Remote Access to MSI Systems

There are a variety of methods available to connect to MSI systems: SSH, VNC (via NICE), NX, and Citrix Receiver. The first three apply to our generally available Lab Queue nodes as well as our HPC systems. The last applies only to Windows systems. Please note that we no longer allow direct access to machines in the SDVL, CGL, BSCL or BMSDL

Note: For remote access to MSI Systems, your computer must be connected to a Virtual Private Network (VPN). More information on how to use VPN can be found at . 

If you do not have a University internet account (formerly called an X.500 account), your University contact (MSI research group PI) can request a sponsored account for you.



On a Mac or Linux system, accessing our lab queue is as simple as (in a terminal):

ssh -X <username>

Alternatively, replace isub with an SSH directly to one of our HPC systems. For example:

ssh -X <username>
ssh -X itasca

In both examples <username> is your MSI username and the -X option starts a graphical X-forwarding session. You cannot run software directly on An isub or SSH connection to an HPC resource is required. Refer to the isub documentation for additional options. 

On Windows, PuTTY can be used for simple terminal commands. For graphical sessions on Windows we recommend NICE. Note that running graphical programs with PuTTY is possible, but it requires additional software and configuration.

Background (non-interactive) batch jobs on lab machines are discouraged and should be submitted to the Lab PBS Queues.


Virtual Network Computing (VNC) (via NICE)

For fast, modern graphical connections to MSI resources, we recommend VNC via NICE. VNC provides users with control of a complete virtual desktop on a remote machine including interactive keyboard and mouse events. MSI utilizes remote visualization and computing on the NICE Nodes. VNC depends on SSH and isub to initialize sessions. Refer to NICE instructions to get started.

NX Client

The NX workflow is similar to a direct SSH connection, since users must utilize the 'isub' and/or 'ssh' commands above to access MSI lab and HPC resources from the NX node ( Software cannot be run directly on the NX node. Refer to the NX Client Configuration guide to start an NX session.

Citrix Receiver (Windows)

Windows systems can be accessed via Citrix Receiver. Refer to the connection walkthrough for Linux, Windows, and Mac connection instructions.

File Transfers

Files can be transferred to user home directories and/or group project directories on via scp, sftp, and rsync. When connected with a Remote Desktop client, users may also share local drives with the server. Refer to the File Transfer FAQ for more information, including suggestions for file transfer clients on your operating system.