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Logging into CCAST

How to login to CCAST HPC clusters


    This document describes how to login to CCAST using several different methods. CCAST has two HPC clusters:  Thunder and Thunder Prime. For quick reference, URLs and access methods for each are listed below.

    • Web browser: (both clusters)
    • Secure Shell (SSH): 
      • Thunder: ssh
      • Thunder Prime: ssh

    Detailed instructions for each method are discussed below.

    Web Browser (OnDemand)

    CCAST provides a web interface to the Thunder and Thunder Prime clusters called OnDemand, which allows users to browse files, submit jobs, and launch interactive applications through a web browser. To access OnDemand, navigate to If not already logged in, you will be prompted to enter your Bison Login to gain access.

    OnDemand dashboard

    Once logged in, you will be presented with the dashboard. To start an interactive terminal on an HPC cluster, select "Clusters" in the navigation bar and "Thunder Shell Access" or Thunder Prime Shell Access", depending on which cluster you are working with.

    SSH (Command Line)

    Built-in Terminal (Windows, Mac, and Linux)

    Windows, MacOS, and Linux operating systems all include some type of integrated terminal or command line application. To login to CCAST from one of these systems:

    1. Open the appropriate terminal application for your operating system.
      • Windows: PowerShell
      • Mac and Linux: Terminal
    2. Run the SSH command using the URL for the cluster you want to login to. Your username will be your NDSU first.last ID.
      • Thunder: ssh
      • Thunder Prime: ssh
    3. Enter your NDSU password when prompted. Note: Nothing will appear when you type in the password prompt. This is normal.

    An example screenshot of logging into the Thunder Prime cluster from a Linux system is shown below.

    SSH terminal login

    PuTTY (Windows)

    PuTTY is a popular legacy SSH client for Windows. Prior to the release of the integrated SSH client in PowerShell, PuTTY was the preferred application for logging into CCAST. Some users may still prefer PuTTY over the integrated SSH client.

    PuTTY can be downloaded from the Windows Store, or by running the following winget command in PowerShell.

    > winget install PuTTY

    Once installed, you open PuTTY and enter your login credentials, using or as the hostname, port 22, and SSH as the connection type. Then click "Open" and, if the connection is successful, you will be prompted for your NDSU username and password.

    PuTTY form fields

    PuTTY terminal login

    KeywordsCCAST how-to tutorial putty ondemand ssh log in login help   Doc ID130346
    OwnerNick D.GroupIT Knowledge Base
    Created2023-08-15 10:23:37Updated2023-12-18 12:58:42
    SitesIT Knowledge Base
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