Virtual machines for research

Public documentation

Public documentation

Introduction to the virtual machine service

The DCSR has deployed a new facility to provide researchers with a virtual machine (VM) service. Two kind of virtual machines are available:

Should I use a virtual workstation or a virtual server?

If you need to run applications and interact through a graphical interface (excepted a web interface), you have to choose virtual workstations. Instead, if you need to run applications that don't need graphical interface or that can be used through a web interface you have to choose virtual servers. If you hesitate, contact us!

How to ask for a virtual machine?

You have to use the research resource requests application available there. Any demand must be performed by the PI of a group. After having filled the information related to the project, you have to select the appropriate bundles (either virtualization workstation or virtualization server):


Then, if you choose one of the both products, you have to fill the characteristics:


Some important points to note:

Once the fields are filled, you can choose to add another virtual machine of the same kind. If you don't need another one, just click the "Next" button  at the end of the page and complete the resource request.

How to connect to virtual machines?

Connection to virtual workstation

Connection to virtual workstations is performed thanks to VMware Horizon available either through a web browser or a desktop client. Just go to this page and choose if you prefer the HTML access or the desktop client. If you work from home, you will first need to be in VPN using Pulse Secure (see VPN instructions). In most of the cases, HTML access will be easier but if you want to define some advanced key shortcuts or choose some parameters like video compression, you will have to choose the desktop client method to access those parameters.

Let's suppose that you have chosen HTML access, you have to enter your UNIL credentials and then login.


Once logged in Horizon, your virtual machine(s) will appear:


Finally, you just have to click on the virtual machine and the graphical desktop will appear. Here is an example with a Linux desktop: