Tutorial: Set up a classroom lab

In this tutorial, you set up a classroom lab with virtual machines that are used by students in the classroom.

In this tutorial, you do the following actions:

  • Create a classroom lab
  • Add users to the lab
  • Send registration link to students


To set up a classroom lab in a lab account, you must be a member of one of these roles in the lab account: Owner, Lab Creator, or Contributor. The account you used to create a lab account is automatically added to the owner role.

A lab owner can add other users to the Lab Creator role. For example, a lab owner adds professors to the Lab Creator role. Then, the professors create labs with VMs for their classes. Students use the registration link that they receive from professors to register to the lab. Once they are registered, they can use VMs in the labs to do the class work and home work. For detailed steps for adding users to the Lab Creator role, see Add a user to the Lab Creator role.

Create a classroom lab

  1. Navigate to Azure Lab Services website. Note that Internet Explorer 11 is not supported yet.

  2. Select Sign in and enter your credentials. Azure Lab Services supports organizational accounts and Microsoft accounts.

  3. In the New Lab window, do the following actions:

    1. Specify a name for your lab.

    2. Specify the maximum number of virtual machines in the lab. You can increase or decrease the number of VMs after creating the lab or in an existing lab. For more information, see Update number of VMs in a lab

    3. Select Save.

      Create a classroom lab

  4. On the Select virtual machine specifications page, do the following steps:

    1. Select a size for virtual machines (VMs) created in the lab. Currently, small, medium, medium (virtualization), large, and GPU sizes are allowed.

    2. Select the VM image to be used to create VMs in the lab. If you select a Linux image, you see an option to enable remote desktop connection for it. For details, see Enable remote desktop connection for Linux.

    3. Select Next.

      Specify VM specifications

  5. On the Set credentials page, specify default credentials for all VMs in the lab.

    1. Specify the name of the user for all VMs in the lab.

    2. Specify the password for the user.


      Make a note of user name and password. They won't be shown again.

    3. Select Create.

      Set credentials

  6. On the Configure template page, you see the status of lab creation process. The creation of the template in the lab takes up to 20 minutes.

    Configure template

  7. After the configuration of the template is complete, you see the following page:

    Configure template page after it's done

  8. On the Configure template page, do the following steps: These steps are optional for the tutorial. 2. Connect to the template VM by selecting Connect. If it's a Linux template VM, you choose whether you want to connect using SSH or RDP (if RDP is enabled).

    1. Select Reset password to reset the password for the VM.
    2. Install and configure software on your template VM.
    3. Stop the VM.
    4. Enter a description for the template
  9. Select Next on the template page.

  10. On Publish the template page, do the following actions.

    1. To publish the template immediately, select Publish.


      Once you publish, you can't unpublish.

    2. To publish later, select Save for later. You can publish the template VM after the wizard finishes. For details on how to configure and publish after the wizard finishes, see Publish the template section in the How to manage classroom labs article.

      Publish template

  11. You see the progress of publishing the template. This process can take up to an hour.

    Publish template - progress

  12. You see the following page when the template is published successfully. Select Done.

    Publish template - success

  13. You see the dashboard for the lab.

    Classroom lab dashboard

  14. Switch to the Virtual machines page by selecting Virtual machines on the left menu or by selecting Virtual machines tile. Confirm that you see virtual machines that are in Unassigned state. These VMs are not assigned to students yet. They should be in Stopped state. You can start a student VM, connect to the VM, stop the VM, and delete the VM on this page. You can start them in this page or let your students start the VMs.

    Virtual machines in stopped state

Add users to the lab

  1. Select Users on the left menu. By default, the Restrict access option is enabled. When this setting is on, a user can't register with the lab even if the user has the registration link unless the user is in the list of users. Only users in the list can register with the lab by using the registration link you send. In this procedure, you add users to the list. Alternatively, you can turn off Restrict access, which allows users to register with the lab as long as they have the registration link.

  2. Select Add users on the toolbar.

    Add users button

  3. On the Add users page, enter email addresses of users in separate lines or in a single line separated by semicolons.

    Add user email addresses

  4. Select Save. You see the email addresses of users and their statuses (registered or not) in the list.

    Users list

Set quotas for users

You can set quotas per user by using the following steps:

  1. Select Users on the left menu if the page isn't already active.

  2. Select Quota per user: 10 hours on the toolbar.

  3. On the Quota per user page, specify the number of hours you want to give to each user (student):

    1. Total number of lab hours per user. Users can use their VMs for the set number of hours (specified for this field) in addition to the scheduled time. If you select this option, enter the number of hours in the text box.

      Number of hours per user.

    2. 0 hours (schedule only). Users can use their VMs only during the scheduled time or when you as the lab owner turns on VMs for them.

      Zero hours - only scheduled time

    3. Select Save.

  4. You see the changed values on the toolbar now: Quota per user: <number of hours>.

    Quota per user

Set a schedule for the lab

If you configured the quota setting to 0 hours (schedule only), you must set a schedule for the lab. In this tutorial, you set the schedule to be a recurring weekly schedule.

  1. Switch to the Schedules page, and select Add schedule on the toolbar.

    Add schedule button on the Schedules page

  2. On the Add schedule page, switch to Weekly at the top.

  3. For Schedule days (required), select the days on which you want the schedule to take effect. In the following example, Monday-Friday is selected.

  4. For the From field, enter the schedule start date or pick a date by selecting the calendar button. This field is required.

  5. For Schedule end date, enter or select an end date on which the VMs are to be shut down.

  6. For Start time, select the time at which you want the VMs to be started. The start time is required if the stop time is not set. Select Remove start event if you want to specify only the stop time. if the Start time is disabled, select Add start event next to the drop-down list to enable it.

  7. For Stop time, select the time at which you want the VMs to be shut down. The stop time is required if the start time is not set. Select Remove stop event if you want to specify only the start time. if the Stop time is disabled, select Add stop event next to the drop-down list to enable it.

  8. For Time zone (required), select the time zone for the start and stop times you specified.

  9. For Notes, enter any description or notes for the schedule.

  10. Select Save.

    Weekly schedule

  1. Switch to the Users view if you are not on the page already.

  2. Select specific or all users in the list. To select specific users, select check boxes in the first column of the list. To select all users, select the check box in front of the title of the first column (Name) or select all check boxes for all users in the list. You can see the status of the invitation state in this list. In the following image, the invitation state for all students is set to Invitation not sent.

    Select students

  3. Select the email icon (envelope) in one of the rows (or) select Send invitation on the toolbar. You can also hover the mouse over a student name in the list to see the email icon.

    Send registration link by email

  4. On the Send registration link by email page, follow these steps:

    1. Type an optional message that you want to send to the students. The email automatically includes the registration link.

    2. On the Send registration link by email page, select Send. You see the status of invitation changing to Sending invitation and then to Invitation sent.

      Invitations sent

Next steps

In this tutorial, you created a classroom lab, and configured the lab. To learn how a student can access a VM in the lab using the registration link, advance to the next tutorial: