Accessing the System from a Partner University

The HPC Wales infrastructure consists of a number of distributed compute clusters. Each of these clusters has its own ‘Login Nodes’, which enable you to handle data, execute and manage jobs on that particular cluster.

If you are accessing the systems from the wider Internet, then you must first login to an ‘Access Node’. This process is detailed elsewhere on the User Portal.

This document acts as additional guidance for those users on partner university networks where private peerings provide direct cluster login nodes access.

You will be able to access any of the following HPC Wales Login nodes from a University Connection:

  • Cardiff HTC Cluster
  • Bangor Medium Processing Cluster
  • Swansea Capability/Capacity/GPU Cluster
  • Cardiff Capacity/GPU Cluster

To access HPC Wales supercomputers via the command line, you must use a terminal emulator, which connects your local keyboard and screen to the remote system. This uses a protocol called “Secure Shell”, or “SSH”; which is available as standard with a Linux workstation, but requires a program to be downloaded and installed with Microsoft Windows.

Logging in from Windows

In order to log in to one of the cluster login nodes, enter the appropriate name into the “Host Name (or IP address)” box; you may wish to save this for reuse, in which case also enter a name in the “Saved Sessions” box, and hit the “Save” button.
After entering the address of the machine you wish to log into, click on the “Open” button to connect to the HPC Wales cluster. You may be asked to accept a security certificate – this will happen the first time you log into a login node from a machine.
Accept the certificate, and you will be linked to the selected login node. A screen will pop up akin to this:
You are now set to log in – now enter your username, in the form “ John.Doe ” (Usernames are not case sensitive), such as:
Please skip the next section “Logging in from Linux” and proceed with section “Entering your password”.

Logging in from Linux

Linux has SSH (“Secure Shell”) built – in, so you should not need to install ssh manually. To log in to HPC Wales, simply start a terminal and enter:


Where you should replace “John.Doe” with your username. On first logging on from a machine, you will be asked to confirm the secure certificate associated; please confirm “yes”, such as:

[~]$ ssh
The authenticity of host ' (XXX.XX.XX.XXX)' can't be established RSA key fingerprint is 20:XX:6d:XX:be:XX:05:XX:ed:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX
Are you sure you want to continue connection (yes/no)?

You will then proceed to be asked for your password, and can continue with the next section on logging in (which is common to both Linux and Windows).

Entering your Password

Your password will now be requested; please enter the initial temporary password you have been provided with. You will be requested to immediately change this temporary password, so please follow the instructions. Note that you must re-enter the temporary password before entering your new password (you will be asked to enter it twice for confirmation).
There are specific password rules; it must be 8 or more characters, and must have three of the four following characteristics:
  • Upper case letter
  • Lower case letter
  • Number
  • Symbol e.g. $%?!
If you fail to adhere to the rules, the system will reject your password.
Once you are logged in successfully, you will see text displayed similar to the following:

                       HPC Wales  Cardiff Hub
                        Westmere HTC Cluster
Last login: Thu Feb  9 14:36:53 2017 from
 ----------------------- Message of the Day ----------------------------
#                                                                       #
#           *********************************************               #
# New capabilities & controls are now in-place for storage, please see: #
#                                 #
#           *********************************************               #
            For user documentation and technical support:
 Email:         Web:

[john.doe@cwl001 ~]$

You are now at the command prompt of an HPCW Cluster login node.
For next steps, please see the HPCW User Portal.