Using the Lab Enviroment

Using the Lab Environment

This article and diagram below should assist you in understanding the different functionality within Learning Zone. Depending on the functionality required within your lab, you may not see all of the below features in every lab environment.

Launching a lab

After selecting the lab that you want to launch in the explore page of Learning Zone, you will be redirected to a page containing a description of the selected lab. In order to launch this, select the button that says Launch your Hands-on Lab.

VM-less labs

Certain labs in Learning Zone do not have a Virtual Machine attached to them as it is not needed. These labs show as the guide only along with necessary credentials for accessing the chosen cloud provider. To complete a VM-less lab, all you need to do is follow the instructions provided in the guide.

VM-based labs

Some labs in Learning Zone will launch a Virtual Environment consisting of one or more Virtual Machines (VMs) for you to complete the lab within. The following will walk you through the options available for you within these virtual environments.

Learning Zone VM Environment

Virtual Machine power controls

There may be some labs which will require you to power up, power down or restart VM. You can do this by clicking the VM Power Operations button and choosing the option you require.


Alternatively, if the VM is turned off when you start a lab session you can click power on button if required.

Virtual Machine control area

Virtual Machines selection menu

This is where you select the different virtual machines available for your lab.

Power menu

The power menu enables you to turn on/off and force reboot Virtual Machines.

Reconnect to VM

The Reconnect to VM button re-establishes your connection to the VM Environment. If you’re experiencing problems with your Virtual Machine, pressing the Reconnect to VM button may help remedy your issues.

Username and Password

The username and password for the selected VM is displayed here. On occasions where labs require users to login with multiple accounts then only the main username and password will be displayed.

Username and Password paste feature

Note the small paste button next to the Username and Password fields. Upon clicking the username paste button, it will insert the username into the Virtual Machine username box (if selected) and automatically tab to the Password field.

By clicking the password paste feature it will automatically paste the password into the password field and press enter for you.

Ctrl+Alt+Del button

The Ctrl+Alt+Del button simply sends the sequence to the selected Virtual Machine.

Cloud provider credentials

If the lab you have launched makes use of a cloud provider such as Azure or AWS, you will find the credentials for the cloud provider account below the VM credentials. These credentials are also pasteable into the VM environment.

Tools area

Screenshot button

By selecting the screenshot button, it will take a screenshot of the selected VM area and save the image file to your local machine. If you are posting on the forum with an issue relating to your lab, it is a good idea to provide screenshots with your issue.

Paste function

The paste button allows you to paste text that you have copied on your local machine into the VM environment. Pressing the button immediately pastes into the VM area.

Enhanced mode

Enhanced mode enables Virtual Machines to fill the full Virtual Machine screen area. It also enables audio to be played on your local machines directly through the web browser. When you initially switch to enhanced mode, occasionally you may lose connection with the VM environment. Simply press the Reconnect to VM button to fix this issue.

Lab Guide

Labs will have a guide for you to follow attached to them. To access this, you need to select Guide at the top of the page. This will bring up the guide for the lab.

You can resize the lab guide by clicking and dragging on the right hand side of the lab guide.

Lab Timer

All of the labs are set to close after a certain amount of time. The time remaining is located at the top of the VM options/guide area if the lab is VM-based. If the lab is VM-less, the timer is located on the left-hand side above the credentials.

When you have 15 minutes remaining on your lab you will receive a pop-up warning you that you only have 15 minutes left on the lab session.

Dynamic content/Pasteable links

In lab guides, you will find some parts of the text are highlighted in green with a little paste icon next to them. These symbolise pasteable content. If your lab is VM-based, clicking one of these green pieces of text will paste the text itself into the Virtual Machine. If your lab does not have a VM, then clicking one of these pieces of text will copy the text to your clipboard so that you can paste it in your local machine.

You may also find code blocks. These can be used the same way as dynamic links by clicking the small paste icon to the left of the code block.