Using OpenStack Dashboard for connecting to instances using VNC

OpenStack Dashboard has a very handy feature that allows a user to connect to our running instances through a VNC (Virtual Network Console) session within our Web browser.

This gives us the ability to manage our instance through a virtual console window without invoking an SSH session separately, and is a great feature for accessing desktop instances such as those running Windows.

To provide a remote console or remote desktop access to guest virtual machines, use VNC or SPICE HTML5 through either the OpenStack dashboard or the command line. The best practice is to select one or the other to run.

Getting ready

Load a Web browser, point it to our OpenStack Dashboard address at http://172. 16.0.200/horizon, and log in as a user, such as the demo user created in Adding users recipe of Keystone OpenStack Identity Service, with the password openstack.

How to achieve it…

To connect to a running instance by using VNC through the Web browser, carry out the following steps:

  • Click on the Instances tab and choose an instance to which we want to connect.
  • Next is the More button with a down arrow, which reveals more options. Click on it:


  • Select the Console option. This takes you to a console screen, which allows you to log in to your instance:



Your instance must support local logins. Many Linux cloud images expect a user to authenticate by using SSH Keys.

How it works…

Connecting through our Web browser uses a VNC proxy session, which was configured by using the novnc, nova-consoleauth, and nova-console packages, as described in the installation section. Only browsers that support WebSocket connections are supported. Generally, this can be any modern browser with HTML5 support.


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