Apply for a VM

Apply for a VM

We are able to offer Virtual Machines (VMs) for individual and group based project systems. This technology is ideal for a Windows or Linux server running web or database type applications but is not suitable for graphics, multimedia and specialised hardware dependent applications.

To request a virtual machine please read these notes and then fill in the form below.

The currently supported operating systems we offer as VMs are Windows Server 2019, Windows 10, and Rocky 9.

After the system has been configured the system manager will be responsible for the ongoing security of the system and to ensure that it follows UCL computer usage policies. The system manager must follow security best practices for any applications that are installed and ensure that the applications and the operating system are kept up to date with security patches.

All virtual machines are firewalled locally by the OS, at the departmental CS level and at the college UCL level. Usually we will not open firewall ports for student project machines as you can use the Student VPN or setup a SSH tunnel to access your project system from outside CS. 

Staff users who have un-managed systems can configure the OS firewall but will have to request ports that you want opened at both the CS and UCL level by contacting us and applying to ISD. Please be aware that certain ports considered to be vulnerable will not be opened at the departmental or college level. For example, TCP 3389 (RDP) and TCP 23 (Telnet).

Linux comes into two options managed and unmanaged. If you choose unmanaged Linux the system manager is granted sudo access. Windows systems are all unmanaged and the system manager will be given an admin account. Managed Linux do not have root or sudo access but have access to departmental resources and infrastructure.

On all VMs whether managed or un-managed the system manager is responsible for managing the applications installed. VMs are not backed up and it is the system managers responsibility to arrange the backing up of data and configuration.

All VMs are created with 4GB RAM. In our experience most servers run well within this memory limit. In exceptional cases we will allocate more memory. The disk allocation of 50GB is based around what we have found the typical project system to need. You can request more disk space in the notes section but please be aware that virtual machine resources are shared and the technology is expensive (we currently have over 700 VMs).

It is important that you fill in the correct expiry date. When a VM reaches its expiry date we will email the system manager to remind you that your VM is due to expire and you have the option of extending the life of the VM. Expired VMs are shutdown and archived for three months after which the VM image is deleted.



If you are a taught student (BSc/MSc) your system will placed in the student network and therefore can be accessed via systems connected to the student network. PhD Students and staff systems will be placed in the staff network.


External firewall ports

If you wish to request that certain ports for both CS and UCL external firewalls are opened to your Virtual Machine you must fill in the form below. Please note:

  • Temporary exceptions must have an expiry date
  • UCL firewall requests typically take 48 hours
  • Vulnerable or high risk ports will not be opened