Authentication on all IT Services supported Linux devices is via a newly implemented Kerberos authentication service. Kerberos manages is own list of users and passwords. We are able to populate users details into the Kerberos server but the passwords are not initially set.
If you have not changed your IT Services password since August 2013 then you must do so before you will be able to login to Viking. All user password changes are manage via the My IT Account web page. Click on the Password Management (IDM) link in the Manage Your Password field to change your password. You may be given the option to 'synchronise' your password, please use this if you do not want to change your password. The password change (or synchronisation) may take a few minutes before it is visible to the servers.
To access Viking from Off-Campus you need to install some software on your home PC or laptop. Please see the instructions Virtual Private Network - VPN on how to do this. Once you have the VPN installed go to the Web VPN Launcher page and select 'Start' in the 'Network Connect' field.
You can use the 'Home (M: Drive) option in the 'Files' option to copy files to and from your IT Services file store.
To log in from a terminal emulator, use the following command:
You will be prompted for your IT Services password. Please note, X11 forwarding will only work on the Viking login nodes, which means that you won't be able to run graphical applications e.g. MATLAB on the Viking compute nodes using X11 forwarding. Details about virtual desktop sessions on Viking are provided in the Virtual Desktop section of this document.
In order for you to get terminal access to Viking from a Windows desktop, you will need to install PuTTY (or comparable software).
Download the Windows installation program from PuTTY Installer, run, and complete the installation. You should now have a PuTTY Icon on your desktop.
Open PuTTY and configure it to connect to Viking:
A terminal window should appear. Log in with your university username and password.
If you are successful this is what you will see:
Whilst it is possible to configure X11 forwarding through PuTTY, X11 forwarding will only work on the Viking login nodes, which means that you won't be able to run graphical applications e.g. MATLAB on the Viking compute nodes using X11 forwarding. Details about virtual desktop sessions on Viking are provided in the Virtual Desktop section of this document.
Viking supports virtual Linux desktop sessions, allowing you to work on Viking in a fully graphical environment. A particularly useful facility that this provides is the ability to run graphical applications (e.g. MATLAB) on the Viking compute nodes through an interactive session. Details about how to create a virtual desktop session and connect to it follow.
The first thing you need to do is create a virtual desktop session to connect to:
Run the following command in your Viking terminal session:
alces session start gnome
That's it! If your virtual desktop session creation was successful, you will see details comparable with the following:
The important details to note are the host, in this case 188.8.131.52, the port, in this case 5901, and the password, in this case JqQJWkA5. You will need this detail in order to connect to the virtual desktop session that you have started.
If you lose the information above at any time, you can find it by running the command:
alces session list
There are many different clients you can use to connect to a virtual desktop session on Viking. Suggestions for Windows, Linux, and MacOS are made below.
For Windows, you can use the program 'TightVNC'. You can download TightVNC from the TightVNC downloads page. When installing, we recommend choosing a custom installation type and installing only the 'TightVNC Viewer' component, as this is all you will need to connect to a remote desktop session on Viking.
For Linux, we recommend using the program 'Remmina'. Installation instructions for Remmina can be found here.
You may need to change the connection quality settings in Remmina, as the default seems to be the lowest available!
MacOS ships with a VNC client, which can be easily used through Finder.
The Viking virtual desktop session can be used like any other Linux desktop session. For those of you who are unfamiliar with using a Linux desktop, a brief overview of the desktop envrionment available on Viking, Gnome 3, can be found here. Most importantly, if you open the 'Terminal' application, you can use Viking in the same way as you are used to using it, with the added ability to run graphical applications seamlessly on the compute nodes. An example of this follows:
Please note that the usual resource limitations apply to jobs run interactively, which can be found in our documentation about partitions and their limits. When you are finished working interactively, be sure to exit your interactive session by running `exit` in the terminal.
After disconnecting from the virtual desktop in the client software, the virtual desktop session will still be running on Viking. In order to properly end the session, you will need to terminate the session on Viking as follows:
Run the command 'alces session list', taking note of the Identity of your session
Run the command 'alces session kill Identity', e.g 'alces session kill a930639c'