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Introduction to Research Computing on the Great Lakes Cluster

June 25, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Your Desktop


This workshop will introduce you to high performance computing on the Great Lakes cluster.  After a brief overview of the components of the cluster and the resources available there, the main body of the workshop will cover creating batch scripts and the options available to run jobs, and hands-on experience in submitting, tracking, and interpreting the results of submitted jobs. By the end of the workshop, every participant should have created a submission script, submitted a job, tracked its progress, and collected its output. Additional tools including high-performance data transfer services and interactive use of the cluster will also be covered.


This course assumes familiarity with the Linux command line as might be obtained from the ARC-TS workshop Introduction to the Linux Command Line. In particular, participants should understand how files and folders work, be able to create text files using the nano editor, and be able to create and remove files and folders.  Some exposure to shell input and output redirection and pipes would also be useful.


Dr. Charles J Antonelli
Research Computing Services
LSA Technology Services

Charles is a member of the LSA Technology Services Research team at the University of Michigan, where he is responsible for high performance computing support and education, and was an Advocate to the Departments of History and Communications. Prior to this, he built a parallel data ingestion component of a novel earth science data assimilation system, a secure packet vault, and worked on the No. 5 ESS Switch at Bell Labs in the 80s. He has taught courses in operating systems, distributed file systems, C++ programming, security, and database application design.



In order to participate successfully in the workshop exercises, you must have a user login, a Slurm account, and be enrolled in Duo. The user login allows you to log in to the cluster, create, compile, and test applications, and prepare jobs for submission. The Slurm account allows you to submit those jobs, executing the applications in parallel on the cluster and charging their resource use to the account. Duo is required to help authenticate you to the cluster.


If you already have a Great Lakes user login, you don’t need to do anything.  Otherwise, go to the Great Lakes user login application page at: http://arc-ts.umich.edu/login-request/

Please note that obtaining a user account requires human processing, so be sure to do this at least two business days before class begins.


We create a Slurm account for the workshop so you can run jobs on the cluster during the workshop and for one day after for those who would like additional practice. The workshop job account is quite limited and is intended only to run examples to help you cement the details of job submission and management. If you already have an existing Slurm account, you can use that, though if there are any issues with that account, we will ask you to use the workshop account.


Duo two-factor authentication is required to log in to the cluster. When logging in, you will need to type your UMICH (AKA Level 1) password as well as authenticate through Duo in order to access Great Lakes.

If you need to enroll in Duo, follow the instructions at Enroll a Smartphone or Tablet in Duo.

Please enroll in Duo before you come to class.


You will need VPN software to access the U-M network on which Great Lakes is located.  If you do not have VPN software already installed, please download and install the Cisco AnyConnect VPN software following these instructions.  Please use the ‘Campus All traffic’ profile in the Cisco client.

You will need an ssh client to connect to the Great Lakes cluster. Mac OS X and Linux platforms have this built-in. Here are a couple of choices for Windows platforms:

  • Download and install U-M PuTTY/WinSCP from the Compute at the U website. This includes both the PuTTY ssh client and terminal emulator and a graphical file transfer tool in one installer.  This document describes how to download and use this software, except please note you will be connecting to greatlakes.arc-ts.umich.edu instead of the cited host.  You must have administrative authority over your computer to install this software.
  • Download PuTTY directly from the developer. Download the putty.exe application listed under “Alternative binary files,”, then execute the application.  You do not need administrative authority over your computer to use this software.

Our Great Lakes User Guide in Section 1.2 describes in more detail how to use PuTTY to connect to Great Lakes.

Please prepare and test your computer’s ability to make remote connections before class; we cannot stop to debug connection issues during the class.

A Zoom link will be provided to the participants the day before the class. Registration is required.  Please note this session will be recorded.


If you have questions about this workshop, please send an email to the instructors at hpc-course@umich.edu

Please register at https://ttc.iss.lsa.umich.edu/ttc/sessions/introduction-to-research-computing-on-the-great-lakes-cluster-8/register/


June 25, 2021
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Your Desktop


Charles Antonelli