Connecting to the head node

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Secure Shell, or SSH, is a cryptographic (encrypted) network protocol to allow remote login and other network services to operate securely over an unsecured network. The most visible application of the protocol is for access to shell accounts on Unix-like operating systems.
SSH can be used for both command line and GUI applications.

Using Windows[edit]

On Microsoft Windows, things are a bit tricky. Windows does not come with a built-in SSH client, so you have to install one first. As a shell client, we recommend the popular software Putty, it is free and well made.

  • Download putty here;
  • Run putty.exe;
  • Login to server as shown below:


Type in user-name and password:


You now have your Unix/Linux prompt. On our cluster, the command qstat -Q will show you a quick summary of the queues status, as you can see below.


Also, if you need to securely transfer a file between a local and a remote computer, WinSCP offers basic file manager and file synchronization functionality.

  • Download WinSCP here;
  • Execute WinSCP.exe;
  • Login to with username and password:



Using Linux[edit]

To access the cluster from Linux:

  • Open Gnome Terminal or any other terminal emulator;
  • Install SSH if you don't have it already; refer to the documentation of you Linux distro to know how to do it;
  • Type ssh;
  • Type your password;
  • Do your stuff.

To close the session, type exit or press CTRL + D. For secure file transfer, you can use the command line utilities scp or sftp, for example:

$ scp -r ./localdir/

scp starts the relative path from the user home directory; the -r switch is used to copy multiple files and directories. Alternatively, you can also use built in remote capabilities in a file-browser such as Nautilus in Gnome:

  • Open file browser (Nautilus);
  • Switch to “Go To”- view: use key combination CTRL + L;
  • In “Go-to” input box type s;
  • Type your username and password; then select “connect”.

Using MacOS X[edit]

This is how to login the cluster from a Mac, it works more or less like in Linux (see above):

  • Open Terminal;
  • Type ssh;
  • Type your password;
  • Do your stuff.

To close the session, type exit or press CTRL + D. Refer to the Linux paragraph for instructions on how to use SCP.