Access and Login FAQ

There are various tasks and options for using the FAS RC cluster. The following page is a quick reference with links to many of the basics.
If you’re new to the cluster, please see our Quick Start Guide first.


Cluster access requires an RC account

Cluster resources (storage, software downloads, special workstations, instrumentation scheduling, etc.) can be accessed through a number of paths (see below), but all require an RC account.
See How Do I Get a Research Computing Account for instructions if you do not yet have an account.


Cluster access requires the OpenAuth tool for two factor authentication

Unless you’re only interested in using the SPINAL scheduling software, logins to FASRC cluster resources use a two factor authentication scheme that is supported by the OpenAuth tool.

See the OpenAuth Guide for instructions if you have not yet set up OpenAuth.
For troubleshooting issues you might have, please see our troubleshooting page.

NOTE: SPINAL access does not require two-factor authentication

If you are using your RC account mainly for access to the SPINAL instrument scheduling software, the VPN and OpenAuth installations described above are not required.


Download VPN and install VPN software appropriate for your computer

Cluster resources must be accessed through a virtual private network software (VPN) for any off-campus connections. A VPN ensures that all communication between your computer and RC resources is encrypted even when using a public wireless network.
See the VPN page for software download and setup instructions.


Use common terminal application for command line access

NOTE: If you did not request cluster access when signing up, you will not be able to log into the cluster or login node. See this doc for how to add cluster access.
For general SSH/terminal access, you will use a standard terminal client. On MacOSX this will likely be the built in Terminal, or a more-featured app such as iTerm2. For Windows users, we recommend PuTTY. Linux users will have a terminal with X11 capabilities in-built.
See our guide to Terminal Access


Setup X11 forwarding for lightweight graphical applications

One option for displaying apps on the cluster which have GUI interfaces is to use X11 forwarding. While this is only as stable as your network connection (a disconnection will lose your session), it is an option. Mac OSX users should use XQuartz. Windows users have options including Xming and Cygwin/X. Linux users already have native X11 from their terminal sessions.
See our guide to X11 Forwarding


Consider a virtual desktop (VDI) for graphical applications

An option which does not rely on the speed and stability of your network connection is the VDI through Open OnDemand system. This runs a remote desktop on a server in our data center, and allows you to disconnect and reconnect without losing your session. VDI replaces the old NX/NoMachine system.
See our Virtual Desktop Guide


Mounting Storage

Most lab storage and all standard home directories can be mounted on your desktop using the Samba/SMB protocol built into most modern operating systems.
Please see our doc on Mounting Storage on a Desktop or Laptop


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