Since all VSC clusters use Linux as their main operating system, you will need to get acquainted with using the command-line interface and using the terminal. To open a terminal in Linux when using KDE, choose Applications > System > Terminal > Konsole. When using GNOME, choose Applications >
If you don't have any experience with using the command-line interface in Linux, we suggest you to read the basic Linux usage section first.
Getting ready to request an account
- Before requesting an account, you need to generate a pair of ssh keys. One popular way to do this on Linux is using the freely available OpenSSH client which you can then also use to log on to the clusters.
- Open a text-mode session using an SSH client:
- OpenSSH ssh command
- Using ssh-agent to avoid having to enter the passphrase all the time
- Setting up a SSH proxy to long on to a node by a firewall through another login node, e.g., to access the tier-1 system muk
- Creating an SSH tunnel using OpenSSH to establish network communication between your local machine and the cluster otherwise blocked by firewalls.
- Transfer data using Secure FTP (SFTP) with the OpenSSH sftp and scp commands.
- Display programs that use graphics or have a GUI
- No extra software is needed on a Linux client system, but you need to use the appropriate options with the ssh command as explained on the page on OpenSSH.
- On the KU Leuven/UHasselt clusters it is also possible to use the NX Client to log on to the machine and run graphical programs. This requires additional client software that is currently available for Windows, OS X, Linux, Android and iOS. The advantage over displaying X programs directly on your Linux screen is that you can sleep your laptop, disconnect and move to another network without loosing your X-session. Performance may also be better with many programs over high-latency networks.
- The KU Leuven/UHasselt and UAntwerp clusters also offer support for visualization software through TurboVNC. VNC renders images on the cluster and transfers the resulting images to your client device. VNC clients are available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS.
- On the KU Leuven/UHasselt clusters, TurboVNC is supported on the visualization nodes.
- On the UAntwerp clusters, TurboVNC is supported on all regular login nodes (without OpenGL support) and on the visualization node of Leibniz (with OpenGL support through VirtualGL). See the page "Remote visualization @ UAntwerp" for instructions.
- Eclipse is a popular multi-platform Integrated Development Environment (IDE) very well suited for code development on clusters.
- Read our Eclipse introduction to find out why you should consider using Eclipse if you develop code and how to get it.
- You can use Eclipse on the desktop as a remote editor for the cluster.
- You can use Eclipse on the desktop to access files in a subversion repository on the cluster.
- You can combine the remote editor feature with version control from Eclipse, but some care is needed, and here's how to do it.
- Linux supports all popular version control systems. See our introduction to version control systems.