Metacentrum Cloud Documentation
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This documentation is obsolete and not maintained anymore, please use new e-INFRA CZ documentation

Quick Start

The following guide will take you through the steps necessary to start your first virtual machine instance.


Sign In

The dashboard is available at

  1. Select EINFRA CESNET.


Users of the Czech national e-infrastructure (also MetaCentrum/CERIT-SC/MUNI users) should always select EINFRA CESNET.

NOTICE International users may choose EGI Check-in, DEEP AAI or ELIXIR AAI, depending on their membership in these projects.


If you use multiple accounts, you should use the one that you need for your corresponding work.

  1. Click on Sign In.

  1. Select your institution from the drop-down list.


You can use the search box at the top as a filter.

  1. Provide your institution-specific sign-in credentials.
  2. Wait to be redirected back to our dashboard.
NOTICE If your attempts repeatedly result in an error message about projects, make sure you have an active MetaCentrum account and that you are selecting the correct institution when attempting to log in. If the problem persists, please, contact user support.

Create Key Pair

All virtual machine instances running in the cloud have to be accessed remotely. The most common way of accessing an instance remotely is SSH. Using SSH requires a pair of keys - a public key and a private key.

  1. In Project > Compute > Key Pairs, click the Create Key Pair or **Import Public Key ** button.

    • Import Key Pair if existing SSH key on your local computer, but not listed as available, then import public key using button Import Public Key
      • Insert Key Pair Name
      • Select SSH key for Key Type
      • Load Public Key from a file or copy/paste public key content in the field
    • Create key Pair if any public key not available
      • Use button Create Key Pair
      • Insert Key Pair Name. Avoid using special characters, if possible.
      • Select SSH key for Key Type
      • Use button Create KeyPair
      • Copy Private Key to Clipboard and save it to the ~/.ssh/id_rsa on your local computer
      • Confirm using button Done
      • Now the public key is available down on the page. Use the arrow before the key name to show the public part. Copy this public key to the file ~/.ssh/ on your local computer

  2. Set Access Privileges on .ssh Folder using commands

chmod 700 .ssh/
chmod 644 .ssh/
chmod 600 .ssh/id_rsa

For details, refer to the official documentation.

Update Security Group

In MetaCentrum Cloud, all incoming traffic from external networks to virtual machine instances is blocked by default. You need to explicitly allow access to virtual machine instances and services via a security group.

You need to add two new rules to be able to connect to your new instance (or any instance using the given security group). This is similar to setting up firewall rules on your router or server. If set up correctly, you will be able to access your virtual machine via SSH from your local terminal.

  1. Go to Project > Network > Security Groups. Click on Manage Rules, for the default security group.

  2. Click on Add rule, choose SSH, and leave the remaining fields unchanged. This will allow you to access your instance.

  3. Click on Add rule, choose ALL ICMP, and leave the remaining fields unchanged. This will allow you to ping your instance.

WARNING You have 2 possibilities for how to configure security groups policy. One is through CIDR which specifies rules for concrete network range. The second one specifies rules for members of a specified security group, i.e. policy will be applied on instances that belong to the selected security group.

For details, refer to the official documentation.

Create Virtual Machine Instance

  1. In Compute > Instances, click the Launch Instance button.

  1. Choose a name, description, and number of instances. If you are creating more instances, -%i will be automatically appended to the name of each instance.

  1. Choose an image from which to boot the instance. The image will be automatically copied to a persistent volume that will remain available even after the instance has been deleted.

  1. Choose the size of your instance by selecting a flavor. Additional volumes for data can be attached later on. The shown table sometimes won’t list all flavors, so if you do not see some flavors in the table (flavors that you should have access to), try to use the search field (and enter few characters from its name). Other option is to use OpenStack CLI or some automation tool (like Terraform) to create instances.

In the following image, you can also find details about concrete flavor in highlighted sections

  1. Select Network

    • For personal project select subnet-147-251-115-pers-proj-net from the 147-251-115-pers-proj-net network (eventually personal-project-network-subnet from network 78-128-250-pers-proj-net)
    • For group project select group-project-network-subnet from network group-project-network (check if Router gateway is set)
  2. Key pair

    • If public key was imported already, add existing key to the instance and continue using button Next
    • Import Key Pair if you have existing SSH key on your local computer, but not listed as available, then import public key using button Import Key
      • Continue steps in section Create Key Pair -> Import Key Pair
      • Add key and continue using button Next
    • Create key Pair if you don’t have any public key available
      • Use button Create Key Pair
      • Continue steps in section Create Key Pair -> Create Key Pair
      • Add key and continue using button Next Select Key pair
  3. (optional) On the Configuration tab, you can use user_data to customize your instance at boot. See cloud-init for details.

  4. Use the button Launch Instance to initialize a new instance

  5. Wait until instance initialization finishes and Associate Floating IP. For group project always select the same network as used in Router gateway

  6. Login using your SSH key as selected in Key pair above Connect to the instance using ssh image login, id_rsa key registered in Openstack and Floating IP.

NOTICE On Linux and Mac, you can use the already present SSH client. On Windows, there are other possibilities for how to connect via SSH. One of the most common is PuTTy SSH client. How to configure and use PuTTy you can visit our tutorial here.

To get ssh image login of corresponding image go to Project > Compute > Images. There you will have a list of all available images and then you have to click on the name of the one you want.

And then you must check section Custom Properties where you will see a property default_user which is ssh image login. In picture ssh image login for that image is “debian”.

Then you can connect to your instance using the following command:

ssh -A -X -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa <ssh_image_login>@<Floating IP>

So it can look like this:

ssh -A -X -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa debian@
-A      Enables forwarding of the authentication agent connection.
-X      Enables X11 forwarding.
OS login for ssh command
Debian debian
Ubuntu ubuntu
Centos centos

For details, refer to the official documentation.

Setup Router gateway (Required only for GROUP projects!!)

WARNING If you have GROUP project, you need to configure Router gateway for your network. Here you can find the manual.

Associate Floating IP

WARNING To make an instance accessible from external networks (e.g., The Internet), a so-called Floating IP Address has to be associated with it. Here you can find the manual.

Create Volume

When storing a large amount of data in a virtual machine instance, it is advisable to use a separate volume and not the root file system containing the operating system. It adds flexibility and often prevents data loss. Volumes can be attached and detached from instances at any time, their creation and deletion are managed separately from instances.

  1. In Project > Volumes > Volumes, select Create Volume.
  2. Provide name, description, and size in GBs. If not instructed otherwise, leave all other fields unchanged.
  3. Click on Create Volume.
  4. (optional) In Project > Compute > Instances, select Attach Volume from the Actions drop-down menu for the given instance.
  5. (optional) Select Volume ID from the drop-down list and click Attach Volume.

For details, refer to the official documentation.

Instance resize

If you find out that you need to select another flavor for your instance, here is a tutorial on how to do it:

Before resizing u should save all your unsaved work and you should also consider making data backup in case if something goes wrong.

First, you must go to your instance and then you select Resize Instance

After that, you select what flavor you want instead of your current one and then you confirm your choice

Then you just have to either confirm or revert selected changes in the instance menu