Connecting to RC Systems

Getting Started

To gain access to the RC systems, users must have two-factor authentication enabled through a Duo account (more information here) and a SSH client. MacOSX and Linux systems come with a SSH client installed, while Microsoft Windows systems will need one installed. We recommend the SSH Secure Shell Client, as it has a file manager built into it, but users can also use PuTTY.

From the Linux/MacOSX/SSH client command line, type in the following command to connect:

ssh -p 222

where username is the username assigned when your account is created, and servername is the appropriate server host name. Available systems are listed below.
All systems use SSH on port 222

To enable graphical programs on the cluster, add the -X option to the above ssh command. This enables transparent forwarding of X applications to your local screen, which directs the communication through an encrypted tunnel.

You will then be prompted for your password, provided at account creation, and Duo authentication. Once authenticated, you will be connected to a login node.

After your initial login, change your password using the command passwd on a login node. Your password should contain:

  • At least 8 characters
  • A mixture of upper and lower case letters
  • At least one digit and at least one special characters
  • Login Nodes

    A login node is connected to the external network and to the private cluster network, but does not run jobs itself. It is intended for:

  • compiling code
  • developing applications
  • submitting applications to the cluster for execution
  • monitoring running applications
  • post-processing and managing data.
  • DO NOT RUN JOBS ON HEADNODES. Multiple offenses will result in account suspension.

    Basic Tasks

    Once you have logged into a cluster, you will navigate and execute programs through the Bash shell. Here is a short list of useful BASH commands for users:

    pwd displays your current directory
    ls displays what files are in your current directory
    cd .. moves you up one level to the folder above your current directory
    cd ../.. moves up two levels
    cd move to your home directory

    For further information on how to use the Bash shell, see the following resources:

  • To transfer files from the cluster to your computer, or from your computer to the cluster, use the command scp.

    For example, to copy from the cluster to your computer, use the command

    scp -P 222 ~/path/to/destination

    The -P argument specifies the port to connect to on the remote host, which in this case is port 222.

    To copy from your computer to the cluster, use the command

    scp -P 222 ~/path/to/file