Accounts and Access
To access the Shared Computing Cluster (SCC), you must have a Scientific Computing Facilities (SCF) account. SCF accounts are for Research Computing and are separate from general Boston University (BU) computing accounts. Having a BU Kerberos username and password does not automatically give you access to the SCC.
Once you do have your SCF account, you can log in to the following machines (also see Research Computing Resources Overview and SCF Technical Summary) using your BU login name and Kerberos password. Users must use an ssh client to login to these machines. Instructions on connecting to the SCC for various operating systems are here.
- Scientific Computing Facilities (SCF)
When you first receive an SCF account, you should receive mail with instructions on how to access your account using your BU login ID and Kerberos password; external users only will be asked to set up a new BU login ID and Kerberos password. Some users also have a local SCF (non-Kerberos) Unix password which can be used to log in to the SCC. Only your BU Kerberos password can be used to access our password-restricted web materials.
If you forget your BU Kerberos password, you can change it here. Please read that full page carefully for instructions on the procedure.
If you ever forget (or wish to set for the first time) your SCF (non-Kerberos) password, you can set or change it here if you know your Kerberos password. Otherwise, you should send email to email@example.com. You can also call Aaron Fuegi at (617) 353-8255.
With your Kerberos password, you can also change your shell.
Note that passwordless access using public/private key authentication is not allowed on the SCF/SCC. You must enter your Kerberos password to authenticate each time you log in to the SCC from an outside machine.
To access the SCF/SCC, users must use
ssh. Instructions on what you need to do to access the system for all major operating systems are available here.
Using X Windows to Display Graphics
If you follow the above steps properly, you should also be able to display graphics on your machine, such as running MATLAB’s GUI. You can test this by running the command
xclock on one of the SCC login nodes; this command should bring up a window with a simple analog clock. If you can see the clock, you should be all set for other applications as well. If you can’t, you will first need to run (and possibly install and/or configure first) an X Windows client on your workstation. Instructions on doing this for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux are available here.
Use of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is generally not necessary for using the SCC although it may make things more convenient for those using
scc4.bu.edu as their login node (which allows access to data in the
/restricted partitions). From off-campus, users who wish to access
scc4 should either use a VPN or else first log in to either
scc2.bu.edu and then from there log in to
VNC (Virtual Network Computing) is a means to make graphical applications potentially run much faster and be much more responsive. It is only useful if you are using a graphical application such as MATLAB or RStudio. There is a bit of work to set it up so we recommend doing so only if you are feeling that your graphical application is responding sluggishly to your actions.