Before you can start submitting work you will need some way of connecting to the NeSI clusters.
This is done by establishing a SSH (Secure SHell) connection, giving you access to a command line interface (bash) on the cluster. Setting this up requires that you have a suitable Terminal (or equivalent application), the correct option for you depends on your operating system and level of experience.
On MacOS or Linux you will already have a terminal installed, simply search "terminal".
Congratulations! You are ready to move to the next step.
- Setting up Default Terminal.
As Windows is not a "Unix-Like" operating system, getting access to a functional terminal requires a few additional steps. There are a few different options, listed in order of preference.
Ubuntu Terminal (Windows 10)
This is the most functional replication of a Unix terminal available on Windows, and allows users to follow the same set of instructions given to Mac/Linux users. It may be necessary to enable Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) first.
In addition to being a terminal emulator, MobaXterm also includes several useful features like multiplexing, X-11 forwarding and a file transfer GUI.
MobaXterm can be downloaded from here. The portable edition will allow you to use MobaXterm without needing root privileges, however it introduces several bugs so we highly recommend using the installer edition if possible.
- Setting up MobaXterm.
Using a Virtual Machine
In order to avoid the problems of using a Windows environment, it may be advisable to install a Linux Virtual machine. This may be advantageous in other ways as many elements of scientific computing require a Linux environment, also it can provide a more user friendly place to become familiar with command line use.
There are multiple free options when it comes to VM software, we recommend Oracle Virtualbox
Further instructions on how to set up a virtual machine can be found here.
Once you have a working VM you may continue following the instructions as given for Linux/MacOS.
- Setting up a Virtual Machine.
WinSCP has some advantages over MobaXterm (customisable, cleaner interface, open source), and some disadvantages (no built in X-server, additional authentication step). However WinSCP setup is more involved than with MobaXterm therefore we do not recommend it for new users.
- Setting up WinSCP.
If you are using Git for version control you may already have Git Bash installed, if not it can be downloaded here.
Git Bash is perfectly adequate for testing your login or setting up your password, but lacks many of the features of MobaXterm or a native Unix-Like terminal therefore we do-not recommend it as your primary terminal.
All Windows computers have PowerShell installed, however it will only be useful to us if Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is also enabled, instructions here.
Similar to Git Bash, PowerShell is perfectly adequate for testing your login or setting up your password, but lacks many of the features of MobaXterm or a native Unix-Like terminal therefore we do-not recommend it as your primary terminal.