How to gain Remote Access to the CVL over the Internet

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To log into and use the CVL machines, you must first create an [ECE account]


An introduction to graphics on Linux/Unix machines like the CVL

  • You can access the programs contained in the CAD and Visualization Lab while working on a project from home or campus. This generally comes in either command-line form or as a graphical application that is launched via the command-line (called a "shell" in Unix-speak).

There are many tutorials from which you can familiarize yourself with the basic file operations that can be performed via the command-line shell. Fortunately, not very many of these command-line utilities are required to access and use the software installed in the CVL. Generally listing the files (ls) in your home directory, making project directories (mkdir), and moving files in and out of the directories (mv) are the only operations required.

  • Here are some examples of tutorials:
UNIX / Linux Tutorial for Beginners
  • The program called "Secure Shell" (SSH) is the supported way of connecting to a command-line shell on the CVL from another machine. This establishes a secure, encrypted connection to a command shell on a remote machine, which has wide support on many operating systems, and even allows file transfers over the same encrypted channel.
  • Applications on Unix are not restricted to command-line programs.
  • The Unix standard for graphical applications is called "X-windows," or just "X" for short. In fact, the graphics capabilities of this X-windows system are much more flexible than in the Windows or MacOS because they allow for interactions (viewing windows, buttons, pointing, clicking, etc) on a different machine than the one running the application. All that is required is a network connection between the two, and what's referred to as an "X-server" on the machine that allows the user to physically view the windows and manipulate the mouse. This "client/server" naming convention seems backwards in that the "server" runs on the workstation (e.g. your Windows laptop), and the "client" is the application running on the CVL (e.g. Matlab). Linux clients generally have this X-server installed, but Windows users have to install one if graphical access to the CVL is required.

Accessing the CVL Remotely from a Windows Operating System

  • In order to access the CVL from a Windows system, you must have a SSH client and a X-windows server installed on your Windows machine.
  • We support MobaXterm as our putty and X-windows server. This program also allows you to copy and transfer files to and from your ECE account and your local machine.

Accessing the CVL Remotely from a Unix Based Operating System

1. To access the CVL from a Unix or Mac OS X system just open a terminal and type:

  ssh -X cvl.ece.vt.edu
  
  if the username of your local machine is not the same as your ECE USERNAME, use,     ssh -X ECEUSERNAME@cvl.ece.vt.edu

2. Use the user name and password that you created from the CVL Account creation page.

3. To copy files to your home directory on the CVL use the command:

  scp -r myfile cvl.ece.vt.edu:
Or: to get "myfile" from your home directory on the CVL, use the command: 
  scp -r cvl.ece.vt.edu:myfile ~

The files will be copied to your home directory on your local machine.


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