Advanced Light Microscopy Facility

This facility offers a collection of state-of-the-art light microscopy equipment and image processing tools.


Together with EMBL’s IT department, the ALMF provides virtual machines (VMs) for image data analysis.

The VMs are powerful computers that are centrally installed in EMBL’s data centre and can be logged into remotely from any computer. Using the VMs you can efficiently analyse all data that you stored on one of your group’s file servers (Tier-1).

Very important usage notes

  • If you are trying to connect to a VM without booking you will be disconnected within 10 seconds.
  • If you “disconnect” the VM will keep on running and can be reconnected.
    • Example: You booked one VM for 6 hours; you can start an analysis, shut down your laptop, go home, and reconnect 4 hours later to check whether the analysis finished.
  • If your booking ends, you will be logged off automatically. All unsaved data will be lost without warning.
  • Upon log off all data that you saved on the VM (e.g. on the Desktop, C: or E: drive) will be automatically deleted without warning. In practice that means that you always and only should work with your data being on your group shares (data saved on your group shares will of course not be deleted when the VM logs off automatically).

Installation instructions

Please install the VM-Horizon client on your computer, follow the instructions on the EMBL 3D cloud page of ITS.

Booking instructions

The machines can be booked using EMBL’s resource booking system: ppms.embl.de

Please contact ALMF or create a PPMS training request to get access to the booking of these VMs.

In case you do not have a ppms account yet, please register here.


In case you have problems like “Loading Failed – dektop sources for this desktop are not responding”, please contact IT support by email or service request.

Booking fees

  • ALMF VM Gold: 1,20 Euro/hour for EMBL users. 1,50 Euro / hour for visitors
  • ALMF VM Silver: 0,50 Euro/hour for EMBL users. 0,64 Euro / hour for visitors
  • ALMF Remote WS1: 2,00 Euro/hour for EMBL users. 2,50 Euro/hour for visitors


Specifications of the available ALMF VMs are listed on the booking and equipment page.

Usage of Fiji on VMs

As everybody has their own flavor of Fiji (i.e. different update sites and different versions) we decided not to install Fiji and the VMs. However, one great thing about Fiji is that it does not need to be installed. Please simply copy a Windows 64bit version of Fiji on one of your group shares and start Fiji from there by double-clicking on ImageJ-win64.exe in the Fiji.app folder.

Further information from IT support