Help:Tool Labs/Access

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To access Tool Labs you need:

  • to create a Labs account, which will allow you shell access; and
  • to request access to the 'tools' project

Steps for creating a Labs account, creating and uploading an SSH key, and for requesting access to the 'tools project' are described in the next sections.

Creating a Labs account on Wikitech

Before you can access Tool Labs, you must create a Labs account on Wikitech, which is the general interface for everything Labs.

Sign up for a Labs account here: Request account (you will be asked to enter the new account's information)

The "Instance shell account name" you specify in the Create Account form will be your Unix username on all Labs projects. If you forget your username, you can always find it under Preferences > Instance shell account name.

Generating and uploading an SSH key

In order to access Labs servers using SSH, you must provide a public SSH key. Once you have created a Labs account, you can specify a public key on the 'OpenStack' tab of your Wikitech preferences.

Generating a key in Windows

To generate an SSH key in Windows:

  1. Open PuttyGen
  2. Select an SSH-2 RSA key
  3. Click the Generate button
  4. Move your mouse around until the progress bar is full
  5. Type in a passphrase (you will need to remember this) and confirm it
  6. Save the private key and public key onto your local machine
  7. From the text field 'Public key for pasting into OpenSSH authorized_keys file' right click and copy
  8. Insert this into your 'OpenStack' tab of your Wikitech preferences

Generating a key in Unix-like systems

Modern Unix systems include the OpenSSH client (if not then install it). To generate a key, use:

ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "your@email..."

This will store your private key in $HOME/.ssh/id_rsa, and your public key in $HOME/.ssh/ You can use different filenames (with -f parameter), but these are the default filenames, so it's easiest to not change them.

Requesting access to the 'tools' project

Once you have created a Labs account, you must request access to the ‘tools’ project by submitting a Tools Access Request. Requests for access are generally dealt with within the day (often faster), though response-time may be longer depending on admin availability. If you need immediate assistance, please contact us on IRC.

Receiving access to the 'tools' project

Once your 'tools' project access request has been processed, you will become a member of the 'tools' project, and will be able to access it using the "Instance shell account name" provided when creating your Labs account and the private key matching the public key you supplied for authentication. For more information about accessing the project, please see Accessing Tool Labs and managing your files.


You will be notified on Wikitech that your user rights were changed, that your request was linked from 'Nova Resource:Tools', and that you have been added to the project Nova Resource:Tools. You will also receive email explaining that your user rights have been changed and that you are now a member of the group 'shell'. In other words, your Tool Labs account is ready for you to use!

Storage and use

Although you access Tool Labs via your Labs account, we strongly recommend against saving data or tools in any space that is accessible to individuals only. Tools and bots should be maintained in Tool accounts, which have flexible memberships (i.e., multiple people can help maintain the code!). For more information about Tool accounts, please see Joining and creating a Tool account.