Launching Quantum Mobile#

Desktop Edition with VirtualBox#

  • Download the latest VirtualBox image from the releases

  • Install Virtual Box 6.1.6 or later

  • Import the virtual machine image into Virtualbox: File => Import Appliance

Cloud Edition on remote server#


Although Quantum Mobile is free and open-source, running a server on a cloud platform cloud will incur a cost.

We have started offering pre-built Quantum Mobile images on a selection of cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services and the Google Cloud Platform, since this allows launching a VM from such an image with just a few clicks.

We are in the process of evaluating which platforms to target and whether to release a separate image for the Cloud Edition (e.g. in ova format). Your feedback is welcome!

Amazon Web Services (AWS)#


  • Open the Amazon EC2 console at

  • Click “Launch instance”

  • Select “Community AMIs”

  • Enter AMI ID in search bar (without ami- prefix, e.g.: 006638a0a99849fc3)

  • Select Quantum Mobile AMI

  • Select instance type depending on your computational needs (e.g. t2.medium)

  • (optional) click through to storage section if you need to change the disk size from the default of 15GB

  • Click “Review and Launch”

  • Click “Launch”

  • Create a new key pair

  • Launch the VM


Since Quantum Mobile is based on the Ubuntu image, the SSH public key will be added to the ubuntu user (hardcoded by AWS), while the simulation environment has been set up for the max user.

In order to log in as the max user using your key, do the following:

ssh ubuntu@<IP> -i /path/to/key.pem  # or use putty, ...
sudo cat ~ubuntu/.ssh/authorized_keys >> ~max/.ssh/authorized_keys

Now you can log in as the max user:

ssh max@<IP> -i /path/to/key.pem

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)#


  • Go to one of the links in the releases page, such as quantum-mobile-20-05-0

  • Click on “CREATE INSTANCE”

  • Adapt VM to your needs

  • Use ssh-keygen on your machine to create an SSH private-public key pair

  • Open the public key in a text editor & edit the user@server bit at the end, replacing user by max

  • Under “Security”, copy-paste the public SSH key
    (GCP will add this key to the max user)

  • Click on “Create”

  • Copy IP address

After a few seconds, you should be able to log in to your new server via:

ssh max@<IP> -i /path/to/key.pem

Setting up the SSH connection#

Linux and MacOS#

Place the private ssh key that provides access to your server in the SSH key directory:

  • If you don’t already have a .ssh directory in your homefolder, create it and set its permissions:

    mkdir ~/.ssh
    chmod 700 ~/.ssh
  • Copy the private key (let’s call it key.pem) into the ~/.ssh directory

  • Set the correct permissions on the private key chmod 600 ~/.ssh/key.pem. The permissions shown by ls -l should be -rw-------.

Once the ssh key is in place, add the following block your ~/.ssh/config file (create it if it does not exist):

Host qmcloud
   Hostname IP_ADDRESS
   User max
   IdentityFile ~/.ssh/key.pem
   ForwardX11 yes
   ForwardX11Trusted yes
   LocalForward 8888 localhost:8888
   LocalForward 8890 localhost:8890
   LocalForward 5000 localhost:5000
   ServerAliveInterval 120

replacing the IP address (IP_ADDRESS) with the one for the cloud VM.

Afterwards you can connect to the server using:

$ ssh qmcloud


On MacOS you need to install XQuartz in order to use X-forwarding.


If your port 8888 is already occupied (e.g. because you are running a jupyter notebook server locally), you may see the following warning when connecting to the server:

bind []:8888: Address already in use
channel_setup_fwd_listener_tcpip: cannot listen to port: 8888

We suggest you stop any locally running jupyter notebook servers before connecting to the VM. If necessary, you can start them again after you have connected (jupyter notebook will then realize that port 8888 is already taken and simply serve the notebook on a different port).


If you’re running Windows 10, consider installing the Windows Subsystem for Linux (and then follow the instructions above).


  • Install the PuTTY SSH client.

  • Run PuTTYGen

    • Load the key.pem private key (button “Load”). You may need to choose to show “All files (.)”, and select the file without any extension (Type: File).

    • In the same window, click on “Save private Key”, and save the key with the name key.ppk (don’t specify a password).

  • Run Pageant

    • It will add a new icon near the clock, in the bottom right of your screen.

    • Right click on this Pageant icon, and click on “View Keys”.

    • Click on “Add key” and select the key.ppk you saved a few steps above.

  • Run PuTTY

    • Put the given IP address as hostname, type qmcloud in “Saved Sessions” and click “Save”.

    • Go to Connection > Data and put max as autologin username.

    • Go to Connection > SSH > Tunnels, type 8888 in the “Source Port” box, type localhost:8888 in “Destination” and click “Add”.

    • Repeat the previous step for port 5000 and 8890 instead of 8888.

    • Go back to the “Session” screen, select “qmcloud” and click “Save”

    • Finally, click “Open” (and click “Yes” on the putty security alert to add the VM to your known hosts). You should be redirected to a bash terminal on the virtual machine.


Next time you open PuTTY, select qmcloud and click “Load” before clicking “Open”.

In order to enable X-forwarding: