Note that this document is intended to provide a short introduction and that much more complete documentation is available at:


It is the QRIScloud documentation that should be your first point of reference.


The LIEF infrastructure is operated as part of QRIScloud (Queensland Research Information Services Cloud), itself a part of the larger NeCTAR system.


First, you will need to obtain a QRIScloud account. To do this, navigate to the QRIScloud portal ( You will be redirected to the Australian Access Federation for authentication.


Login to AAF portal using your usual (Australian university or research organisation) username and password. This process uses your usual identity provider (such as UQ, Griffith, USC etc.) to authenticate you. When you have logged in, register (under “Accounts”).


This will allow you to view your AAF login (visible at the top of the page under the navigation links e.g. mine is and gain you a Service Access Credential (SAC). You should store the credential securely, preferably using a password manager.


Send your AAF username to The support team can now add you to the QFAB tenant where you can create (“launch”) virtual machines.


Manipulation (launching, configuration, deletion etc.) of the Vms uses the dashboard interface at:


There is much more detailed help available via QRIScloud but a brief explanation follows. Please be aware that you will use key-pairs to access the Vms. These can be created at launch time or uploaded. Key pairs are more secure than passwords. You keep your private key on your laptop or desktop (nobody else has access) and the launch process puts your public key (which you don’t care about people seeing) on the VM. When you login, your you send your private key over an encrypted channel (SSH, Secure Shell) and if it matches the public key altready on the server you are allowed access.


There are a variety of “images” available – these contain the information and software needed to build a Virtual Machine (VM). When you choose to “Launch an Instance” you pick an image, such as CentOS or Ubuntu and the image “flavor” (sic). The system allocates disk and RAM, adds your public key and then allocates IP addresses for the running instance.


When the instance is running you use your usual SSH application to connect to it: You will need to tell it to use your private key (aka identity file) and supply the path to it:


ssh -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa ec2-user@


Note that CentOS default user is “ec2-user” and for Ubuntu it’s “ubuntu”.