Running Desktop

If not already logged, log to, see Rancher section.

Following the steps below, you can run Desktop application. This application can have persistent home directory, it means, that if you delete the application and later install the application again preserving its name, content of home directory will be preserved. It also possible to connect some storage from e-infra.


  • Default project had quota limit for 12 guaranteed CPUs and quota for 16 CPUs limit. Do not select more than 10 guaranteed CPUs and more than 14 CPUs limit. If needed more just ask. This may be increased in future so request for more CPUs can be made.

Select Application to Run

Ensure, you did not select any namespace and see Only User Namespaces (1) at the top of the Rancher page.

Navigate through App & Marketplace (2), Charts (3), limit charts only to cerit-sc (4) and select desktop (5). See screenshot below.


Select Version of the Application

When you click on the chart, you can select version of application as shown below. Chart versions can vary in time. Hit Install to continue.


Install the Application

Now you can install the Desktop application. In most cases, keep both Namespace (1) and Name (2) intact, however, you can select namespace as desired except default. The default namespace is available but it is not meant to be used. The Name will be in URL to access the application. The Name must be unique in the Namespace, i.e., you cannot run two or more instances with the same Name in the same Namespace. If you delete the application and later install the application again preserving its Name, content of home directory will be preserved if enabled.


In the first part of the form, you select Desktop Image, currently, LTS Ubuntu 18, 20, 22 ara available, but images can vary in time.


In the second part of the form, you select access display method. [VNC](( method is default. You will need some vncview program realvnc or vncviewer on most Linux distribution. On MacOS, just type vnc://host into the Safari browser, replace host according to instructions below. Do not hit Install until the form is completed. Using VNC, only software drawing is available, no 3D acceleration is possible.

If VNC is not selected, WEBRTC method is used. This option is still in beta version, however, full 3D OpenGL acceleration is available.


WEBRTC method is available in chromium-based web browsers such as google-chrome, Microsoft Edge; or in Apple Safari. Especially, it does not work in Mozilla Firefox.


In the third part of the form, you select password. This password is used to login through VNC. If VNC is not selected, you need to fill also username, these credentials will be used in the browser to attach to the WEBRTC session.





In the fourth part of the form, you select if you desire persistent home, i.e., home that will be preserved even if you uninstall the application. Note: persistent home is bound with application name from the very beginning of install form. It means, if you set name to desktop, persistent home will be bound with name desktop. If you select the name desktop-0 next time, you get new home that is bound with the name desktop-0.

In this part, you can select e-infra storage to connect to the application. If you check External Storage, few more options appear. You can select storage and access credentials. Currently, only is supported. Username is e-infra (metacentrum) login and password is not Metacentrum password, but different set by administrator, ask if you need to set. We are preparing more convenient way. This storage is mounted to /storage directory.


In the fifth part of the form, you can select requested resources. This step is optional. Minimum CPU or RAM is guaranteed amount of CPU and RAM, system reserves these resources for the application. However, the application can exceed guaranteed resources up to Maximum. However, in this case, resources are not exclusive and can be shared among other applications. If the application exceeds Maximum CPU, it gets limited, if it exceeds Maximum RAM, it gets terminated (you will see OOMKill report) and restarted. See note above about maximum values.


Wait for Application to Start

When you hit Install, you will see installation log. Once you see SUCCESS (1) (see screenshot below), the application is running. In case of VNC version, you can see URL what shall be passed into VNC viewer (2) or in case of WebRTC version into the browser (2).


  • If filled password for storage was not correct, it will be pending indefinitely. In such a case, delete application and start over.





Connect to the Running Instance

Once the application is running, for VNC version, navigate through Service Discovery (1) and Services (2), hover with mouse over Target (3) and depending on used browser, you should see target URL (4). Chrome browser shows it in the lower left corner. This is IP and port you need to pass to your vncviewer application or fill into the Safari navigation bar, e.g., vnc:// Or just use displayer URL from the screenshots above.

In case of WEBRTC, instead of Services, navigate to Ingresses (5) and you will see full URL to click on to start the WEBRTC connection.

VNC client will ask for the password. Type the password from the form. WEBRTC connection will ask for the username and password, those are not metacentrum username and password but the ones from the beginning of the form.



On the first login, desktop will look like this depending on selected version:


Delete Running Instance

If you feel you do not need the application anymore, you can delete it. Just navigate to App & Marketplace (1), Installed Apps (2), select the application (3) and hit Delete (4). The data in home directory is not deleted in case you check persistent home. Running the application again with the same Name restores access to the home directory folder.


Install Additional Software

It is possible to install additional software into running desktop either using system install or conda system.

System Install

apt-get install, apt install, or dpkg -i commands can be used to install any package into the running desktop. However, if the desktop is restarted, all installed packages are lost and have to be installed again. All mentioned commands are shell aliases using fakeroot and those aliases are working in bash only, if using different shell, it might be needed to use e.g.: fakeroot apt-get install [package].


We strongly recommend to use mamba tool in favor of conda as it is faster. If you setup virtual conda environment into home directory, everything installed using conda or mamba will be persistent. For more information see official conda documentation, specifically Specifying a location for an environment.