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Using a high-performance computing cluster such as ours is a bit more complex than running software on your local desktop or laptop computer.  For that reason, please don't hesitate to contact us if you have a question or come across a problem. Our support email address is

Logging In

Access to the cluster is gained via the ssh (secure shell) command, which gives you a shell (command-line interface) running on the cluster's login node. 

Preparing to use ssh


If you are using Mac OS X or Linux then you don't need a special ssh client, since both operating systems provide a terminal emulator and ssh client.

If you are using Windows, the easiest way to log into Pan is with MobaXTerm, an ssh client for Windows. If you don't have Administrator access to your Windows machine there is also a MobaXterm portable edition.

SSH Keys

If you don't have a University of Auckland UPI, you have to set up an ssh key pair to authenticate yourself to the cluster, so please do that before proceeding.

Logging in with ssh

To log in, you will use the "ssh" command: 

If you have a University of Auckland UPI

ssh <your_auckland_upi>
If do not have a University of Auckland UPI and have set up an ssh key
ssh <firstname>.<lastname>

Once successfully logged in you willl see some notices displayed.  Please read those, usually they contain important information about outages, changes to the system and such.

Build nodes

The login node offers very limited functionality, such as viewing your files and submitting jobs.

For more demanding interactive work, please use one of our dedicated build nodes.

We offer two build nodes, each for a specific hardware configuration:

  •       build-wm   (Intel Westmere, NVIDIA Fermi)
  •       build-sb (Intel Sandy Bridge, NVIDIA Kepler)

To connect to the build nodes from the login node, execute for example:

ssh -YC build-wm

The Y stands for X-forwarding, C for compression. You can leave these options out if you don't need a graphical user interface.

Next Steps

You are ready to prepare for your first job submission!  See the Slurm User Guide to continue, or if you are unfamiliar with the unix command line then first see this tutorial, particularly the section on ssh.  If you have input data to upload, read on:

Data transfer


If you want to transfer very large (>=1TB) or many files (e.g. 10k files of 2Mb), please contact the user support to discuss the best way of doing that.

For regular use:

Note to sshfs users:

  • Windows: sshfs is great to use, however, if the connection to the cluster goes down, your whole system might crash.
  • Linux: If the connection goes down use: fusermount -uz /my/mount/point
  • Both: Be aware that also with sshfs large files take a while to be transferred

ODAP User Guide (Otago Data Access Point)

The NeSI Otago Data Access Point (ODAP) is provided to Researchers at The University of Otago as a simple means for research traffic to bypass the university business firewall and provide direct access to the NeSI Supercomputing and storage services (NeSI PAN Cluster and NeSI Data Fabric)

Refer; ODAP User Guide - Otago Data Access Point


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