Login Troubleshooting

Please make sure you have followed the recommended setup. See Choosing and Configuring Software for Connecting to the Clusters for more information.

Notes to new command line users:

  • Most terminals do not give an indication of how many characters have been typed when entering a password.
  • Paste is not usually bound to ctrl + v

Repeatedly asking for First and Second Factor.

In addition to using an incorrect First/Second factor there are several other issues that will cause a similar looking failure to log in. 

Login Password:
Login Password:
Login Password:


Login Password (First Factor): 
Authenticator Code (Second Factor):
Login Password (First Factor): 
Authenticator Code (Second Factor):
Login Password (First Factor): 
Authenticator Code (Second Factor):

1. Try logging in to lander directly.

You can test what part of your connection has failed by first running:

ssh <user>@lander.nesi.org.nz

If this succeeds: Run the following:

ssh login.<mahuika/maui>.nesi.org.nz

If this fails: Contact NeSI Support.

If this succeeds: If you are using a bash terminal, confirm your .ssh config is set up correctly.

If you are using a ssh client like MobaXterm or WinSCP make sure your session is set up correctly.

2. Check you are a member of an active project

If you are not a member of an active project, or your project has no active allocation, you will not be able to log in. You should be able to find whether you have any active projects with active allocations here

3. Confirm you are using the correct username and password

The most common cause of login failure is using incorrect login details. Make sure you are using your NeSI Linux Username and the password you set when first logging into the Lander node.


4. Check the time on your phone (or other Second Factor device)

If the device you are using to generate your second factor token is not using NZST/NZDT, or is not keeping the correct time, the second factor generated will be invalid. Even an error of a few seconds can be enough to invalidate the second factor.

If your device can't keep time properly for whatever reason, please contact the person or team responsible for supporting it.

5. Ensure you're not reusing the same Second Factor token.

Login will fail if the same six figure token is used to access the Māui or Mahuika login node after it has been used to access the lander node, or for consecutive login attempts to any node. If in doubt, wait 30 seconds for a new token to be generated.

6. Ensure the correct Second Factor token is being used

Two-factor authentication is becoming a common security measure. Many people have multiple tokens and occasionally mix them up.

7. Wait four hours

Six failed login attempts within five minutes will trigger a four-hour lockout. Users experiencing login issues can inadvertently trigger the lockout, making diagnosing the original issue much more difficult.  

Connection closed by .... (MobaXterm)

1. Skip password prompts.

There is a known MobaXterm bug in which a user who has set a second factor and is trying to log in to the lander node will be prompted multiple times for 'Password' before being prompted for 'First Factor'. (On the lander node, you should only be prompted for a 'password' if you have no Second Factor set up.)

These initial prompts can be skipped through by pressing 'Enter'. Any input before pressing Enter will cause the login to fail.

The expected processes is as follows:

ssh <user>@lander.nesi.org.nz 
<user>@lander.nesi.org.nz's password: <Enter>
<user>@lander.nesi.org.nz's password: <Enter>
<user>@lander.nesi.org.nz's password: <Enter>
Login Password (First Factor): 
Authenticator Code (Second Factor):

Note: Sometimes MobaXterm will prompt with a dialogue box.

2. Update your MobaXTerm client.

Occasionally an outdated client can cause errors.
MobaXterm can be updated through: 'help>check for updates'

3. Reinstall your MobaXTerm client.

Asked for 'Password' instead of 'First Factor'

1. Check the MyNeSI portal and confirm you have a second factor set.

2. See above.

Authentication token manipulation error

This occurs when your Second Factor token falls out of sync. You will have to reset your token though the myNeSI portal.

Nothing here has helped?

Contact NeSI support.

Helpful things to include:

  • The client you are using (WSL, MobaXterm, Mac terminal, Linux, etc.).
  • The nature of the problem, including the precise text of any error message you have been receiving.
    • Did you start out having one login problem and are now getting a different one? If so, when did the change happen, and were you doing anything in particular related to logging in at the time things changed?
  • Have you successfully logged in in the past? if so when was the last time you successfully logged in, and to what NeSI cluster?
  • Has anything administrative and relevant to NeSI access changed since you last logged in? For example:
    • Have you opened or joined any new NeSI projects, or have any of your existing NeSI projects closed?
    • have any of your NeSI projects been granted new allocations, had a previously granted new allocation actually start, or had an existing allocation modified?
    • Have any of your NeSI projects' existing allocations ended?
    • Have any of your NeSI projects had a disk space quota change?
    • Have you changed your institutional username and password, moved to a different institution, or started a new job at an institution while also keeping your position at your old institution? Might NeSI know about any of these changes?
  • What have you tried so far?
  • Are you on the NIWA network, the NIWA VPN, or neither?
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