commandline access - SSH


Replace 145.100.5X.YZT with your IP address!

ssh ubuntu@145.100.5X.YZT

First login

If everything went well, the first time you try to log in, your terminal will ask you to add the VM’s IP to the list of known hosts. Type Yes, in that case.

You should now see a similar line in your terminal: ubuntu@ip-145-100-5X-YZT:~$

This means that you are logged in successfully to your Virtual Machine!

ubuntu@ip-...:~$ ls /
ubuntu@ip-...:~$ cd /home/ubuntu/
ubuntu@ip-...:~$ echo "Some text ..." > myfile
ubuntu@ip-...:~$ cat myfile
ubuntu@ip-...:~$ logout

Food for brain:

Log in to your VM again. Is your file still there?

First shutdown

Let’s shut your first VM down. Anytime you expect your VM to be doing nothing useful, you should shut it down to stop consuming the resources that your VM is holding.

Food for brain:

When the VM has been shut down and disappeared from the list, check and refresh the Images and Templates tabs. Are your image and template still there?


Your running VMs book resources exclusively (and hence, consuming quota from your group even though we haven’t explicitly made you aware of it in the course material) whether they are doing something useful or are idle. Because the HPC Cloud is offered on a fair-share basis and other users may actually be needing resources that you may be holding, before you move to the next part of this workshop, please remember to shut all your VMs down.

BONUS food for brain

This section is meant as extra questions that we thought would be nice for you to investigate, and we invite you to do/think about them even after the workshop is finished.

Bonus: The HPC Cloud has hundreds of users. Many of them have common questions. In order to address these we have put together a web site with some documentation for users. We call it the HPC Cloud Documentation. Do you know the URL of this web site? Make sure you find out!!!

Next: part B

Now that you completed part A of the Tutorial UvA course 2016-06-15. Please continue with Tutorial Part B.


Before you move to the next sections, remember to shut your VMs down.