First steps - How do I get to get to the bwCloud?
Registration is required to use the bwCloud infrastructure. The registration is linked to the bwIDM (Federal Identity Management of Baden-Württemberg universities) , which is why all members of Baden-Württemberg institutions can use the bwCloud in principle. Registration for the bwCloud is currently managed by a server at the University of Freiburg.
Requirements: What you need to use the bwCloud[prereqs]
To use the bwCloud individually, you need a valid account or access to a university, college or other state institution in Baden-Württemberg that is linked to the nationwide bwIDM . You can check whether your institution is connected to bwIDM by looking at the list under the link https://bw-cloud.org/q/regapp. If your facility is not on the list, please contact your local technical support.
Before using, please note: What bwCloud is for what not[notice]
The bwCloud is an "infrastructure-as-a-service" environment, specially developed and operated for research and teaching in Baden-Württemberg. With the bwCloud, virtual servers or virtual machines (VMs) can be created, started and operated. These virtual machines include resources such as virtual CPUs (vCPUs), main memory (RAM), network access (IPv4 and IPv6 addresses) and storage space (storage) and do not differ in operation and administration from "real" physical machines. Except in one central point: VMs are set up, started and deployed much faster than physical servers (if changed). With the help of bwCloud, single or a whole swarm of virtual machines can be started and orchestrated. Virtual machines can be operated in different regions - or all VMs run in the same region.
For us it is very important to ensure that our users are able to carry out all processes and procedures independently and on their own. The key word here is "self-service": Ideally, a user logs into our dashboard, manages the VMs and can carry out all operations independently without help from our side.
But this also means that certain previous knowledge is required to operate VMs:
- What is SSH?
- How can a public SSH key be generated?
- What is a (virtual) server?
- How do I install software on my server and how do I keep the system up-to-date?
We are continuously expanding our support infrastructure (graphical interfaces, instructions, step-by-step tutorials, ready-made recipes) and are certainly not at the end of our endeavors here either, but ultimately every user runs his own (virtual) server. Realizing barrier-free access with minimal effort and optimized for all previous knowledge is not affordable for us with the resources available. Nevertheless, we work hard to give everyone and every interested user an optimal entry into the bwCloud. If you have any questions or problems, please do not hesitate to write us a ticket.
Step 1: Register for bwCloud SCOPE[step1]
- Call the website of our registration server at
- Select your home organization (e.g. "Universität Mannheim")
- Log in with your personal ID or your university login
- Register the bwCloud SCOPE service
- To do this click on the link service description under the bwCloud SCOPE tab in the left column
- As soon as your account has been activated you'll receive an email. Continue then with step 2
Step 2: Set service password[step2]
- Set your personal service password. Log in as described in "Step 1:", 2nd to 4th step
- To set the service password click on the link Set password under the tab bwCloud SCOPE in the left column
- Enter your personal service password and click on Save. With this service password you can now log into the bwCloud
Step 3: Log into the bwCloud[step3]
To log into the bwCloud, simply open the portal at portal.bw-cloud.org.
Use the following as a login:
- User Name = eduPersonPrincipalName (identifier@your_home_organization e.g. "KennungXYZ@uni-mannheim.de")
- Password = your individual service password (see "Step 2")
Step 4: SSH Key registration[step4]
We recommend that you register your public personal SSH key in our OpenStack environment. This public SSH key is then automatically imported into the system when a virtual machine is started (only applies to Linux-based virtual machines). You can then log in to your started instances from outside via SSH.
- Log into the bwCloud as described in step 3
- Click on Key Pairs below Project → Compute. You will see an overview of the key pairs you have (already) imported
Click on the Import Public Key button in the top right. A dialog appears.
- Give your SSH key a unique name
- Copy the public SSH key into the text field
- Then click the Import Public Key button. If the process was successful you will get an overview with the imported SSH key(s)
Please note: The default SSH username, you have to use to log in to your virtual machine for the first time is fixed. You can find out which default SSH username is used by which image on our overview page bwCloud nutzen → Aktuelle und verfügbare Images.