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Connecting to the SSCC

Four login hosts are your gateways to the SSCC. They are designed for interactive use. You can develop and test programs on them. Transfer files to the SSCC through them.

The computational power of the SSCC is in the batch system (30 nodes), and you submit and manage batch jobs from a command line terminal on the login hosts.

Terminal connections provide a command-line interface with which you type Unix commands to run programs on the SSCC login host. The programs that you run on the SSCC may then have graphical user interfaces.

You can access the SSCC from a web browser or tablet computer. Use your browser to open a GNOME Terminal with FastX, or to run SAS Studio or RStudio Server.

You can also install the FastX Desktop Application on your personal computer for more functionality and better performance than the FastX Browser Application.

You should install the Cyberduck File Transfer browser on your personal computer to transfer files to and from the SSCC login hosts.

Connect to the Northwestern Network

If you are connecting to the SSCC from off campus, you must establish a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to the Northwestern network before you open a connection. Establishing a VPN connection authenticates you to the Northwestern network, and adds a level of trust and security to your connection.

If you forget to establish a VPN connection, or if your VPN connection times out and is disconnected, your connection attempt will also time out because it will fail to get through the SSCC firewalls.

See Connecting to the Northwestern Network for detailed instructions explaining how to configure and use the VPN Client software. Phone the Northwestern IT Support Center if you need assistance using VPN.

Choose a Login Host

The SSCC has four login hosts. Hardin and Seldon are available to all SSCC users. Dornick is for SPS Predictive Analytics students and faculty, and Mule2 is restricted to selected IPR researchers. Both Dornick and Mule2 have special features for their users that are not common to Hardin and Seldon.

The login host names are taken from Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series of novels.

You can choose to login to Hardin or Seldon interchangeably. If one host is busy or under maintenance, then login to the other.

Login to Dornick if you are with SPS Predictive Analytics.

Login to Mule2 only if you are authorized to do so.

In an effort to balance the use of Hardin and Seldon, please choose, initially, to login to Seldon if your NetID starts with the letters a-f or to login to Hardin if your NetID starts with the letters g-z. Make the same choice for file transfers between your personal computer and the SSCC.

Your SSCC files reside in your home directory, which is unique to your NetID and is only accessible to your account. When you access a file, it is transferred over the network from a Network File System cluster (NFS servers), to the SSCC computer you're using. This architecture provides consistent access to your files on all login hosts and batch nodes in the SSCC. No matter which SSCC computer you're using, you are working with the same set of files.

Login Instructions by Intended Use

Simple Command-Line: Use the FastX Browser Client from your web browser, or the FastX Desktop Application installed on your personal computer. Login with FastX, and then Choose the GNOME Terminal bookmark. Suitable for editing files (use the command evim), creating and submitting batch jobs, and checking results.

Command-Line with Full Graphics: Use the FastX Desktop Application. Choose the GNOME Terminal bookmark. Use this application for the Stata GUI by typing the command xstata, the MATLAB desktop using the command matlab, the RStudio Integrated Development Environment using the command rstudio, or the Python IDE using the commands module load python; spyder. See the SSCC Analytical Software page for a list of other IDEs.

SAS Programming: Use SAS Studio from your web browser.

R Programming: Use RStudio Server from your web browser, or login with the FastX Desktop Application and type the command rstudio.

Transferring Files with Cyberduck

Cyberduck is a graphical program that runs on both Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows that functions as an SSH Secure Shell File Transfer application. It offers a conventional drag and drop interface. See How to Transfer Files To/From the SSCC.

Last Updated: 20 February 2017

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