Connecting to RCC Resources

The information here describes how users can access RCC resources. All users of RCC resources are responsible for knowing and abiding by the RCC User Policy. Upon logging in to Midway2, you will be connected to either one of two Midway2 login nodes (midway2-login1.rcc.uchicago.edu or midway2-login2.rcc.uchicago.edu).

Note

The login nodes are NOT intended to be used for computionally intensive work. For running computationally intensive programs, see Running jobs on midway.


Account Credentials

In order to make use of resources provided by the Research Computing Center you must first obtain a RCC user account. If you do not already have a RCC acount, see the Getting Started page for more information on obtaining a RCC account.

Your RCC account uses your UChicago CNetID for the username and the corresponding CNetID password for the password:

Username: CNetID
Password: CNet password

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

Secure Shell (SSH) is a protocol that provides secure command-line access to remote resources such as Midway2. By using SSH, you can remotely log in to your Midway2 account and interact with the Midway2 high-performance compute cluster.

Note

SSH key-based authentication is no longer supported. The SSH password-based authentication is currently the only supported method for authentication.


Macintosh/Linux User SSH Access

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.

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

$ ssh <CNetID>@midway2.rcc.uchicago.edu

Provide your CNetID password when prompted for a password. A Duo two-factor autentication window will then pop up requesting you select from the available 2FA options to authenticate to midway2.

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Choose from the available two-factor authentication options and finish the authentication process.

To enable X11 forwarding when connecting to Midway2 with ssh, the -Y flag should be included.

$ ssh -Y <CNetID>@midway2.rcc.uchicago.edu

Note

XQuartz is required to enable trusted X11 forwarding on a Mac.


Windows User SSH Access

Windows users running Windows 10’s April 2018 release will have ssh enabled from the Powershell by default. All other Windows users will first need to download an ssh client to interact with the remote Unix command line. We recommend the MobaXterm, client, although other options are available. Once the MobaXterm client is installed on your local machine, open the MobaXterm client and click on the Sessions icon at the upper left hand corner of the client. Then perform the following numbered steps, illustrated in the figure below, to establish a connection to Midway2.

  1. Click the SSH tab to expand the SSH login options.

  2. In the Remote host field input:

    midway2.rcc.uchicago.edu (to connect to midway2 cluster)

  3. Select the Specify username button and input your CNetID

  4. Proceed to log in by clicking the OK button.

../_images/mobaxterm.png

Provide your CNetID password when prompted for a password. A Duo two-factor autentication window will then pop up requesting you select from the available 2FA options to authenticate to midway2.

../_images/duo-2fa.png

Choose from the available two-factor authentication options and finish the authentication process.


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. To use ThinLinc to connect to Midway2, one can either use the web browser version or download and install the ThinLinc Desktop Client. The web browser version does not require any setup, but the performance will be less optimal than the Desktop Client version.


Using ThinLinc through a web browser

Point your web browser to the following web address:

https://midway2.rcc.uchicago.edu.

Then proceed to log in with your CNet_ID and password

When prompted, select the two-factor authentication option and complete the login process.


Using the ThinLinc Desktop Client

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:

Open the ThinLinc client and use the following information to set up your connection for Midway2:

Server: midway2.rcc.uchicago.edu
Username: CNetID
Password: CNet password

Your client should look similar to this:

../_images/thinlinc-client.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

After clicking the ‘Connect’ button a Duo two-factor autentication window will pop up requesting you select from the available 2FA options to authenticate to midway2. Choose from the available options and finish the authentication process.

../_images/duo-2fa.png

Upon successfully logging in, you will be presented with an IceWM desktop. Select Applications tab in the top left corner to access the terminal, file browser, and other utilities.

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To copy/paste between Thinlinc webaccess client and your computer, first, you need to open the side toolbar by clicking the handle. After that you click the Clipboard icon. The text field that just open will be synced with the clipboard on the server, so you can copy and paste to and from this text field.

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 exit or close the ThinLinc application.


Remote Visualization

RCC provides a mechanism for accessing a GPU-equipped visualization node, which can be used for running 3D and graphics-intensive visualization software packages. This GPU-equipped visualization node resides in the viz partition and can be interactively accessed by issuing the sviz alias command from within a terminal.

Log into Midway2 via ThinLinc. See Connecting with ThinLinc for more information.

Once logged in, open a terminal from the Applications tab at the upper left-hand side of the ThinLinc Desktop, or by right-clicking on the Desktop and selecting ‘Open Terminal’.

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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. If several minutes pass and you are still not connected to the visualization node, issue ‘Ctrl+C’ from the terminal and check the status of the viz partition. You can do so by issuing sinfo -p viz from the terminal. If the status of the node is listed as ‘Alloc’, the node is currently in full use and not available. If the node status is instead ‘Mixed’ then check to see how many other jobs are currently using the viz partition by issuing squeue -p viz.

../_images/sviz-glxgears.png

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