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Common operations

In this passage of the guide we will cover the parts of the usage of CONFINE testbeds that are common for all types of users. Please note that these are not usually needed when using VCT.

Registering in a controller

As a new user of the testbed, your first step is to register in a testbed controller. To apply for a new Community-Lab account (which is currently limited to CONFINE project partners):

  1. Visit the Community-Lab controller portal and click on Create an account (different testbeds have different controllers and portals).
  2. Enter your full name (free-form, used as a screen name), your email address, and a short username and password for login purposes (and the CAPTCHA if present), then click on Sign up.
  3. You will receive an activation email in the address you provided to check its validity. Visit the included link to do it.
  4. The policy in Community-Lab requires that a testbed operator approves your account before you can use it. A good strategy is to send a message from the email address you registered with to the address shown when you visit the activation link, introducing yourself and your credentials (if the operators do not know you yet). You will receive an email notification when your account is enabled.

After these steps you should be able to start a session in the controller (see Logging into the controller).

Logging into the controller

Once you have an account in a controller (see Registering in a controller), you may log into it via its portal using your username or email and your password. When logged, you may click at any time on the Log out link in the top of controller pages to end your session in it. See Testbed Server for technical information on the CONFINE controller.

Recovering your password

If you ever lose or forget the password of your account in a controller, you may:

  1. Visit the controller portal and click on the Forgot password? link under the login box.
  2. Provide the email address associated with your account and click on Reset my password.
  3. You will receive an email in that address containing a one-use link for resetting your password. Visit the link.
  4. Enter and confirm a new password for your account in the linked page, then click on Change my password.

You will now be able to log in with your address or user name (which is also included in the previous email message) and the new password.

Changing user settings

When logged into the controller, your full name at the top of controller pages is actually a link to your user's profile page. In it you may change your identifying username and email as well as your full name and description which should be useful for other users to know about you. You may provide further information by including some URLs in your description. Remember to save your changes after modifying any value.

Your user's page also shows some read-only information: whether your user is active and if it is a superuser or a normal user (only superusers can change these), and the list of groups your user belongs to and its roles in them (only group administrators can change these, see Group administrator's guide).

In this page you may also provide some authentication tokens which will be required for you to access the slivers and nodes in your groups as root. Usually you should provide at least an SSH public key in id_*.pub (or ssh-add -L) format.

Finally, the Change password link at the top of controller pages allows you to enter a different password for authenticating to the controller.

Joining an existing group

To be able to do interesting things in the testbed like setting up nodes and running applications (like experiments and services), you must belong to a group which is allowed to manage either nodes or slices, respectively. You can ask the administrators of such a group to accept your user as a member of it. To do that:

  1. Click on the Groups icon in the dashboard.
  2. Click on the group you wish to join.
  3. Once in the group page, click on the Join request button and confirm the request.

If you want to join several groups at a time:

  1. Click on the Groups icon in the dashboard.
  2. Mark the check box next to the groups you wish to join.
  3. Select Request to join the selected groups in the Action drop-down list above the groups, click on the Go button and confirm the request.

You will receive an acceptance email when a group's administrators add you to it. Your roles in that group (simple member, slice administrator, node administrator, group administrator) are set by its administrators and should be decided by external means. Depending on these roles you will be able to perform different kinds of actions in the testbed (see Roles and permissions).

Adding a host to the management network

Every component in a CONFINE testbed like Community-Lab belongs to a dedicated IPv6 network (see The management network). In Community-Lab it is deployed using a tinc VPN overlay (see tinc). If your computer also joins this testbed management network, it will be easier for you to interact with the slivers or nodes regardless of their connectivity. This feature is available to any testbed user without special permissions.

Joining the management network implies registering your computer as a standalone testbed host in the controller and installing, configuring and starting the tinc service on your computer. You can perform the following steps:

  1. Click on the Hosts icon in the dashboard.
  2. Click on the Add host button to register a new host.
  3. Give your host a recognizable free-form name, a good description of its role in the testbed (e.g. pointers for more information, a URL if it runs some web service) and, if you know it, the network island where it is located (which may be useful for geographically distributed services).
  4. Leave the tinc configuration empty and save it.

Although the host is registered in the testbed, you still need to include its tinc public key so it can be accepted in the overlay. For this you need to:

  1. Configure tinc in your computer by following the instructions available at the Help button in the host page.
  2. After configuring tinc you can set the host's Public key under Tinc configuration in its page and save the changes.
  3. Start tinc on your computer.

With a working tinc connection you should see your host's management address in green in the host list: it shows that the controller can ping your computer, and your computer can ping or SSH into other nodes and slivers using their IPv6 address in the management network.

usage/common.txt · Last modified: 2015/08/21 10:02 by ivilata