Getting Started

This section is going to show you how to use your AAF (Australian Access Federation) credentials to authenticate to NeCTAR Dashboard and use SSH to login to Virtual Machine.

Dashboard Authentication

NeCTAR Dashboard uses AAF to authenticate users. Please follow the below instructions to login to NeCTAR Dashboard.

  • Click here to go to the NeCTAR Dashboard and you will see the following screen:


  • Click 'Log In' button, then select your AAF organisation from the menu:


  • You will be redirected to a login page provided by your selected institution/organization:


  • Type in username/password supplied by your institution/organization and click 'Continue' button, if successful, you should see the NeCTAR Dashboard

Note, if your institution or organization is not the list, you can contact the help desk in your institution or organization to see whether there is AAF support. Or you can contact NecTAR HelpDesk to arrange an alternative way to login.

Virtual Machine Authentication

To create a key pair in NecTAR Cloud:

  • Login to NeCTAR Dashboard

  • Select a project from the project drop down list and click 'Access & Security', your screen should look similar to the following screenshots, which have a list of existing keys:

key1 key2

  • You can click the 'Create Key Pair' button to create a new key pair:


  • After entering the key pair name and clicking 'Create Key Pair', the system will ask you to save the private key. You should download the private key and save it in a secure place.

  • You can also click the 'Import Key Pair' button to import an existing public key, see the below screenshot:


  • You can copy and paste the public key into the 'Public Key' text area and give a key pair name. Then you click 'Import Key Pair' button to upload the public key.

This key pair can be used later when you launch a new Virtual Machine for authentication. Please see relevant articles about how to use the key in launching a new Virtual Machine.

Linux and MacOSX Authentication

In Linux, you can use the following command to login to the Virtual Machine:

ssh -i private_key_file_name ip_address

The 'private_key_file_name' is the private key you download from the NeCTAR Dashboard (you may also need to specify the path to the key, if it is not in the '~/.ssh/' directory). The ip_address for the instance is found on the 'Instances' tab of the NeCTAR dashboard.

Windows Authentication

For Windows users, you need to use putty for key based authentication to access Virtual Machines. Windows uses different file format for the private key You download from the NeCTAR Dashboard. You can use puttygen for the key conversion.

After you download the files from the above links, you can double click the puttygen.exe file to launch puttygen and you should see the below screenshot:


Then you can click 'Import Key' item from the 'Conversions' menu:


You select the private key you saved before and click 'Ok'.

You can then click 'Export OpenSSH Key' from the 'Conversions'. Click 'yes' for not saving key with a password and provide a file name for the key:


Instructions for how to login using the SSH key via putty:

  • Double click 'putty.exe' to launch putty:


  • You can click 'Auth' under 'Connection' and then click 'Browse' button to load the private key you generated from above:


  • Click 'Section' and you can enter Virtual Machine IP Adddress in the 'Host Name' text field

  • Click 'Open' button to login