HPCVL Portal

Please note: The FAQ pages at the HPCVL website are continuously being revised. Some pages might pertain to an older configuration of the system. Please let us know if you encounter problems or inaccuracies, and we will correct the entries.

How do I log in to the Portal?

  1. Visit https://portal.hpcvl.queensu.ca/
  2. Login with your new TruePass client certificate.(See "What is the portal signup procedure?") :

Portal Login

3. You will be brought to the Secure Desktop page

  1. To use any of the applications appearing on the left-hand side, such asxterm (sflogin0), click on it.
  2. If the application is used for the first time, you will be prompted to log in. For this, you use your username and the UNIX password that you received:Global Desktop
  3. The Secure Desktop will remember password and userID for the application, and automatically use it next time. If the information has changed (for instance, you changed your login password), it will prompt you again.
  4. No "Secure Desktop webtop preferences" have to be set anymore as the SD automatically stores that information.

What are some troubleshooting steps I can try?


The Portal authenticator is Java based. Most problems are due to missing or misconfigured java plugins for your browser. Please see http://java.com/en/download/manual.jsp for detailed instructions for installing and configureing java on your desktop machine.

  1. Firefox users, pay particular attention to the 'missing plugins' indication. You will see this message when the java run-time environment is not installed. Please install java before attempting to sign-up.
  2. Enrollment Create: (Authentication failed because there is no identification data registered for the user.) Means you have supplied an incorrect shared secret/web password.
  3. Enrollment Create: (can't establish a connection to the server at on creation of your profile means that java is not installed, please install it, then create your profile again.
  4. Enrollment Recover: (Operation failed because the user is not active and therefore cannot be recovered) means you cannot recover your profile, you should create one first.
  5. Portal Server uses port 443 for https communication.
  6. Sun Secure Global Desktop uses port 343 for secure application communication. 
  7. If prompted to accept java applets, click always so this message does not appear again. The Entrust TruePass applet and the Secure Global Desktop applet are signed.
  8. Check supported browser/OS combinations below
  9. If you are using Firefox with Adblock you may need to create an exception rule so that the Secure Desktop loads properly. Use this AdBlock rule:


    which will whitelist HPCVL for HTTPS to machines called "portal*"

  10. SGD Client Not Installed Automatically.
    Problem: Using Internet Explorer 7 on Microsoft Windows Vista platforms, the SGD Client cannot be downloaded and installed automatically. The SGD Client can be installed manually and can be installed automatically using another browser, such as Firefox.
    Cause: Internet Explorer has a Protected Mode that prevents the SGD Client from downloading and installing automatically.
    Solution: Add the SGD server to the list of Trusted Sites in Internet Explorer's Security Settings.

What are the browser requirements?

Supported Configurations

Supported Operating Systems:

Microsoft WindowsXP, Vista, 7
Oracle (Sun)Solaris 9, 10
Linux*Various distros
Mac (Apple)OS-X > 10.5

Supported Client-side environments:

Microsoft Internet Explorer 
Mozilla Firefox 
Apple Safari 
Chrome (Windows only)
Opera (Windows only)

* Some Linux systems use Java plugins (e.g. "Iced Tea") that are not compatible with the Secure Global Desktop used in our portal. Try installing the latest version of the Oracle Java Plugin.

It is crucial to have a recent version of Java installed on your system. This includes a "Java Plugin" for the web browser. The latest Java Runtime Environment (JRE) may be downloaded freely from Oracle for most platforms. If you encounter portal issues they are almost invariably related to Java. Please contact us if you cannot get it to work.

What is the portal signup procedure?

  1. Visit the Java Test Page, and make sure your java is working properly, and is a version listed below for your OS/Browser combination. If java is not working properly, please address this issue first. You should see a moving animated character dancing if java is working.
  2. Visit the Secure Portal Enrollment Page.
  3. Make sure you know your HPCVL username, and your web password (used to access the HPCVL Users page) you will require this information to complete the registration process. We've choosen this procedure for security reasons; it allows us to sign up new users without requiring us to send you information used to activate your certificate. Your web password is considered a 'shared secret'; it is something you already know.
  4. First time users, Create Roaming User Profile.
    • Here, you are creating a TruePass user certificate, used to log in to the Portal Server. Use the same (HPCVL) user name you already use, however the password you choose may be different than the one you used previously to access our login node. Password requirements are strict, requiring at least 8 characters, with at least one upper-case. We recommend that once logged in, you change your login password to match the one you have chosen for the portal:
  5. Create Roaming User
    Operation Status
  6. Recover Roaming User is used to reset forgotten portal passwords. In the future, should you forget your certificate password used to log in to the Portal server, you can reset it here, once again, make sure you know your HPCVL username and web password that will be used for your shared secret.