VU HPC course 2018-11-16
Part A

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This is part A of the tutorial VU HPC course 2018-11-16 and covers the following topics:

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

1. Access the User Interface

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

Log in to the UI


You will receive your access credentials from the workshop facilitators.

Change your password

Once you login to the UI for the first time, it is a good practice to change the initial password.


Let’s check whether your new set of access credentials work. Sign-out from the UI:

From now on, you can use your new password to log in to the UI. Please login again.

2. Add your public SSH key

To complete the setup of your HPC Cloud account, you need to add a Secure Shell (SSH) public key to your UI account. This is a one-time task!


If you are not familiar with the SSH authentication method, please read about it on our documentation page.

First, you need to own an SSH private/public key pair.

Next, you need to copy the public SSH key ( to the UI. The matching private key (id_rsa) remains safe in your laptop.

3. My first VM

Working with the HPC Cloud service mostly revolves around building and destroying Virtual Machines. This section will guide you through the process of building a VM running Linux. Here’s an overview of the main steps you will be taking:

Let’s create your first VM to be run on the HPC Cloud Oort!

Importing an appliance from the Marketplace

SURFsara HPC Cloud provides ready-made appliances (aka app) to their users. These appliances are available in the Apps option of the Storage menu in the HPC Cloud UI. This is meant to help users instantiating secure VM’s quickly. Proceed as follows:

You will see a list of ‘all’ the apps we have available. For the purposes of this course, we will make use of an Ubuntu app.

Under section Select the Datastore to store the resource, choose the entry displaying 147: Courses_img by clicking anywhere in the entry row. It should now read, right above the entry you just clicked: You selected the following datastore: Courses_img.

Food for brain

When you import an app, an image and a template are created as explained during the introductory presentation. In the UI you have an Images tab under Storage and a VMs tab under Templates on the left menu. You have just imported an app, you should now see your new image and template there.

  • Can you see them?
  • What is the STATUS of the image just after you started importing it?
  • Refresh the images list until the Status is READY.

Reviewing the Template

A template consists of a set of attributes that define how a Virtual Machine should look like. For example, how many cores do you want your VM to have? How much RAM memory? What storage drives to attach? Which network connections, etc. ? You will have to adapt the template you imported from the Apps list, so that the VM(s) you create out of it meet the requirements you have.

For this part of the course, we would like you to edit the imported template following these steps:


If this is not the case, then under the Inputs section select Type Tablet and Bus USB from the drop-down lists, and finally click the Add button next to those drop-down lists.

Starting the VM

As mentioned earlier, a template is just a description of the Virtual Machine that we want to build. Let’s create the actual VM from it.

An overview of all existing VMs, that you have the priviledges to see, are displayed. This list is (probably) empty at the moment, because you have not yet started any VM.

What happened?

Congratulations! You have just created a fresh, clean Virtual Machine!

Your VM will appear in the list of Virtual Machines. At first, it will have the state PENDING. This indicates that the HPC Cloud is looking for a place where your VM can actually run. Finding the right place depends on the amount and types of resources (cores, memory, disk…) you requested in the template. Keep refreshing the list by clicking the refresh button . When the required resources become available, your VM will show the status RUNNING. Only then you will be able to make use of it.

Let’s summarise what you have seen so far. Click on each of the tabs on the left menu and inspect the information provided. The most important ones at this point are:

Logging in to the Virtual Machine

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.

In order to log in to your VM, you will make use of the SSH public key stored in your profile earlier. Proceed as follows:

The IP address of a VM is shown in the IPs column on the VM list, and in the Network tab of the VM details page.


Replace 145.100.5Q.RST with your IP address!

ssh ubuntu@145.100.5Q.RST

You may receive a message like the following:

WARNING: Your password has expired.
You must change your password now and login again!
Changing password for ubuntu.
(current) UNIX password:

In that case, you will have to “change” the password for user ubuntu. Type in the old password (you will not see any characters being typed, but that is expected), which is: ubuntu (without the quote marks). Then hit Enter. After that, type in a new password that you will know, followed by the Enter key. And type that new password again.

You may be logged out after a successful password change. Type the ssh command again that you typed before you were prompted to change the password.

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

You should now see a similar line in your terminal: ubuntu@packer-ubuntu-14:~$. This is the prompt of your VM and is waiting for your input. You have logged in successfully!

ubuntu@packer-ubuntu-14:~$ ls /
ubuntu@packer-ubuntu-14:~$ whoami
ubuntu@packer-ubuntu-14:~$ echo "Hello HPC Cloud!" > myfile
ubuntu@packer-ubuntu-14:~$ cat myfile
ubuntu@packer-ubuntu-14:~$ logout

Food for brain

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

First shutdown

Let’s shutdown your VM. Whenever you do not need your VM running, you should shut it down to stop consuming the resources allocated.

You can always boot the “same” VM again whenever you need it, from the corresponding template.

Food for brain

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

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, we call it the HPC Cloud Documentation. Do you know the URL of this web site? Make sure you find out!

Next: part B

You completed part A of the Tutorial VU HPC course 2018-11-16. Awesome! Before proceeding with Part B, please carefully read the following:


Your running VMs get exclusive access to their resources, whether they are doing something useful or not. Because the HPC Cloud is offered on a fair-share basis and other users may actually be needing resources that you may be holding, please remember to terminate all your VMs before you move to the next part of this workshop.