Accessing the BlueBEAR Cluster

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This page has the following sections:


Introduction to accessing BlueBEAR

Access to BlueBEAR  is gained by logging on to one of the login nodes of the cluster from which jobs may be submitted to the cluster compute nodes.

For the security of the service, access is limited to machines on the campus network.  The University provides a Remote Access Service to enable you to connect to resources via the campus network from off-site, which includes being able to connect to BlueBEAR remotely.  Requests for such access should be opened with the IT Service Desk.

All usernames on BlueBEAR are lower case; thus, abc123 is a valid username whereas ABC123 is not.

There are several files that are run by default when logging on or off. If these become corrupted or deleted a login session will be in an unpredictable state; a typical example of this happening is a non-standard command prompt. If this happens the default files can be restored using the command

fixlogin

which will warn if any existing, and possibly corrupt, files are to be overwritten. To restore the default files without being prompted use the command

fixlogin -y

This page describes how a Windows PC is set up to access the cluster. Unix/Linux workstations usually have an ssh client and X server already installed; in such cases all that is required is an ssh connection to bluebear.bham.ac.uk. Further configuration may be required on the workstation to allow X traffic through the local firewall; due to the many different flavours of Unix and Linux, support for this rests with the local IT Support.

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Windows software to access BlueBEAR

The PuTTY secure shell client, which provides text-based access to the system, is required to access the system. Graphical support is available using Exceed, which is available on site license from software sales.

PuTTY only provides command-line access to the cluster; for graphical support Exceed is required. In addition, Exceed3D is required for applications that require OpenGL support on the Windows desktop; Exceed3D is also available on site license from software sales. The setup of PuTTY differs depending on whether or not Exceed is being used.

See the help page for installing and configuring PuTTY and Exceed for detailed information about obtaining, installing and configuring PuTTY and optionally Exceed/Exceed3D

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Accessing BlueBEAR using the command line

 

To access BlueBEAR using command-line ssh, for example from Linux or Mac, use this command in your terminal (replacing 'username' with your username):

ssh username@bluebear.bham.ac.uk

This may require configuration to add or remove keys from the known hosts file; since this depends on the version of the operating system that is being run the details cannot be documented on this help page.

 

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Last modified: 21 September 2018