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If you read nothing else, read this.

We've got an amount of documentation. If you don't see it, click "<N> Child Pages" at the bottom to see the docs list. This page is an insanely simple guide for all you "OH MY GOD I HAVE TO GET THIS RESEARCH ON A CLUSTER LIKE YESTERDAY" people. The documentation on this page will not be complete. It will not tell you everything. It will tell you just enough to keep you from destroying the cluster. Now then, let's do this.

Make an Account

Go to http://apply.rc.rit.edu and fill everything out. Do everything and you should get an account to use RC's resources.

SSH or RDP into Vector.rc.rit.edu or Ion.rc.rit.edu

Check the full article on SSH if you need instruction on that. If you want to RDP, find a remote desktop client and connect to either of those. That session will be persistent, so when you disconnect and come back, all your stuff will still be there. Open up a terminal if you RDP and you'll find yourself in your home directory. If you SSH'd in, you're already there. If you need to move files, use SCP or SFTP to Ion or Vector.

SLURM – The Cluster Scheduler

Simple Linux Utility Resource Manager. It manages a cluster of computers. You tell it what resources you need, it dispatches your work onto an allocation on one of those computers that can satisfy your requirements. When your work is done, SLURM returns your resources to the pool so someone else can use them. The way this is normally done is through batch files that run without user interaction.

If you need user interaction, are only running something once, or don't have enough time to learn to write a batch file, then run `sinteractive`. This will ask you for the resources you require and then dump you into a screen session on a node. If you don't know what that entails, just try it. See the full SLURM user documentation if you need to make batch jobs or want to learn about other cool commands like squeue, sbatch, scontrol, sacct, scancel, and smap.

Try to avoid requesting far more resources than you need on the cluster. Any resources that you tell SLURM you're going to use cannot be offered to other users regardless of whether you actually use those resources. If you fudge your numbers too much, you're eligible to have your allocation terminated by admins.

Software

Basic interpreted languages are there (Python, Perl, BASH). If you can't find something you need, we might have it as a module. Run `module avail` to see what modules we have available for loading. From that list, you can run `module load <NAME>/<VERSION>` where <NAME>/<VERSION> is from that list. For example, you can run `module load R/3.1.1` and then you magically have access to that version of R.

Need More Help?

If you need help using any Research Computing resources, don't hesitate to stop by our lab. Our infrastructure is changing all the time and our documentation may not always be up-to-date. We're more than happy to work with you to accommodate your research needs. 

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