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Sid Quickstart Guide

This guide explains how to access and use Sid

Sid is a service providing high performance computing resources to Social Scientists at The Institute for Quantitative Social Science and the larger community at Harvard University.

Pre-requisite steps

Get set up on FASRC:

    1. Get a FASRC account
    2. Set your FASRC password
    3. Configure 2FA
    4. Configure VPN

To use Sid

Log in

  • Log into the VPN
    1. Use Cisco AnyConnect server address vpn.rc.fas.harvard.edu
    2. Enter your FASRC username in the format of username@fasrc
    3. Enter your FASRC password
    4. Enter FASRC 2FA token
  • Log into Sid
    1. Go to URL https://vdi.rc.fas.harvard.edu/pun/sys/sid
    2. Fill in your FASRC account username and password if prompted
    3. If this is the first time launching the app, you may need to click “init” on an additional page to start/initialize the app.

Transfer files

To work with your files on Sid, you will need to copy them to a location on the compute cluster. Files that will only be used by you can be stored in your home folder. Files that will be accessed by others can be stored in your lab space. There are several ways to set up and initiate file transfers, depending on your needs and preferences.

Run an interactive application

Launch your application with predefined CPU, RAM (memory), and runtime

  • Log into Sid: https://vdi.rc.fas.harvard.edu/pun/sys/sid
  • You should see a list of quick launch tiles with popular applications
  • Click on the icon of the application you want to use
  • The view will refresh to show the most recently started application at the top of the page. You may have to scroll up to see it.
  • It may take a few minutes for your application to start, as indicated by either or both of the following messages:
    • Please be patient as your job currently sits in queue. The wait time depends on the number of cores as well as time requested.
    • Your session is currently starting… Please be patient as this process can take a few minutes.
  • Once it is visible, click on the “Connect to…” or “Launch…” button, which will open your application in a new window.

Launch your application with custom CPU, RAM, and runtime

  • Log into Sid: https://vdi.rc.fas.harvard.edu/pun/sys/sid
  • Choose an application from the Interactive Apps menu at the top of the page
  • Fill in the details for your application, then click Launch.
  • This will bring you the My Interactive Sessions page.
  • It may take a few minutes for your application to start, as indicated by either or both of the following messages:
    • Please be patient as your job currently sits in queue. The wait time depends on the number of cores as well as time requested.
    • Your session is currently starting… Please be patient as this process can take a few minutes.
  • Once it is visible, click on the “Connect to…” or “Launch…” button, which will open your application in a new window.

Close your application

  • Close the application window
  • Navigate to the Sid dashboard window
  • Click “delete” in the “Active interactive sessions” area for that application.
    • As this area only displays the 3 most recent applications, you might need to go to Interactive Sessions to find your application.

Run a batch job

  • Run a batch job by doing one of the following:
    • Use the Job Composer from the Jobs menu
    • Use a Terminal
      • Select Terminals -> Cannon menu item
      • Launch a Remote Desktop and use the Terminal there
      • SSH from your local computer to login.rc.fas.harvard.edu using your FASRC username, password and 2FA token.

Further Information

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