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Atmosphere User Manual

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About using VNC with Atmosphere

Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a way to share a graphical desktop environment. The underlying protocol works across operating systems and platforms, and allows a remote user or users to access, use, and share a computer system. There are many free VNC clients, or viewers, some of which are mentioned in the next section. The Atmosphere VNC enables one or many Atmosphere users to access a machine that is being run on iPlant resources from the user's local machine.

There are two ways to use VNC with Atmosphere:

  • Airport VNC runs the VNC viewer from a web browser using the Atmosphere Airport interface and requires Java.
  • VNC Viewer application runs through your operating system. It is an open-source application that uses an installed binary file and requires installation and setup.

Using the Atmosphere Airport VNC

Launching Airport VNC on a running instance

  1. If necessary, log in to Atmosphere and launch the new instance.
  2. Once the instance is running, click the VNC tab:

    Not all instances provide VNC access. If the VNC tab is not enabled, use the VNC Viewer application (see below).

  3. Click the VNC tab:
  4. If prompted to allow a Java applet, click Allow.
  5. Click Connect.
  6. Enter your LDAP username and password and click OK.
  7. Enter your password again and click Unlock.

Terminating Airport VNC on a running instance

  1. In My Instances, click the running instance whose VNC you want to terminate.
  2. Click the VNC tab.
  3. Click the Terminate Instance icon:

Using the VNC Viewer

Installing the VNC application

You either can install the VNC Viewer for your operating system, install the appropriate Enterprise Edition VNC Viewer for your operating system, or use the built-in Java VNC Viewer.

  1. Go to the download link for your operating system.

    Open source and Enterprise editions are also available.

  2. Install the application.

Opening the VNC application

  1. In the email you received about your running instance, find the URL.
  2. Click to open the URL http://A.B.C.D:5801 for your instance, where A.B.C.D is the IP address of your instance.
    Example: In, the assigned IP address is

Connecting to a VNC Session

You can connect individually to a VNC session or share a VNC session with another user. For VM images that are installed with VNC, the VNC viewer is automatically launched when the instance is created.

Connecting to an individual VNC session

  1. Launch the VNC Viewer application.
    (click to enlarge):
  2. Enter the IP address of your server, usually called Server:1. (Note: If you modified settings in your VM, the server name may be Server:2 or Server:3.)
  3. Click Connect.
  4. Enter your password and click OK.
    (click to enlarge):

Connecting to a shared VNC session

Invalid License

License is not configured.


Sharing a VNC session grants access to another person via VNC. Only give access to trusted people.
When you grant access to another person via VNC, the two of you share the same user session and login, as well as all of your user account privileges. Although you each can control what is done in the session, each person in the shared session sees the actions performed by the others who are sharing the same session.

  1. Click the VNC icon (VNC Server) in the upper right corner of the VNC Viewer window.

    If the VNC icon is not displayed, click the Applications tab at the top of the window, select the Internet menu, and then click VNC Server.

    (click to enlarge):
  2. Click Options in the popup window.
    (click to enlarge):
  3. Click Allow VNC Viewers to connect to VNC Server.
  4. Click Configure.
    (click to enlarge):
  5. Click Add User.
  6. To grant another user the ability to control the screen:
    1. Click Full Access.
      (click to enlarge):
    2. Enter the iPlant username of the user to whom you want to grant access.
    3. Click OK.
      (click to enlarge):
  7. Click Apply in the Options window.
    (click to enlarge):
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