Connection Choices - Terminal/Character

Before attempting any access to the devices in the labs, you should consider the firewall setting. The "firewall wizard" on the main labs page and the login page helps you to determine whether you have any firewall or proxy restrictions that affect the use of character-based lab devices. The firewall wizard should recommend to you one of four choices:

  • Standard - telnet is run from your system, using a program on your system, to reach the devices. It uses ports 2001, 2002, up to 2161. Usually this will only work if you are running a lab from home (ISPs rarely impose firewall restrictions currently) or a fairly open corporate network.
  • Port 23 - runs telnet from your system, using a program on your system, to reach the devices. But rather than using the frequently-closed ports in the 2000 range, it uses port 23, which is sometimes open for outbound traffic on a corporate network.
  • Port 80 - similar to the port 23 option. Uses port 80 which is normally used for http (web page) access.
  • Port 443 - similar to the port 80 option, Uses port 443 which is normally used for https (secure web page) access.

    Important Notes:
    • When using the HyperTerminal link for Standard, Port 23,Port 80 or Port 443, you should be prompted to open or download a file whose name ends in .ht. Internet Explorer 7 does not allow HyperTerminal files to be launched from the tempororary directory to which files are downloaded when you select "Open." So please choose "Save" and save the file to the desktop or My Documents, overwriting any prior version of the file if necessary. When the download is over, then launch it with the "Open" button.
    • You may find that you are not allowed the choice to "Save". If this is the case, you may be able to get this choice back with My Computer, Tools menu, Folder options command, File Types tab, HT (type those two keys), Advanced button, OK button, Close button.

  • Tarantella - telnet is actually run from within the lab system, and is therefore unaware of any port restrictions on your corporate network. The session is supported on port 443 through the SSL-encrypted Tarantella system. This should work for almost all corporate firewalls.
    Important Note: If you take two or more reservations using Tarantella back-to-back, it is important to log out of the Tarantella window and close its browser window, in between the two reservations.

Technical Support

Should you experience problems accessing the web site, help is available during normal business days, excluding holidays, during the times of 8:00am - 8:00pm EST at +1 (866) 825-8555 or by email.


Clicking Settings shows you your username, account expiration date and credit balances. You can also see or change your default firewall and time zone settings.

The default firewall and time zone settings are specific to the browser and are stored in a browser cookie. If you change browsers or computers this value may change, most often to a default setting or the setting you last had for that browser on that computer system. For example, you might perform labs at work with a firewall setting of "Tarantella," but then log in at home and discover your default firewall mode is now "Standard". You may keep it "Standard" at home, then return to work to find your setting is again "Tarantella." These settings will also change back to default settings if you delete all the cookies within your browser.



The Configurations command allows you to review configurations you have saved previously. Each configuration is identified by the date and time that it was saved, in the form:

Devices saved within the configuration are listed by name. To review a device configuration, click its name. To download all configurations, click "all devices." You may briefly document the configuration in the description field by typing the information and clicking the update descriptions link. To delete a configuration, click the delete checkbox and the delete selected link.


Scheduling a Lab

The Lab interface offers two ways of setting up a lab reservation.  Usually you can do a lab "on the fly" without needing a prior reservation, but if most pods are reserved, it may be beneficial to make an advanced reservation.

The Schedule command shows you reservations you already have and allows you to reschedule them or schedule new ones. If there are no future or in-progress reservations, you will immediately see the scheduling page.

The Enter command allows you to begin performing the lab exercise. You are allowed to enter a waiting page starting 15 minutes before the lab. This page will display a server clock using the local time of the server, and a countdown clock. Once the lab starts, the page will change to provide access to the equipment.  During the lab, you can refer back to the lab document from the lab session page. You are given warnings at the 5- and 1-minute marks before the end of the lab session. Most labs permit approximately one hour, minus setup time, to complete the lab.


More Articles...

  1. Selecting a Lab