The openlab cluster is for general purpose computing at the School of ICS and accessible to any user with an ICS shell account.

Long running jobs must be submitted through our SGE job queueing system in order to properly balance resources. Jobs executed from via SGE jobs queueing system will be given priority over jobs running on the command line.

Home Directory

Your ICS home directory is shared across all ICS support linux hosts including the openlab hosts.

Connecting to Openlab

You may log in remotely from any host using an ssh client. See our common tools page for a list of clients.

Login into one of the following domain names (e.g. ssh

Domain Name Operating System Both CentOS7 and Ubuntu20.04 CentOS7 only Ubuntu 20.04 Only

NOTE: If you are running a long running process, please take note of the hostname you are running on. The name “” is a load balancer and may not point you to the same host twice. You can determine the hostname by running the command `hostname` from the shell cli. When you come back to check on your process, you will ssh into this name instead of

Off Campus Access

ADVISORY: Off campus access requires ssh keys. Users connecting from off campus must use keys. Users connecting from off campus cannot use passwords to login to the openlab cluster.

What does ICS consider on campus:

  • Any host with a reverse dns name that ends in This includes most campus hosts and hosts connected via VPN.
  • Any host connected to the campus network.

These are the match rules in the ICS sshd_config file:

Match Host *
  PasswordAuthentication yes
Match Address
  PasswordAuthentication yes

Load Balancing

The name takes you to a load balancer. The load balancer will send your connection request to the machine with the lowest load.

If your work requires you to work with multiple shells on the same host, then login directly using a hostname instead of

Determining Hostname

In order to identify which openlab host you are on run the command:


In the following example, the user has logged into a host named

% hostname
SSH Tunneling

In order to create an ssh tunnel to the host that you are a process on, you cannot use the name

In the following example, the user has connected to openlab and run jupyterlab on port 5555. They have run hostname and determined that the name of the host they have run jupyterlab on is

% ssh -L 8080:localhost:5555


The openlab cluster is available on and off campus via SSH and SGE.

There are limitations regarding authentication and how users can connect to the openlab cluster. Please refer to the following matrix for specific information:

LocationSSH with KeysSSH with PasswordSGE QRSH
On campus Yes Yes Yes
Off Campus* Yes No No
UCI VPN Yes Yes Yes

*Off-campus locations include student housing, University Hills housing, and the campus WIFI network.


Check here for directions connecting to the UCI Campus VPN. Make sure you download the software version and select “UCI” from the dropdown menu when choosing a connection type.

Windows Users

  1. Newer versions of Windows have ssh built in. Optionally, you can install Linux Subsystem for Windows to take advantage of running other Linux commands locally.
  2. Open terminal, using the updated Windows Terminal is recommended.
  3. ssh {ics_userid}


Please reference this page on how to connect to Openlab using Putty software: set up Putty for Openlab.

Mac Users

Open Terminal and type:


FOSS SSH Clients

You may use any SSH client to connect to the openlab servers. This short list provides a FOSS ssh clients:

See our common tools page for a list of ssh clients.

Setup your SSH Keys

Off-campus users must use SSH keys to connect to the openlab cluster. Follow these directions to Set Up SSH Keys (includes a link to PuTTY key setup).


Much of the openlab cluster runs on donated hardware. Feel free to contact support if you think you have some spare hardware that you would like to add.


  • Operating System: CentOS 7 (Redhat Enterprise Linux 7 Equivalent) or Ubuntu 20.04.
  • Provisioning: Puppet 3.x
  • Primary Investigator: Computing Support
  • Contact Email:

Hardware Specifications

The Openlab hosts are made up of two sets of hardware that are grouped with the following machines:

Circinus Cluster

Description Information
ClusterCircinus Cluster
Count 96
Model HP Proliant SL390 G7
Processor 2 x Intel Xeon X5680 @ 3.33 Ghz
HDD Varies
Redundant Power Yes


Description Information
ClusterOpenlab Cluster
Count 1
Model Dell PowerEdge R815
Processor AMD Opteron™ Processor 6378
RAM 512 GB
Redundant Power Yes


Description Information
ClusterOpenlab Cluster
Count 1
Model Dell PowerEdge R815
Processor AMD Opteron™ Processor 6378
RAM 512 GB
Redundant Power Yes

User Access

  • All Users

Services Provided

Code Editor suggestions


Complete rosters for the openlab cluster can be displayed with the following sinfo command:

module load slurm


RC Files

ICS users will occasionally damage their dot files, which results in unusual-looking SSH prompts and/or being unable to use the “module” command. If this is the case, click here for directions to If the above fails, contact helpdesk.

hardware/cluster/openlab.txt · Last modified: 2022/04/12 13:23 by Hans
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