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System Access

SSH Access

Note: Access to our systems is likely to change in coming months, as we are extending and re-structuring our resources. Please revisit this page occasionally to stay abreast with any changes.

The standard way to access our resources is through ssh.

For security reasons, we are currently operating only one login node that is accessible from the outside through ssh. The IP address for this (Solaris) login node is, the node name is

$ ssh -X

| This system is for the use of authorized users only.            |
| Individuals using this computer system without authority, or in |
| excess of their authority, are subject to having all of their   |
| activities on this system monitored and recorded by system      |
| personnel.                                                      |
|                                                                 |
| In the course of monitoring individuals improperly using this   |
| system, or in the course of system maintenance, the activities  |
| of authorized users may also be monitored.                      |
|                                                                 |
| Anyone using this system expressly consents to such monitoring  |
| and is advised that if such monitoring reveals possible         |
| evidence of criminal activity, system personnel may provide the |
| evidence of such monitoring to law enforcement officials.       |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------|'s password: **********

Last login: Thu Jul  7 13:05:21 2016 from
       This is sflogin0, a dedicated login host on the HPCVL grid
         SunFire E2900, 24 x 1.8 GHz UltraSPARC-IV+, 192 GB RAM

    * Please contact HPCVL User Support with questions about usage


    * For system status updates, see

    * Available packages can be listed with "use -l"


The first time you connect to a new system using SSH, your client will ask you something along the lines of: "do you want to connect to a system with host key fingerprint xxxxxxxx?". Pick/type "yes" to continue connecting.

Make sure X-forwarding is enabled, either by using the -X option in the ssh command, or including it in the default settings of the ssh client. This is necessary if you want to use any software with a graphics component. You will need your username and your system access password to get in (here, we use hpcXXXX).

Other nodes, particularly the Linux login/workup node swlogin1 need to be accessed from sflogin0 through ssh. This requires typing your password again:

hpcXXXX@sflogin0$ ssh swlogin1
hpcXXXX@swlogin1's password:

Linux and Mac systems have an ssh client installed by default and don't require a special setup for this to work. On Windows systems, we suggest using MobaXterm, which is free for individual usage and has many useful features (such as an Xserver client, file transfer tool, and even a local "bash shell") built in.

Note for Mac Users

If you are using a Mac to login to our systems through ssh you may have to install XQuartz X11 Support on your computer. This is necessary to enable the display of graphics that was generated on a Unix server. Unfortunately, newer versions of OSX don't come with native X11-Windows support.

Access through the Portal

Note: Access through the portal is considered "legacy" at this point. We **highly recommend** connecting to our cluster using SSH instead of the portal (see above section). Connecting via SSH works every time, whereas using the portal may require significant troubleshooting on some systems.

The systems can be accessed from a Java enabled web browser:

  1. Visit directly or press the Portal Login button on our Web Page.
  2. Login using your Username and Password (same as for ssh).
  3. You will be brought to the Secure Global Desktop.
  4. To use any of the applications appearing on the left-hand side, such xterm (swlogin1), click on it.
  5. If the application is used for the first time, you will be prompted to provide username and password again. The portal will remember it next time. If the information changes, it will prompt you again.

Requirements for Portal

It is crucial to have a recent version of Java installed on your system. This includes a "Java Plugin" for the web browser. Check your Java at this Test Page. If you encounter portal issues they are almost invariably related to Java. Please contact us if you cannot get it to work.

Operating Systems

  • Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10


  • Microsoft Internet Explorer


The current portal is Java based. Most problems are due to missing or mis-configured Java plugins for your browser. Please see for detailed instructions for installing and configuring Java on your machine.

Common Issues with Portal / Java
System Browser Problem Solution
Any Google Chrome No NPAPI support Use Internet Explorer or login through SSH
Any Firefox No plugin support Use Internet Explorer or login through SSH
Any Any SGD client not installed automatically
  • Using another browser first to install the client, then try again.
  • For manual install, download the SGD client. After install, shut down the browser and retry.
Windows Internet Explorer Security Settings prevent automatic install Add the SGD server to the list of Trusted Sites in Internet Explorer's Security Settings.
MacOSX > 10.5 Any No X11 support Install the XQuartz XWindows System