Logging into CCAST's HPC clusters using SSH

This document describes how to login to CCAST's Thunder and Thunder Prime using the SSH protocol.

Overview

The primary method of accessing CCAST resources is using a Secure Shell (SSH). SSH is a terminal-based (i.e., command-line) protocol that facilitates connection to and interaction with remote servers via text-based commands. Instructions for using SSH differ depending on what kind of computer you have. For general information about CCAST resources, see the CCAST User Guide.

Connecting to CCAST from a Windows PC using PuTTY

PuTTY is a third-party application that implements the SSH protocol on Windows computers, and can be downloaded here. Follow the on-screen instructions for the Windows installer (.msi) file to install PuTTY on your computer.

Once installed, open PuTTY and enter the hostname for the machine you want to login to. For the Thunder cluster, this will be thunder.ccast.ndsu.edu (see screenshot below); for the Thunder Prime cluster, the hostname is prime.ccast.ndsu.edu.

PuTTY session details window

Then click "Open" to initiate the connection. A terminal window will open and you will be prompted for a username. Enter your NDSU username and hit enter, then enter the password associated with your NDSU account. Note: When you type your password, you will not see anything display at the prompt. This is normal.

PuTTY password prompt

If the username and password are accepted, you will be greeted with several login messages. Please do not ignore these, as they contain important information about your CCAST account.

PuTTY successful login

Connecting to CCAST from a Mac or Linux Computer

MacOS and Linux both have an integrated terminal and a native SSH client, so no third-party software is required to connect to CCAST using these operating systems. Instructions for both types of systems are the same.

First, locate and launch the terminal app by search for "terminal" in your applications. Depending on your environment, you should see a window resembling the one below (example taken from a Mac).

Mac new terminal window

To connect to CCAST (for example, the Thunder cluster), run the following command:
ssh username@thunder.ccast.ndsu.edu

For Thunder Prime: ssh username@prime.ccast.ndsu.edu

Where your username is your NDSU username. When prompted for a password, enter the password associated with your NDSU account. Note: When you type your password, you will not see anything display at the prompt. This is normal.

Mac terminal SSH password prompt

If the username and password are accepted, you will be greeted with several login messages. Please do not ignore these, as they contain important information about your CCAST account.

Mac SSH successful login




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