GWDG Self-Service Cloud Server Manual

This manual provides an overview for using the GWDG Cloud Server service.

As a User of the GWDG Cloud Server service, you will get extensive privileges for the management of your Virtual Servers (VM). This manual will explain how to make use of this privilege in order to:

  • Create virtual servers from standard images or from your private snapshots
  • Manage servers, i.e.:
    • change their state, by rebooting, suspending or resuming a server
    • change their IP address
    • change their access properties by creating and modifying security rules
  • Delete servers
  • Access a server via SSH or VNC
  • Create or delete snapshots

Frequently asked questions and the corresponding answers can be found at the FAQ's web page.


Login and activation

In order to use the GWDG Cloud Server service, we have to activate the user first. Please write to which user you want to activate.

After the user has been activated, he can log into and can use the service.

First Steps

  1. Log into
  2. Open Services > GWDG Cloud Server > Self Service
  3. Create new virtuellen naschine with „Add Server“

Access Self Service

To access the GWDG Cloud Server service you need to log in at the GWDG Web page using your GWDG credentials.

You can access the service by click in on Services at the GWDG Web page and then click on GWDG Cloud Server

Alternatively, you access the service directly by clicking on GWDG Cloud Server in the menu My services

If you are logged in with you GWDG credentials, you can access the GWDG Cloud Server Self Service directly by clicking on the icon Self Service. If you do not see this icon, please contact us to provide you access to the Service.

The first time that you access the service, your cloud account is been provisioned, which can take some time until is finished

Cloud Server Self Service

The GWDG Cloud Server Self Service provides access to the basic functions that a user needs to configure his virtual servers. It consist of four sections:

Resources Shows the resources quotas assigned to a user, and their actual usage by the active servers. No action can be performed in this section
Server Shows the active servers from the user, and contains links to create new servers or to edit them
Security Shows the security groups and the SSH keys from the user, and contains links to modify them
Snapshots Snapshots are backup images of the servers created by the user. Here you can create or delete them

The use of the different functions will be explained from now on

Manage Servers

The Server section shows a list of all of your servers and provides a handy way to manage them.

This section provides a direct access to Create a Server and also a link to Edit Server by clicking on the edit button next to each server

Create a Server

In the Server section click the Add server button to enter the server creation dialog.

Select the desired hardware characteristics by chosing a flavor from the list by clicking . Then click Next to confirm your selection.

We offer three basic types of flavors:
* general (M1 serie)
* memory optimized (M2 serie)
* computing optimized (C1 serie).

Flavors marked with :!: are not accesible due to lack of free resources

Choose an image to start your server from. This has to be either an operating system or a snapshot.

Depending on the disk size requirements of your image, some flavors will fail to provide enough disk space to start a server

Add the required security groups.

Add the required SSH keys

We strongly recommend to provide an SSH key as described in Providing a SSH key and add this key to your servers

Assign a floating IP to your machine. (optional)

Select a unique name for the machine (e.g. project name) and click Create

Wait a moment till the creation of the machine is finished

After completion you can choose to continue creating servers or move to the Cloud manager.

If the creation was successfully completed, the server can be found within the Servers section in the Cloud Manager. Now you are ready to connect to your server as described in Connecting to a Server. Note also the change reflected in the Resources section

Edit Server

Remove Deletes a server, loosing all of its content.
VNC Connects to the video ouput of the server, via a VNC terminal.
Snapshot Creates a backup image of the server. All snapshots can be found in the section Snapshots. Snapshots can later be used to start a new server
Reboot Performs a graceful reboot of the server. This action will set the status of your server to the state rebooting. As soon as the server has booted this status will change back to active again.
Suspend Suspends the server. A suspended server can resume its service back with Resume. Note: This button appears only for servers in Active state
Resume Resumes a suspended server. Resume its service back to the state when it was suspended. Note: This button appears only for servers in Suspended state

Remove / Delete a Server

In the section Edit Server click on Remove button. You will receive a confirmation question. If you confirm by clicking Remove the server and all its content will be deleted. The server will keep its current state during this process.The server will disappear from the server manager as soon as the deletion process has successfully finished.

Create Snapshots

In the section Edit Server click on the Snapshot button. Type a name for the snapshot and confirm by clicking Snapshot

After some time your snapshot will appear in the section Snapshots with state Active

Snapshots can also be created or deleted in the section Manage Snapshots.

Suspend / Resume a Server

Both actions can be performed in the section Edit Server click on either Suspend or Resume button. Suspending your server will set the resources free. A suspended server can resume its service back at the state where it was suspended. No charges to the quota are made for suspended servers. By the time the server should resume running, simply hit the Resume button.

Reboot a Server

In the section Edit Server click on the Reboot button.

This action will send a message to the server's operating system which contains the command for a graceful reboot. It will set the status of your server to the state rebooting. As soon as the server has booted this status will change back to active again.

Connect to a Server

We provided two main ways to connect to your servers, either by SSH connection, or by VNC.

For both ways, the logging user will be cloud and the password is shown either in the VNC shell, at the beginning of a session, but only until you log in successfully for the first time or the first time you connect your server via SSH.

Servers can be accessed as following:

Via SSH:

ssh cloud@ip_address

Server needs a floating IP assigned and Server security groups has to allow SSH (Default is OK for this) for your IP address

We strongly recommend this option. You would need to add your private ssh key as described in Providing a SSH key and create a server using this key


 ssh ip_address 

User: cloud Password: password

Via VNC:

Click the VNC button in the section Edit Server. Hit the gray bar at the top of the output window and press enter.

The password you get only once, before you log in for the first time.

Manage security

A user can modify its security rules and SSH keys by clicking Edit button in the Security section. This button provides access to the Security Manager:

Adding a Security Group

A user can create new security groups, in order to provide certain servers with specific access. They can be added to servers in Create a Server or in Edit Server

Click on the button Add Group

Type a unique name and a description (optional), and choose whether you want this group to include the default rules

Click on Save button and the group will be added

Modifying a Security Group

A security group can be modify by adding or removing its security rules. To modify a Security group.

Click on Edit button of the Security group

To add a rule click on Add rule

Define the rule you want to add, i.e. protocol, port range and source, and click Save

To remove a rule, click on the the Trash bin icon next to the rule

Providing a SSH key

To store his personal SSH Key, a user has to click Add key and enter a key name and his public SSH key (content of file

This key will be later accessible in Create a Server. If a server is assigned a key, this will be stored for the root user on the server.

How to generate an SSH key

An SSH key is a set of of two files that can be used to ease secure connection via SSH:

private key, e.g.: key_name Has to be saved in your local directories , e.g. ~HOME/.ssh/ for mac OS, unix, linux
public key, e.g.: Has to be locally saved in the server you want to access, at: e.g. ~HOME/.ssh/ for mac OS, unix, linux

To generate your private key, see the following instructions:

Mac OS, linux, unix: Here
Windows :  Here

Manage Snapshots

Snapshots are images of your servers. In this section a user can create or delete them.

Create Snapshot

Snapshots can also be created in the section Edit Server

To create a snapshot click on Create Snapshot button, Select the server and type a name for the snapshot. Confirm by clicking Save

Afterwards your snapshot will appear in the list in this section. Once the creation process is finished, it will get state Active

Delete Snapshots

To delete a snapshot click on the trash bin icon next to it and confirm the operation afterwards.

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