Central Linux Service

Related pages

This service consists of a number of interactive Linux systems, providing you with the capacity to carry out compute intensive jobs. The systems are set up in a similar manner to the IT Services Linux desktop, with a standard set of software and access to central filestores as standard. You can log into the Central Linux Service via ssh or using the x2go remote desktop application.

Access the Central Linux Service »

Overview

Eligibility

Anyone with an IT Services account can log into the teaching
nodes.

Research nodes are normally reserved for staff and research graduates.

Each of the interactive servers has a differing hardware specifications, but they all provide a much larger compute resource than you can access on a desktop PC.

Access is supported via SSH or the x2go client. We recommend using recent versions of these.

If you aren't normally granted access to the research nodes, but feel that you require access to them, please contact IT Support and explain what your requirements are. We may need to discuss your request with your module tutor or academic supervisor, so please include their contact details.

Using the systems

Information about the systems, including system specifications and login information, can be found on the Research and High Performance Computing wiki:

Help & troubleshooting

Help

For information on Linux-related training courses, please see the Research and High Performance Computing wiki:

Library & IT Help Desk

If you're having problems using the Central Linux Service, get in touch with the Library & IT Help Desk.

Our commitments

Service status Live and supported service.
Hours of service

24/7 availability except for planned upgrades and maintenance.

Teaching nodes are patched weekly on Tuesday, between 5am and 7am. They are rebooted as part of this process.

Research nodes are patched monthly on the first Tuesday of the month, between 5am and 7am. They are rebooted as part of this process.

We may occasionally need to patch servers at short notice, for example to address critical security issues.

Service support For help and support with this service, contact the Library & IT Help Desk.
Hours of support Help from the Library & IT Help Desk is available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Target availability

General IT Services targets:

Resilience As this service provides interactive access to the nodes themselves, there is no inherent fault-tolerance at a system level. Each node is configured to be resilient at the hardware and network level - for example using redundant power supplies, RAID storage and multiple network links where possible.
Our performance

Our service standards have been produced in consultation with our customers, and monitor the quality, timeliness and access to facilities and services:

Complaints procedure

If you wish to give us general feedback on this service, please see our Feedback page for ways to get in touch.

If you wish to make a complaint, please see our complaints procedure.

Your responsibilities

You are expected to exercise due care to avoid disrupting other users, for example by utilising a large proportion of the overall memory or by starting large CPU-intensive operations.

At our discretion, we may take remedial action (for example, renice or kill processes) if your processes are causing problems; we will normally try to contact you before we do this.

If you use these systems to carry out any long-running computations, your code must save its state regularly and have an ability to resume later; this ensures that in the event of disruption your progress won't be lost.

Please remember that these are multi-user systems and as such you must ensure any sensitive data is adequately protected, for example with appropriate file permissions. You must take care not to expose sensitive data or passwords to other users, for example by using them in command line arguments.