Connecting to CSE using VLAB

VLAB is a virtual lab that you can log into over the internet. You can log in using your zID and zPass the same way you would log in to CSE lab computers and you connect to a system that is much the same as the Linux system on the computers in the CSE labs.

Software you Need:


Steps to Connect:

1. If you are Outside of CSE  you will need to use UNSW’s VPN Service and find and run the AnyConnect VPN application.



Then log in using your student id and zpass and then click Accept after reading the conditions.

You should then become connected to the UNNSW VPN. To disconnecto from the VPN when you have finished using VLAB, click the AnyConnect icon in your taskbar or menubar and select disconnect. Do not disconnect from the VPN whilst you are still logged in to VLAB.


2. Start your TigerVNC (or your other chosen VNC Viewer) and enter your VNC server as<port>    


In this example I used port 5916 which works well on my macbook


You can enter any of the following addresses/ports. Each one will connect at a different screen resolution. Use a smaller screen resolution if you are using a slower internet connection.

Screen Resolution Server Address
640 x 480
800 x 600
1024 x 768
1280 x 800
1680 x 1050
1920 x 1080


3. Log into VLAB using your Zid and Zpass




You may need to set up VLAB if you havenít connected to it before.We recommend you select XFCE4 from the window that appears. This is the same system you will likely be using on the UNSW CSE lab computers.




Assuming you chose XFCE4 which is what we recommend you to get started with, you should end up getting something like the image below. This is a linux environment and this is your desktop.




You can now right click on your desktop and open a terminal. A terminal (shown in the image below) allows you to type in linux commands. You will learn more about using linux throughout the course. But for now well done! You have connected to your CSE account from home!




For more information about Vlab and for alternatives to UNSW's VPN service, see the documentation: 

Transferring Files To and From CSE

Windows Users:


All Users:

A Summary for transferring files to/from CSE for users of all platforms can be found at


Other Alternatives to Connecting to CSE

If you successfully set up and used Vlab you will most likley not need to try these other alternatives. 

But if you wish, click on the icon for your  platform for more information.


Using Windows
Using Windows at home

Using Mac
Using Mac at Home