Connecting to HPC Resources

Summary

MSI provides access to a variety of High-Performance Computing (HPC) systems designed to tackle a wide range of computational needs. This document will show you how you can access all of MSI computational resources from your personal computer. 

Skills/Software Needed

If you are connecting from a computer running Windows OS you will need to download and install PuTTY

OSX and Linux does not require additonal software to connect.

Connecting to MSI

SSH

Your computer will communicate with MSI resources via SSH. More information about SSH

Connecting to MSI with Windows OS

Configure PuTTY to connect to MSI 

  • Double-click on the PuTTY icon and a configuration window will pop up.
  • In the Host Name box type: login.msi.umn.edu

  • In the left panel, under Window, select Translation
  • Change Receive data assumed to bin in which character set to : UTF-8

  • Select Session in the left panel and in the Saved Session box type the name you would like to use to refer to this session. We suggest MSI server, then select Save. 
  • The next time you open PuTTY you will be able to recall a saved profile by clicking on the name and clicking Load then Open to start the session. 
  • The first time you connect to each MSI system you may be asked to cache the server fingerprint, select Yes. 

  • When prompted enter your MSI username and password

  • You are now connected to the MSI Login host (or bastion host). This host will let you view the directories but you can not submit jobs or run interactive computation on this host. 

Connecting to MSI with OSX

Terminal is a preinstalled application which can be used to connect to MSI systems. Terminal can be found in the Utilities folder found in the Applications folder. 

Connecting to MSI with Linux OS

Terminal is a preinstalled application which can be used to connect to MSI systems. 

For OSX and Linux OS Terminal Apps

Once you open the Terminal App type:

  • ssh yourMSIusername@login.msi.umn.edu
  • You will be prompted for your MSI password type it in then press enter. The terminal will not display your password as you type. 
  • The first time you log into MSI systems you will be asked if you would like to cache the server fingerprint, type yes and press return.

  • You are now connected to the MSI Login host (or bastion host). This host will let you view the directories but you can not submit jobs or run interactive computation on this host. 

Connecting to Mesabi and Itasca from Login Host

  • Once connected to the Login host, note the word login in your terminal prompt, you can connect to Mesabi or Itasca via ssh.
ssh mesabi

or

ssh itasca
  • MSI prohibits moving directly from one system to another. If you are connected to Mesabi and would like to connect to Itasca you will first have to exit back to the Login Host, then ssh to the new system. Commands are highlighted with red boxes in the example below. 

  • Each time you move between systems you will see the welcome message associated with the system you are connecting to. These messages often contain useful information and should be read. 
  • NOTE: Like the login node Mesabi and Itasca have specific nomenclatures in the prompt. When connected to Mesabi your prompt will contain ln followed by some number when connected to Itasca your prompt will contain node followed by some numbers. This is a quick short cut to remind you which system you are connected to at any time.