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Graphical Connection to the HPC System

Connecting to the High Performance Computing Facility using a Graphical Interface has never been easier with the of the "ScienTific Remote User DEsktop Launcher", or Strudel for short.

The Strudel software is an open source package developed by Monash eResearch Team. Strudel makes it simpler to connect to HPC facilities and Virtual Machines, by vastly simplifying the VNC Server process for the end users.

Some of the functionality Strudel provide includes:

  • Automatically detecting the VNC Display Number – users no longer need to worry about this and if the display number ever changes - especially after the host computer is rebooted.
  • Configures and implements a SSH tunnel, making it highly secure, without the need for a separate ssh or putty session running in the background;
  • Configures the "X Windows" manager to default to using Gnome;
  • No need to remember the "VNC Password", as it automatically generates one for you.  Therefore, you only need to worry about your CQUni username and password.

Installation of the Software

  • If you are using a CQ University's Windows Computer, you can install all of the required HPC software (including Strudel) by going to Start Menu -> CQUni -> Software Centre, Search and find the 'CQU High Performance Computing (HPC)' package to install.  This will place the HPC software in the Start Menu (Start Menu -> CQUni -> Research Support -> High Performance Computing)

Running the Strudel Software

  • Start the Strudel software

  • Ensure all other options are deselected, as can been seen in the image below.

  • Within the Strudel software, you will need to select the host machine (site) you would like to connect to.  The options are:
    • HPC Login Node – Marie– Login nodes should only be used for interactive sessions (submitting non-interactive jobs), testing small programs, to program or simulation development.
    • HPC Login Node – Curie – Login nodes should only be used for interactive sessions (submitting non-interactive jobs), testing small programs, to program or simulation development.
    • GPU Interaction Session – in which you can enter your own values for Memory and CPU's
    • Standard Interaction Session - which is similar to the GPU session, without the need to requested a GPU node, so these jobs will can start on any of the compute nodes.
  • Some things to be aware of:
  • Depending on the site that is selected, you will enter Username (your CQUniversity username) and other options such as Memory and CPU's.  Then click on the login button.
  • The first time you use the software, you will be to select the authentication method.  Select the "Don't remember me" option.

Click on the 'OK' button.


Note, you can also change the setting through strudel's menu by selecting Edit -> preferences -> Authentication Tab, and then select the ‘Don't remember me option', this will allow you to use the password option, rather than using SSH keys.

  • You will be asked to then enter your CQUniversity password

  • If you already have a "Virtual Desktop (VNC) session running, you will be asked to "Reconnect" if you would like to connect to an existing session, or "New Desktop" if you would like to kill the previous session and start a new session.

  • When you are finished with the session (don't log out), simply close the Strudel application.  The software will then ask if you would like to leave the session running or not.  Depending on the session running, it is recommended to:
    • HPC Login Node – Marie – Leave the session running (this doesn't used Scheduler resources, so okay to leave running)
    • HPC Login Node – Curie – Leave the session running (this doesn't used Scheduler resources, so okay to leave running)
    • GPU Interaction Session – once your program has completed its execution, it is recommended to 'Stop the desktop'.
    • Standard Interaction Session - once your program has completed its execution, it is recommended to 'Stop the desktop'.