Requesting an Account

Account Request Process

The MIT Supercloud is intended to support research and collaboration between MIT Lincoln Laboratory and students, faculty and researchers at MIT and other academic institutions. It is our practice to allow access from within the United States. The account request, approval, and creation process is:

  1. Request: There are two steps to the request:
    1. Fill out our Account Request Form. In this form we ask if you are using non-public data, see why below. Please wait until you have your account before requesting new shared groups, only list existing groups on this form.
    2. Ask your faculty advisor or PI to send us a short confirmation email for your account verifying that you will be using your Supercloud account for your work. This email should be sent to supercloud@mit.eduWe will not email your advisor for you. We will not proceed with the account creation process until we receive an email from your advisor/PI.
  2. Advisor/PI Confirmation: Once we receive an email from your advisor/PI we can continue the next step.
  3. Approval: This usually happens behind the scenes. You may receive an email with additional questions before you are approved. While you are waiting you can start learning to use your account by working through the Using the MIT Supercloud course on https://llx.mit.edu.
  4. Creation: When your account is created, you will receive an email with your username. You will also receive instructions on how to log into your account, a link to a tutorial on YouTube, and a link to our online course platform.
  5. Set up your account: Create an ssh key and add it to your account, then make sure you can log in through ssh. The Using the MIT Supercloud course on https://llx.mit.edu also walks you through this process with videos.
  6. Learn to use your account: At minimum, read the Getting Started page and watch the tutorial video we have sent to you, or work through the Using the MIT Supercloud course on https://llx.mit.edu. These will help you get started running your code, go over some of our policies, and answer any questions you might have.

Why do we ask if you are using data that is not publicly available?

Not all data is appropriate for Supercloud. If your data is not publicly available, we ask for any agreements or requirements you have for your data to make sure Supercloud is the right place to be putting the data. Please be as detailed as you can. To get a general idea of the sorts of data that may or may not be appropriate for Supercloud, take a look at MIT IS&T's guidance for storing data in Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive here.

Generating ssh Keys for Supercloud Authentication

If you have any issues or questions regarding the generation of ssh keys, please contact the team at supercloud@mit.edu. To access the system you will need ssh keys. For additional security you can create a passphrase when you generate your key, which you must enter every time you log in. Since you set this yourself on your own computer, we cannot help you reset it if you forget it. If you can't remember your passphrase you'll have to generate a new key and re-add it using the Web Portal.

If you cannot generate ssh keys on your system, let us know and we can help you.

If you have no existing ssh keys, from the command line in a terminal window, follow the steps below. On Mac and Linux, open your standard terminal window. On Windows 10 and higher, you can use the Windows command prompt. If the command prompt does not recognize the ssh-keygen command, you can install OpenSSH by following the instructions on this page. If your Windows operating system is older than Windows 10, see the note below.

If you already have ssh keys then you can use those. You will need your public key, id_rsa.pub.

[user1234@yourMachine]$ ssh-keygen -t rsa

You will see the following:

Generating public/private rsa key pair.

When answering the 3 prompts (first 3 lines) hit return to create passwordless keys and save them in the default location. Alternatively, for extra security you can create a passphrase for your key that you'll have to enter every time you log in. To do this, instead of pressing "enter" or "return", enter the passphrase you've chosen when prompted.

Enter file in which to save the key (/home/user1234/.ssh/id_rsa):
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:
Your identification has been saved in /home/user1234/.ssh/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /home/user1234/.ssh/id_rsa.pub.
The key fingerprint is:
88:90:6a:dc:f1:bd:ed:fb:b1:aa:46:14:34:5e:b9:70 user1234@yourMachine
The key's randomart image is:
+--[ RSA 2048]----+
|      .o ..      |
|   .  .ooE       |
|  o.   .+ .      |
|....o..o .       |
|.o ...o.S        |
|.      .o        |
|      .. . .     |
|       ..   o    |
|      ...++o     |
+—————------------+

To view your public ssh key, go to your .ssh directory.

[user1234@yourMachine]$ cd .ssh

In ~/.ssh you would see two files id_rsa and id_rsa.pub. The id_rsa.pub file contains your public key.

[user1234@yourMachine]$ ls
id_rsa  id_rsa.pub

This is the id_rsa.pub file content after generating a public SSH key that we would require. To view it, type cat id_rsa.pub at the command line.

[user1234@yourMachine]$ cat id_rsa.pub
ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAABIwAAAQEA1NAD8v4nFzQ6G7KIEzkDLOnlH7t/4zmw0vVXlJjjFW4kLBgLJa0tkk61jHCxO2CurDr4zdEs2NeHG9agZJgMKMJZdIVaxtPcEBVVaNutvn/ZDRe3VsrRjToKEoR0xlAUdoef++AwiwI6K6vBOGIq6whLIlY5L9tZJfaLF3xMwmQRRhf4C+al/yZ5hX7BfGba2fqZmugTPpeSbLnFMVPKK/wy6XZasBSAKgLBA141EMXIKuGrpXpxLMECPBN5GDd/xmjmD0pC2o2z5OdfdYJj/FRWL2sC8hWTZSPa4p/n7Qc9ErFW5wM7FkynwguN4t/A+QOCa+p8C/nrOcTQKugrtw user1234@yourMachine

Copy the entire output, including the ssh-rsa at the beginning.

Adding your SSH Keys to your Account

Once you have created your ssh keys and copied your public key, you can add your key to your account using the Web Portal:

  1. Go to https://txe1-portal.mit.edu.
  2. Log in. If you are an MIT affiliate or an affiliate at another university or institution you can log in with your MIT or institutional credentials. Click on MIT Touchstone/InCommon.
    1. Select your institution (note these are spelled out, MIT is listed as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example).
    2. Click the checkbox next to "Remember my Choice" and click the "Select" button.
    3. Log in with your institutional credentials.
  3. Click on the "sshkeys" link.
  4. Paste your public ssh key in the box at the bottom of the page, click "Update Keys".
  5. Verify you can log in by running ssh USERNAME@txe1-login.mit.edu in the terminal where you created your ssh keys, where USERNAME is the username we sent you in your new account email.

NOTE: For other Windows users there are a number of ssh clients you can use. Some ssh clients like Moba Xterm and Cygwin give you a Linux-like environment, and so once you start the program (which should look include a command line window), you can follow the instructions for creating an ssh key in above once you install the client.

To install Moba Xterm, follow the instructions here through the section "Create Local Shell". Anytime you are instructed to open a terminal window, you can follow the instructions to create a local shell. Once you have installed, follow the instructions above for creating an ssh key.

Instructions for installing PuTTY are here. (Please note, the link will open in a new window.) Once PuTTY is installed please follow the instructions at this link to manually generate your ssh-keys, only follow the instructions in the "Generating an SSH Key" section.

 

 

 

 


Current Approver List

  • Boston University: Wayne Gilmore
  • Harvard: Scott Yockel
  • MIT: Jeremy Kepner, Vijay Gadepally, Chris Hill, Lauren Milechin
  • Lincoln Laboratory: Jeremy Kepner, Vijay Gadepally
  • Northeastern: David Kaeli
  • UMass Amherst: John Griffin
  • UMass Dartmouth: Gaurav Khanna
  • UMass Lowell: Anne Maglia
  • UMass Medical: Paul Langlois