Interactive *nix Shell Servers
Written by Todd Green   
Wednesday, 23 January 2008 06:04

Interactive *nix Shell Servers

The SoC provides a cluster of load-balanced interactive servers for general computing use. You may access them via ssh'ing to

  • What are the server details?

You connect to the hosts via ssh and the name

They are load-balanced servers running Ubuntu-10.04 x86_64. Each server consists of two dual-core Opterons with 8GB of memory connected to the network via gigabit ethernet.
Note that since there are running a 64-bit version of Linux, you might run into problems or issues getting code compiled on 32-bit versions of the same operating system to run. Although there are a number of 32-bit compatibility libraries installed on the shell machines (we've installed all the OS provides), they are not inclusive of all libraries one might find on a native 32-bit machine. What we recommend is to keep binaries separated by operating system version and host type. As a helpful hint, you can determine what the platform is by running 'uname -m' and the OS version via 'lsb_release -ir'.


  • Are there process limits?

Yes. You may see the limits by running your shell's command. e.g. 

ksh/bash: ulimit -a
csh/tcsh: limit

If you need to run a long process for research please contact your PI to find out which machines are available to you. If you are not affiliated with a research group, the CADE provides additional resources for all SoC users, including compute servers.


  • Where are programs located?

In addition to the standard Ubuntu locations, you'll want to add these locations to your search path, which include SoC Facility programs like csquota:


Please note that pine is no longer under development.  It's replacement is called alpine.


  • Can I run servers?

No. The shell machines are meant for interactive use and not for running long-term processes. If the "server" is short-term testing for a class project etc. you may, but please be aware of the process limits mentioned above.


  • Is local/scratch disk space available?


Yes, please check out our Scratch Disk Space FAQ


  • How do I get software installed?

If there is an Ubuntu package available we will install it for you as long as it does not cause issues. If it is code that must be compiled, you can do such in your home directory space. We no longer compile custom versions of packages for users. (i.e. There is no longer a /usr/local tree provided.) If you need to use perl modules that are not installed by default, please read our Installing Perl Modules FAQ for instructions on how to install modules on your own.


  • Xvnc


There should be no need to run VNC on these systems. Please use an ssh client such as SecureCRT or Putty for Windows and/or you can run an X server like Xming or Cygwin. For *nix hosts, just tunnel via ssh or set your DISPLAY environment variable to point to your local X server.


  • S/FTP

The shell servers run an FTP server for internal network use only. However you should uses ftp/scp whenever possible.