CSC3124 Virtual Machines Page History

Network overview



You will need:

  • The hostname of the Bastion virtual machine.
  • The hostname of the Kali virtual machine assigned to you.
  • Your campus login credentials.
  • A password, different from your Campus password, to use with your VM.

These virtual machines are run behind a gateway to isolate them from the rest of the campus network. The first step in connecting is to log on to this bastion gateway.

Configure and log on to the Bastion host


  1. Login to cluster PC.
  2. Click the Start menu and type X2Go to search for it and run it. X2Go is also available for use at home if you download the client from ([the X2Go Wiki]. The screenshots in this documentation refer to working from Home. Changes for use from the university are noted in the text.
  3. If this is the first time you have run the X2Go client the session configuration dialog will be opened automatically, otherwise launch it from the Session -> Session Management menu and create a new session. The right-hand image below shows the Session tab in full. Within the university, do not select the use proxy server option.
  4. The left hand half of the composite image below shows the most important options from the other tabs.
    • At university the connection speed can be raised to LAN and nopack selected for compression method.
    • It is best not to select a full screen, use a Custom screen size just a little smaler than your current display.
    • Switch off Sound and Client side printing support
  5. Click the session launch button, fill in your campus password, and click OK. Be patient, it can take several sessions for the desktop to appear. The first time, you will need to accept the host key. In a properly secure environment, never accept a new host hey unless you are expecting it and have checked its fingerprint.

The Kali client session


Important points to note in your graphical session (shown above) include:

  1. Click Applications (in the top-left of the X2Go window) and Terminal Emulator. Alternatively launch it from the panel at the bottom of the screen.
  2. In the black window that opened, type ssh -X root@your-kali-vm and press enter. Once again, you may need to accept a new key fingerprint.

Changing the default root password

To protect your Kali VM from being hijacked by your classmates, immediately change the root password to something that is not your campus password.

  1. Type passwd and press enter.
  2. Type toor and press enter. Note: there are no stars shown when you type the old password.
  3. Type the new password and press enter, then re-type the new password and press enter. Note: there are no stars shown when you type the new password. We recommend that you save it in a file in your H: drive (it's like any other part of your coursework), as forgetting it means that you have to start again with a new Kali VM and will almost certainly lose any work you have done.

Recovery is not likely to be possible

The Kali virtual machines are not backed up and it is easy to damage them. Back-up all important work in yout H: drive or your personal gitlab repository. That way if you lose access to your VM or it is damaged beyond repair, you can be given a new one without loss of too much work. In some cases, it may be possible to regenerate your virtual machine and then add back to it your previous disk image but this is not something that can be done quickly.

Last edited by Chris Ritson