Remote Observing Instructions:
Linux machine (with a recent, reasonably standard distribution)
A) Updated Lowell VPN instructions (as of September 2021):
Lowell has shifted to a new firewall appliance (2021-Sep), and all users should use the new VPN server. Instructions for setting up your computer to use the new VPN are at Watchguard SSLVPN Installation.
- Primary: vpn3.lowell.edu (IP address:
We no longer support the earlier VPN solutions. Please review the supported systems information on the VPN installation page to be sure that your system is compatible with the new VPN solution. If it is not, please get in touch with LDT staff as soon as you can. The Lowell VPN solution splits the traffic, only routing Lowell specific traffic through the Lowell networks.
Account Name: [Contact your home department or LDT staff for your departmental VPN account name / password / shared secret] This should be the same as before.
B) Setting up a VNC connection to dct-obs1 or dct-obs2
Once you have a VPN connection into the Lowell network, you are ready to connect to the VNC server on
Note: Contact your TO first to know which machine is free to use at the moment. All instrument control software and data access is identical on both machines.
- Get someone on site at LDT to change the display mode on dct-obs1 or dct-obs2 to Mirror Mode. Otherwise, you will run into difficulties with your VNC connection. To set the displays to mirror mode, you need the Displays option under the System Preferences. There, someone will need to click on the Mirror Mode button. Don't forget to reset out of mirror mode at the end of the night.
- Pick a VNC viewer. There are many options, so details will vary. In this case, I'll use ssvncviewer, which describes itself as "an enhanced version of the tightvnc unix viewer."
- Start up the VNC viewer.
ssvncviewer dct-obs1.lowell.edu or dct-obs2.lowell.edu
This should respond with something like
Proto: RFB 003.889 Connected to RFB server, using protocol version 3.8 SelectSecurityType: sec-type 30 (unknown) sec-type 2 (rfbSecTypeVncAuth) sec-type 35 (unknown) Security-Type: 2 (rfbSecTypeVncAuth) Latency: 3.37 ms Performing standard VNC authentication VNC Password:
- At the password prompt, enter the dct-obs1 or dct-obs2 vnc password [ask your TO - this is NOT the user account password] and hit return.
- You should get a graphical login screen at this point. Click on the user (observer) and when prompted enter the standard observer user password.
- Name: observer
- Password: <observer account password> (ask your TO if you do not know this)