ThinLinc graphical connection user guide


There are two ways of connecting to the clusters using ThinLinc. The first is by using the webclient and connect from the browser. This can be useful for smaller tasks or if you are unable to install software on the computer you are currently using. Please see below for more information. The second option is to download the ThinLinc client, which offers higher performance and is recommended for most users. The client can be downloaded from the official download page.

Note: ThinLinc connection is currently an experimental service that may be unavailable or malfunctioning at any given time. Be aware that we have a limited number of licenses available and cannot guarantee that access will be available at any given time.

Clusters that have ThinLinc enabled

Currently, ThinLinc is enabled for the Milou, Rackham and Bianca clusters. Also, any groups that have special access may be able to use ThinLinc on another machines. Bianca is handled a bit special. See Bianca user guide.


Login node connection

Just as you can log in via ssh to a login node to get a text session, you can connect with ThinLinc to get a graphical desktop session on a login node. These are subject to the same limitations normal login sessions are (memory and run time limits, don't do anything that might distrub other users).

In addition to the normal limitations, login node connections may have short (10-15) minute idle timeouts meaning your session may disappear if you leave it.

Making the connection

After downloading and installing, you can launch the ThinLinc client, and should see a form where you can enter your username and password (and possibly a server name). If you only see the simple form:

you can click Advanced to be able to set the server name to connect to. Provided you have set it up earlier, you can also use key based authentication.

Two factor authentication

The ThinLinc client connects over SSH which means it may be required to present a code from two factor authentication. The ThinLinc client does not know to ask for this so you will need to use the grace time feature, similar to file transfers with SFTP/rsync. To do this, first you have to connect with regular SSH and present the required code. Once you have logged in over SSH you can safely exit again. The login server will remember that you just logged in for a few minutes and not ask for two factor authentication again, so make sure you do not wait too long to connect with the ThinLinc client.

Server names

The server name to connect to is to make a login node connection. This means possible servers to connect to are currently

  • (fingerprint 94:c6:66:db:16:b2:95:7d:d1:53:5d:75:f6:3c:e8:cf)

If you are using the webinterace do note that the server only accepts secure connections, so do not forget the s in https://.

ThinLinc client options

Under the "Screen" tab, you can set the starting size of the session and choose to enable/disable Full screen mode. Typically, users prefer to turn off full screen mode.

Normally you don't have to change anything else here, and we have also disabled all "local devices" (USB-sticks, sound and printers) on server side. So no point to fiddle with these specific options.

Web interface

The servers listed above also offer a HTML5 client available at the according https URLs:

Last modified: 2022-05-31