The file storage on BlueBEAR is used by the system and for applications provided by Advanced Research Computing. It also provides user home directories and research project storage space.
User Home Directories
A home directory (in /rds/homes/) is created for each BlueBEAR user and is 20GB. This space should be used for storing user environment files (dot files). BlueBEAR storage home directories are not for general purpose user filestore or personal use. The bbquota command gives both the quota and amount of filestore used.
Project Storage Space
Advanced Research Computing provides the Research Data Store (RDS) for the storage of data associated with active research projects and a Research Data Archive (RDA) for the retention of data associated with published research.
The RDS file-systems is mounted on all login and compute nodes at /rds and allocated projects are typically accessible in the form /rds/projects/<YEAR>/<PROJECTNAME>. For example, the RDS share \\its-rds.bham.ac.uk\2015\username-01 would be available at
Please note that RDS projects are not the same as BlueBEAR projects (which are used by the HPC scheduling system) and space for RDS projects must be requested via the IT Service Desk. As BlueBEAR project registrations are separate, adding a user to a BlueBEAR project will not automatically provide access to any RDS storage space and changes to access groups must be made via the IT Service Desk.
In May 2017 we made major changes to the internal configuration of the storage system to improve the reliability and availability of the storage in the light of the increasing BEAR services that rely on the central BEAR storage. It is important to emphasise that we have never lost any user data during this and mostly for users it manifested itself as slow access at times.
For guidance on accessing the the RDS please see https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/HowToRDS
Some applications on the cluster, including the schedular, do not fully support spaces in filenames. File and directory names should, therefore, consist of letters and digits only. Note that, as with any Linux system, case is significant. This differs from Windows conventions, where spaces are fully supported in filenames, and hence any files or directories that are created on BlueBEAR using the windows file manager should follow these recommendations.
Files edited on a Windows computer as text may have Windows-style line endings (made up of a carriage-return (CR) character followed by a newline or line feed (LF) character, sometimes displayed as "\r\n"). BlueBEAR, being a Linux system, expects Unix-style line endings in text files (made up of a newline/line feed (LF) character on its own, sometimes displayed as "\n"). To convert from Windows-format files to Unix-format files a program called "dos2unix" is installed on the login nodes. To use this, just run
where filename.txt is the file you want to convert. Be aware that the file will be converted in-place, which means your original file will be replaced with the converted one and it will not create a new file.
Last modified: 17 January 2019