Virtual Desktop Service

Log in and setup

Go to the Virtual Desktop Service home page.

Let’s log in for the first time. You can do this using your AAF log in details (your institutional email address and password).

  1. Click the sign in button. homepage

  2. Select the AAF Identity Provider, then follow the prompts.


  3. Once you’ve successfully logged in, you will need to read and accept the terms of service.

  4. This will lead to the Workspace proposal page. Here you need to fill in some basic details about your intended use of the Virtual Desktop Service. This includes Title, Project Description, Principle Investigator, Principle Research Field Code and Secondary Research Field code. Once this is filled in, click, submit. Our team will then review the proposal.


  5. Once successful, you will see a screen, and message that you haven’t created a Desktop yet.


Setting the time zone.

Before diving into your new Desktop, let’s set the timezone.

  1. Click on your email in top right corner.

  2. Select profile.


  3. On the screen that appears, select your desired time zone using the dropdown box. timezone
  4. Click save settings.

Configuring the Desktop

  1. To get back to our Desktop home page, click the Virtual Desktop Service text in the top left corner.

  2. Now, we choose our Operating System.


  3. Let’s choose one, for this tutorial, we will use Ubuntu. Click view details, this will lead to a page with further information about the Operating system, including resources required and what it is useful for.

  4. To get the Desktop started, you can select the Create Desktop button.

    Create Desktop

  5. It will ask you what availability zone you wish to use. That is the physical data centre where the data would reside. For this tutorial, you can leave it as Default Zone. Then click Create.

    Create Desktop

  6. You should now see the magic happening, with a progress bar showing your Desktop being built.


  7. Once it’s complete, you should see a screen stating Your Virtual Desktop is with the Operating System chosen, with user options like Open Desktop, Reboot, Shelve, Extend, Delete and Boost.


Desktop is ready to go!
Well done. You’ve got your Virtual Desktop switched on, in the next tutorial we will open and navigate the desktop itself as well as do some basic tasks.