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F5 Training Course Interface
F5 Training Course Interface
Steve Mitchell avatar
Written by Steve Mitchell
Updated over a week ago

This article covers the basics of using the Courses interface. If you are trying to join a course for the first time, please see How to join a training course.

There are three main sections of the Courses interface - the toolbar, the left hand column, and the focus area in the middle. More details on each of those are below:

  • Toolbar - this contains the Documentation and Deployment links which change what shows up in the Focus Area. It also has a way to raise your hand for assistance, and a profile icon that you can use to manage SSH keys.

  • Left Hand Column - this shows how long the course lasts, allows you to leave the session, and contains a list of participants and details. This column can be hidden completely for more screen space by using the arrow in the top left of the interface.

  • Focus Area - this is where the majority of the content appears. You can change what you see by clicking on the Documentation or Deployment links in the toolbar. Most of the time, you will use the Deployment view.

  • Meeting Info - this link will show details on how to join any included audio/video session.

The Documentation area may contain links to lab guides, video conference sessions, and other details you should read prior to starting the session.

Clicking on the Deployment link at the top of the interface changes the focus to the systems and networks that are part of this training course.

Interacting with your Deployment

The Deployment area is where you will be spending the majority of your time during the course. You can interact with the various components in your deployment in a number of ways, depending on how the course has been set up by the instructor.

Clicking the Details link for any component will show information about the VM or network and allow you to understand more about the configuration.

Clicking on Access will present a menu of different choices depending on how the deployment is setup by the instructor. In the examples above, you can see ways to access the F5 product UI (TMUI), a web shell to several devices, and an RDP session into a Windows system.

SSH is greyed out because I have not setup an SSH key, which you can do by clicking the profile icon in the upper right corner of the interface.

The Access option is the primary way you will interact with the devices in the lab. Check with your instructor or lab guide for details on what to access and when.

SSH Access

Many courses leverage a web shell for devices and that is the preferred method for interacting with them. However, your instructor, or you, may wish to use SSH instead. In order to do so, you need to have an SSH key configured with the UDF. We use passwordless, key-only authentication into every device within the course.

To create a key, click on the profile icon in the upper right of the courses interface.

Click Create SSH Key

Provide your public key in the "Key" field, and give the key a name. 

Once you have the key in the system, the SSH option will be available for those devices that support it. Some additional notes:

SSH v2 - we only support SSH v2. 

Protocol Handler - you may wish to install a protocol handler for your browser so that SSH links open a particular app. For Windows, we've seen good results using SSH Handler if you are using Putty. For Mac, we've seen good results with RCDefaultApp.

CLI SSH - if you prefer to manually type in the commands to SSH into a device, you can find the necessary information by clicking the Details link for the device, and then the Access Methods tab at the top.  In the example above, you can use the command under "External:" and your SSH client to connect to the device.

RDP Access

When accessing a device via RDP, the UDF will send you an RDP file created on the fly with the access information and resolution size chosen. Due to limitations in Microsoft's implementation of RDP, we cannot embed the password in this file.

Clicking on the Details link for a device will show a page with usernames/passwords depending on how your instructor has set up the course. You can use this password when prompted by your RDP client.

RDP Client Support

Windows - all Microsoft-provided RDP clients should work with the provided file. You may get certificate warnings which are OK to ignore.

Mac - we only support Microsoft Desktop version 10.x or newer, usually found in the App Store. Older RDP clients will not work correctly.

Leaving A Course

If you need to leave the course early, or if there is a problem with your Deployment, you can click the Leave Session button in the top left of the interface.

You will be asked to confirm that you want to leave and delete your deployment. This will destroy the systems and related content that was part of your training course. There is no undo.

If you are having an issue with your current Deployment, you can leave and delete the problematic one, click "Join" again in the course lobby, and you will have a new Deployment that you can start over with.

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