Really quick guide to VLAB

VLAB is how you get access to a CSE lab computer on your own desktop or laptop computer, or on a tablet or smart phone.

All you need is a VNC client program or a web browser.

A VNC client program is the best way to use VLAB - only use the web browser option if you're somewhere with restrictive networking.

Using a VNC client

Install the software

For desktop and laptop computers we recommend TigerVNC, though any VNC client will work.

  • For Mac: download TigerVNC-version.dmg, open the file and drag the TigerVNC app to your Applications folder
  • For Windows: download vncviewer64-version.exe to your desktop
  • For Ubuntu, run sudo apt-get install tigervnc-viewer tigervnc-common from the terminal

For tablets and smart phones we recommend the following apps:

Set up an encrypted connection

If you are connecting from inside the UNSW Sydney campus, you can skip this step.

To use VLAB from outside the UNSW Sydney campus, you need an encrypted connection.

If you are using TigerVNC, just connect on port 5920 (see below), and your connection will be encrypted automatically.

If you're using a different VNC client, or you can't use port 5920, follow the instrucions on the UNSW VPN to install and run the VPN client.

Connect to VLAB

Run TigerVNC, or whichever VNC app you've installed on your computer.

If you're using a different VNC app, you will need to adapt these instructions for the software you're using.

  • Windows: double-click the app you downloaded to your desktop
  • Mac: Run TigerVNC from your Applications folder
  • Ubuntu: Run vncviewer from the console.

TigerVNC server prompt window

In the Server field, enter vlab.cse.unsw.edu.au:port, where port is the port you want to use.

Most people using TigerVNC will be best off using port 5920.

If you're using a different VNC client, or you have special requirements, see the table below:

Port Window size Comment
5911 640 x 480
5912 800 x 600
5913 1024 x 768
5914 1280 x 800
5915 1650 x 1050
5916 1920 x 1080
5919 1024 x 768 Resizeable, TigerVNC required
5920 1024 x 768 Resizeable, TigerVNC required, works off campus without VPN

Log in

VLAB login screen
In the VNC client login window, enter your zID and zPass

Enter your zID and zPass to log in.

Log out

Log out as you normally would when you're done and the VNC client program should close.

Using a web browser

Only use this option if you can't use a VNC client.

VLABgateway web page
  • Go to http://vlabgateway.cse.unsw.edu.au
  • Click the link for the desktop resolution you want.
  • Log in with your zID and zPass
  • When you're finished, close the browser window.
Last edited by jbc 13/09/2021