VCM Support Guide

VCM Support Guide

Overview of Service

What is VCM?

VCM (Virtual Computing Manager) is a system which provides Duke students and instructors with semester-long access to two types of resources: containers, running applications such as RStudio and Jupiter, and virtual machines (VMs), with access to a full operating system. These environments are intended for coursework, software development, and as test servers for projects.

Who is eligible to access these resources? What is the responsibility of use?

VCM resources are available to all students, faculty, and staff at Duke, however they are designed specifically for undergraduate course work or technology exploration.  Affiliates or other designations cannot access this resource.

These are “sandbox” resources intended for educational, experimental, and short term uses, not for any production or long-term needs.  They are considered “disposable” and are not ensured any uptime or backup.

Students may requisition a single Virtual Machine at a time, however there are certain cases when a user may increase their maximum allotment (see below).

 How do I access my resources?

Virtual Machines and containers can be requisitioned at  See VCM FAQ for additional details.

Requesting a Second VM

Users may only reserve a single VM at any given time, unless they are using a VM that was created specifically for a course.  In that case, if the faculty has used Kits to request the VM for their course, student use of that resource will not count toward their one-VM maximum reservation.  Students occasionally still may need access to a second VM if they are using for personal projects or exploration.  Requests for additional VMs should include information about what classes they are in as well as any other details about their use of VCM.  Non-students requesting additional VMs should also provide information about their intended use and acknowledge that these resources are not intended for business-critical or production systems.  Tickets should then be routed to “Virtual Machine Managers-OIT" group in Service Now to increase their quota

Frequently Asked Questions

Running list of common questions and answers:

Common Issues

  • Cannot connect to VM – Ensure that the VM is powered on.  VMs are powered on from the VM Management Tools Panel at  Next, confirm that user is on Duke’s network or on VPN.  (  Additionally, if there are still issues, VM may be in a quarantined state, which can be confirmed by checking Planisphere.  If VM is quarantined, user will need to destroy and re-request a new VM.
  • Cannot connect to container – Containers are only accessible through VCM directly, they cannot be bookmarked and are powered down by default each night.  To power the container back up, just click “click here to log in” on container list page.  If there are still issues, click “request a restart” which will rebuild the container, potentially solving the issue.  If there are still access issues, route the ticket to “Virtual Machine Managers-OIT" group.

Supplemental Resources

  • VCM FAQ -
  • For support learning how to use linux, other software tools, etc – Innovation Co-Lab Office Hours ( or Co-Lab Roots courses (
  • For research-focused virtual resources -
  • For production, business critical virtual machines or sensitive data storage  –

Article number: KB0034316

Valid to: February 14, 2025