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Accessing HPCC from campus or home

To access MSU's HPC system, open a secure shell (SSH) connection to our gateway node,

  • In Linux, Unix or Mac OSX, simply type "ssh -X" in a terminal window.

    Users running OS X 10.8.x and later will need to review Installing an X-server for Macs if a graphical interface is desired.

  • In Windows, we recommend MobaXterm, a freely available piece of software which can be downloaded from If you use PuTTY, you may review the following video for running and installing Putty on your computer:

    Video Tutorial - MobaXterm
    Video Tutorial - Putty

    If it is the first time you connect from your computer you will get a message similar to this:

    The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
    RSA key fingerprint is bc:33:a8:c6:a1:b8:df:b3:db:00:bb:ef:1b:ac:7b:09.
    Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?

    You can answer “yes” to add to the list of known hosts.

  • Once you establish a connection, SSH will prompt you for your password; use your MSU NetID password.
  • Now that you have connected to the HPC system, you should see a screen similar to this:

    localhost:~> ssh
                     __ _____ _____ ____      __  __ ____  _____ _____
                    /_// ___// ___// _  ;    / /_/ // _  ;/ ___// ___/
                   / // /__ / _/_ / _,.'    / __  // _,.'/ /__ / /__
                  /_//____//____//_//_!    /_/ /_//_/   /____//____/
              Welcome to Michigan State's High Performance Computing Center
                        ** Unauthorized access is prohibited **
        Please ssh to a development node with (low) usage.
        For GPU development please use green nodes.
        For MIC development please use underlined nodes
              Development Nodes (usage)                Filesystem Information
          --------------------------------           --------------------------
        dev-intel14 (low)    dev-intel14-phi (low)            ${HOME} at 62% usage
        dev-intel14-k20 (high) dev-intel16 (high)         (used ~633G of 1.0T)
        dev-intel16-k80 (low)
                       Cluster Load (utilization)
             short jobs (< 4 hrs) ( 79%)          general jobs ( 91%)
             nodes with > 256 GB  ( 47%)     accelerated nodes ( 57%)
    [username@gateway ~]$

    This lists the 'development nodes' that you must use for work (see below) and how busy they are currently.

If you are using Windows and require graphics, you will need to install an Xserver Or use an X-11 client. We strongly suggest using Moba XTerm which has X-11 server built in. See iCER Workshops: Set Up Instructions for general software installation instructions. If Moba Xterm is not an option for you, there are various free X-server implementations including: X-Win32, the Cygwin project, or (tick) Xming provide an X server. Please see the Xming tutorial for instructions on how to install and run the Xming x-server on windows.

The HPCC also offers a way to connect to our main systems via the Remote Desktop Protocol. More information can be found on this page here: Copy of Connecting with a Remote Desktop Client.

Next: Move from Gateway to a Development Node

For most work you MUST log-in to a "development" computer (node).  Our gateway  is only meant to be a portal for users to connect from campus or from work, and many program will not work on it.   So all  users should log into a developer
node to compile code or run software. Our developer nodes and specifications are listed in the following table.

Node Name






128 GB

Intel 2016 Development Node



256 GB

GPU Development Node (8 Nvidia K80)



256 GB

Intel 2014 Development Node

dev-intel14-k2020128 GB

GPU Development Node (2 Nvidia K20)

dev-intel14-phi20128 GBIntel Phi Development Node (2 Intel Xeon 5115P)

To access a developer node from gateway, type "ssh -X node-name" (if you are not using graphics or GUI software you do not need the -X parameter).    For example:

[username@gateway ~]$ ssh -X dev-intel16
Last login: Sat Aug 18 23:03:11 2014 from gateway
This development node is intended for compiling, debugging, testing, and short interactive jobs. Jobs that need to run longer than two hours should be submitted to the queue. Long-running jobs on development nodes will be killed without warning; jobs using excessive resources may be killed without warning.

Please see the following wiki page for further details:

[username@dev-intel16 ~]$

The prompt in your terminal should change and list the node  you are currently logged into.