Linux VMs

Linux VMs

On the myDRE platform different types of Linux virtual machines (VMs) are available.
  1. CentOS 7.5 (is reaching its end of life)
  2. Ubuntu 20 (for GPU usage)
  3. Ubuntu 22

  1. By default, Linux VMs have no connection to the outside world, so cannot be directly ssh'ed into like a Windows VM. Therefore a Linux VMs in the myDRE can be accessed either via Bastion or via another Windows VM within the workspace. 

Please do not create a rule that blocks access to IP port 3128. This IP and port must remain accessible in order to ensure proper functionality of myDRE workspaces, such as domain allowlisting and connecting to virtual machines through Bastion. In the event that this warning is ignored and any bugs or issues arise as a result, it should be noted that they will fall outside of the service level agreement (SLA) provided.

If you are required to update your Linux machine, please use domain allowlisting to do so. Read more on enabling external access in your workspace here and which domains are required for Linux updates here.

Please check with your local Support Team member via whether your organisation is using Bastion or whether they advise you to connect to Linux machine via another Windows machine. 
Here below we describe both ways that Linux machines can be accessed in myDRE portal.

Option 1: Connect to Linux machine via Bastion

Before attempting access to a Linux machine, make sure it is started (via the portal).

  1. Click on Button Connect > Connect via Bastion
  2. You will presented with a screen with generic instructions how to connect to VM through Bastion > Connect to VM using Bastion

  1. You will be redirected to Azure Bastion connecting screen. Please select Bastion option on top. Click button Use Bastion.

Connecting to Linux VM - terminal SSH session

  1. Select under Connection Settings option SSH
  2. Type in your @myDRE credentials and click Connect

  1. A terminal session will now open in a new tab. This might take a little while, depending on your or Bastion network connectivity
Depending on your institutional browser settings, you might want to select or deselect the option Open in a new browser tab

Connecting to Linux VM - graphical interphase

  1. Select under Connection Settings option RDP
  1. Type in your @myDRE credentials and click Connect

  1. A new session will now open in a new tab. This might take a little while, depending on your or Bastion network connectivity
Depending on your institutional browser settings, you might want to select or deselect the option Open in a new browser tab

Option 2: Connect to Linux machine via Windows VM

Another way to access Linux machines is by using an existing Windows VM that exists in the same workspace as stepping stone.
Before attempting access to a Linux machine, make sure it is started (via the portal).

The steps below apply to a myDRE-provisioned Linux machine. If you have deployed your own image, or a non-standard image, these may not apply.
The default Linux Image (currently CentOS 7.5, Ubuntu 20 and Ubuntu 22) uses SSH or X2Go protocols to connect to. It has a script to automount the workspace fileshare under /mnt/workspace. If you want to update packages for Linux machines, public repositories can be accessed through Domain allowlisting (see also Domains to be allowlisted)  Linux templates available in myDRE are domain-joined, which means you use the same username (email-address) and password as you use on the Windows machines.

How to access a Windows VM can be found here. It doesn't matter which Windows VM within a workspace you use to approach your Linux VM, because all machines within a workspace can access each other freely.
If you want to install software or use commands like mkdir, always make sure you first use the sudo command (e.g., sudo bash). If you have an admin role in the workspace (workspace Accountable, Privileged member, Advanced member), you also have sudo rights. Non-admin users (Standard members) do not. If you wish to grant other users sudo rights, use visudo.

Determine Windows Server version

The method of logging into a Linux VM depends on the Windows Server version. Older Windows VMs (before March 2021) are Windows Server 2016 and require PuTTy or X2Go to connect to the Linux VM. Windows VMs which were created after March 2021 are Windows Server 2019. 

Determining the Windows Server version can be done in two ways:
  1. By logging in to your Windows VM.
    1. Startmenu > Settings > System > About.
    2. Or by taking note of the Windows Server version on the desktop wallpaper.

  1. By logging in to the Azure Portal and selecting your VM.

Connecting via SSH within Windows VM with Windows Server 2019

Windows VMs based on Windows Server 2019 -  SSH can be executed from CMD or Powershell:
  1. Startmenu: type CMD or PowerShell
  2. ssh <username>
The IP address of the Linux VM can be found in the tab Virtual Machines under your Linux VM (Private IP).
  1. If prompted to type yes or no, type yes.
  2. After typing your password. you're connected to the Linux VM.

Conversely, you can also use PuTTy or X2Go to login to the Linux VM, for instructions see below.

Windows machines do not have by default these programmes pre-installed. You can download the .exe installation file and upload it to your workspace for installation. 

Connecting to a Linux VM from Windows Server 2016 VM

Windows VMs based on Windows Server 2016 need specific software clients to connect to a Linux VM. Two of the most commonly used software clients that can do this are Putty and X2Go Client.

Connect via PuTTy

  1. Install PuTTy
  1. To connect to the Linux VM via Putty, all you need to do is start PuTTy and enter the IP-address of the Linux virtual machine, then hit 'open'. 

  1. You will be asked for your credentials. Fill in your username and password and hit Enter.

Connect via X2Go

Note: X2Go client is unfortunately not 100% compatible with server 2016, and will give an error concerning audio not working. You can ignore this warning and optionally disable audio to remove the warning.

  1. Install X2Go on your virtual machine.
  1. In X2Go client, create a new session. For Host, fill in the IP-address of the Linux VM. 
  2. Set Session Type to XFCE.
  3. You can leave everything else at default.
  4. Save the session by clicking on OK. Now you can connect to your Linux machine's graphical environment.

  1. In X2Go Client, click on your newly created session and your credentials will be asked.
  2. When prompted, click Yes.
  3. Start connection, it will look this:

More information

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