Connecting to RCC Resources

In order to make use of resources provided by the Research Computing Center you must first obtain an RCC user account. RCC resources are available to all University of Chicago affiliated faculty. Accounts can be provided to students, staff, and external collaborators who have a sponsoring UChicago faculty member (Principal Investigator). For more information about obtaining an RCC account see Getting Started. Use of RCC systems is governed by the RCC User Policy.

Credentials

All users must have a UChicago CNetID to log in to any RCC system. Your RCC account uses the same username/password as your CNetID:

Username: CNetID
Password: CNet password

If you would like to request an RCC account, please see Getting Started.

Note

RCC does not store your CNet password and we are unable to reset your password. If you require password assistance, please see the CNet Password Recovery webpage.

Connecting with SSH

Access to RCC resources is provided via secure shell (SSH) login. Most Unix-like operating systems (Mac OS X, Linux, etc) provide an ssh utility by default that can be accessed by typing the command ssh in a terminal window.

Note

If you are not sure to which HPC system (Midway1 or Midway2) you should login, we suggest you start with Midway1.

To login to Midway1 or Midway2 from a Linux or Mac computer, open a terminal and at the command line enter:

Midway1 Midway2
$ ssh <CNetID>@midway1.rcc.uchicago.edu $ ssh <CNetID>@midway2.rcc.uchicago.edu

Upon logging in to Midway1 or Midway2, you will be connected to a “login node”.

Logging into midway.rcc.uchicago.edu will connect you to one of two Midway1 login nodes: midway-login1.rcc.uchicago.edu or midway-login2.rcc.uchicago.edu. You also have the option to connect to midway1.rcc.uchicago.edu, which will connect you to the same login nodes.

Midway2 will connect you to one of two Midway2 login nodes: midway2-login1.rcc.uchicago.edu or midway2-login2.rcc.uchicago.edu.

Note

Login nodes are not intended to be used for computionally intensive work. For running computationally intensive programs, see Running Jobs on Midway.

Windows users will first need to download an ssh client, such as PuTTY or MobaXterm_, which will allow you to interact with the remote Unix command line. Use the following information to set up your connection:

Midway1 Midway2
Hostname: midway1.rcc.uchicago.edu Hostname: midway2.rcc.uchicago.edu
Username: <CNetID> Username: <CNetID>
Password: <CNet password> Password: <CNet password>

Note

XQuartz_ is required for Mac computers if users decide to use ssh -Y (trusted X11 forwarding)

Connecting with ThinLinc

ThinLinc is a remote desktop server that can be used to connect to RCC systems and obtain a remote graphical user interface (GUI). RCC recommands that ThinLinc be used when running software that requires a GUI.

Note

ThinLinc is now available on both Midway1 and Midway2. You can connect to Midway1 HPC system via the ThinLinc web client (browser) at https://midway.rcc.uchicago.edu or https://midway1.rcc.uchicago.edu. You can connect to Midway2 at https://midway2.rcc.uchicago.edu. The performance will be slower, but no client download is necessary.

There are some differences between the Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux clients, but for the most part, these steps should be followed:

  • Download and install the appropriate ThinLinc client here: https://www.cendio.com/thinlinc/download

  • Open the ThinLinc client and use the following information to set up your connection for Midway1 (or Midway2):

    Server: midway1.rcc.uchicago.edu
    Username: CNetID
    Password: CNet password
    

Your client should look similar to this:

connecting/img/thinlinc-client2.png
  • The default setting for ThinLinc is for the client to open in a fullscreen window that fills “all monitors.” If you would prefer to work with ThinLinc from its own window, click Options from the initial login interface and then Screen to adjust your settings as desired. The following is an example of a setup that places the ThinLinc client in its own window:
../_images/thinlinc-options.png
  • Optional: You are also able to export local resources via ThinLinc. To do so, click Options from the initial login interface and then Local Devices. To adjust your settings for exporting the local file system, click Details next to Drives.
../_images/thinlinc-local-resources.png
  • Upon successfully logging in, you will be presented with an IceWM desktop. Select Applications in the bottom left corner to access the terminal, file browser, and other utilities.
../_images/thinlinc-desktop.png

With ThinLinc it is possible to maintain an active session after you have closed your connection to Midway. To disconned from Midway but maintain an active session (e.g. when you log back into the ThinLinc client you will resume your remote session from where you left off), simply close the ThinLinc window. NOTE: You must have End existing session unchecked for this to occur.

To exit ThinLinc and terminate your session completely, simply select Logout from the Applications menu.

Remote Visualization

RCC provides a mechanism for accessing a GPU-equipped visualization node in the Midway compute cluster which can be used for running 3D and graphics-intensive visualization software packages. This tool is called sviz and should be used if you will be running software that relies on OpenGL for 3D rendering. To use Sviz:

Note

Sviz is available ONLY for Midway1.

  • Log into Midway1 via ThinLinc. See Connecting with ThinLinc for more information.
  • Once logged in, open a terminal from the Applications menu or by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting Terminal.
../_images/thinlinc-desktop.png
  • In the terminal window, issue the command sviz
../_images/sviz-terminal.png
  • After a few seconds, you will be connected to one of Midway’s visualization nodes. To run an OpenGL-dependent program, preface the command to launch the program with the vglrun command:

    $ vglrun <command>
    
../_images/sviz-glxgears.png

To exit Sviz, simply close the terminal window from which it was launched. You can then logout of Midway by selecting Logout from the Applications menu in ThinLinc, or by simply closing the ThinLinc window.