User Guidelines

There are a few rules everybody should know when using a cluster of computers. Otherwise the overall performance of some computers will be incredible small or the user may cause serious damage to some systems.


1. User guidelines

The LinuX workstation cluster of our institute consists of about 26 LinuX Workstations/Servers (in the server room) and a number of LinuX-PCs (Desktops computers with hostnames of type xxx-c705 in the offices). Everyone with a valid account can use any of these machines for his/her calculations and everyday work. But remember: somebody is sitting in front of machines (PC's) with name "xxx-c705" and wants to work, too!

Thus avoiding serious overload of one particular computer should be our main concern! In the following there are some guidelines which can help you reaching this goal.

1.1 What should I do?

There are only a few things you should always remeber of:

  • keep the number of open windows on your X-terminal as small as possible.
  • when you don't need a connection to a remote host any longer: close it!
  • before starting huge calculation programs (matlab, mathematica or C-code etc.): check if the load-average on the workstation is already greater then the number of the CPU's (cores). When yes, try to use a different computer for your calculations.
    Note: Do not start big (long running, MEM- and/or CPU-consuming) jobs on our login-, file- and application-servers and desktop PC's with name xxx-c705 (except you are the person sitting in front of it)!
  • use the secure shell instead the usual remote-commands.
  • always log-out when leaving the institute!!!

1.2 What should I never do?

  • using the RESET-button on your LinuX-PC when something went wrong (maybe there are other users logged into your system).
  • never leave the institute without logging-out from your computer!!!

2. Contact

If you need additional information about the LinuX cluster or an account on it or if you have problems with applications, please contact your system administrators.

But: If your question is "How do I do ... with ..." then don't ask it until you've read the whole of the HowTo's and FAQ's or the relevant parts of the Software at the UNIX Cluster yourself. We don't appreciate people who are too lazy to read the documentation. (If the documentation is unclear, or the relevant paragraph is too well hidden, then that's a different matter. Of course, we want to know about that.)

3. UNIXhelp for Users

Helpful information for users of the UNIX operating system, developed at the University of Edinburgh from work funded by the ITTI.