BwUniCluster 2.0 User Access

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bwUniCluster 2.0 is Baden-Württemberg's general purpose tier 3 high performance computing (HPC) cluster co-financed by Baden-Württemberg's ministry of science, research and arts and the shareholders:

  • Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg
  • Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • Heidelberg University (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg)
  • Ulm University
  • University of Hohenheim
  • University of Konstanz
  • University of Mannheim
  • University of Stuttgart
  • HAW BW e.V. (an association of university of applied sciences in Baden-Württemberg)

To log on bwUniCluster 2.0 a user account is required. All members of the shareholder universities can apply for an account.

bwUniCluster wiring by Holger Obermaier, copyright: KIT (SCC)
bwUniCluster wiring © KIT (SCC)

1 Registration

Granting access and issuing a user account for bwUniCluster 2.0 requires the registration at the KIT service website (step B). However, this registration depends on the bwUniCluster entitlement issued by your university (step A).

1.1 Step A: bwUniCluster (!) entitlement for registration

The entitlement is called bwUniCluster (NOT bwUniCluster 2.0, i.e. the entitlements don't change!) and each university issues the bwUniCluster entitlement only for their own members. Details on the issuing process and/or the entitlement application forms are listed hereafter:

1.2 Step B: Web Registration

After step A, i.e., after issueing the bwUniCluster entitlement, please visit:

    1. Select your home organization from the list and click Proceed
    2. You will be directed to the Identity Provider of your home organisation
    3. Enter your home-organisational user ID / username and your home-organisational password and click Login button
    4. You will be redirected back to the registration website
    5. Select unter The following services are available the service bwUniCluster
      BwRegWebApp avail services pic01.png
    6. Click Register
    7. Set a service password for authentication on bwUniCluster

1.3 Step C: Amendment: bwUniCluster questionnaire

Starting June 1st, 2015, usage of bwUniCluster mandatorily requires the questionnaire

to be answered. The input is solely used for the elaboration of future support activities and for planning future HPC resources. From June 1st, 2015, login to bwUniCluster 2.0 is only permitted to users who have already answered the questionnaire. Exception: For the first 14 days after the web registration login to bwUniCluster 2.0 is permitted without participation in the questionnaire.

1.4 Changing Password

Your bwUniCluster 2.0 password is the service password you set during the web registration (compare step 7 of chapter 1.2). At any time, you can set a new bwUniCluster 2.0 password via the registration website by carrying out the following steps:

  1. visit and select your home organization
  2. authenticate yourself via your home-organizational user id / username and your home-organizational password
  3. find on the left side bwUniCluster and select Set Service Password
  4. set new service, i.e. bwUniCluster, password, repeat it and click Save button.
  5. the page answers e.g. "Das Passwort wurde bei dem Dienst geändert" ("password has been changed")
  6. proceed to log in using the new password in the next step

1.5 Contact

If you have questions or problems concerning bwUniCluster (2.0) registration, please contact your local hotline.

2 Establishing network access

Access to bwUniCluster 2.0 is limited to IP addresses from the so-called BelWue networks. All home institutions of our current users are connected to BelWue, so if you are on your campus network (e.g. in your office or on the Campus WiFi) you should be able to connect to bwUniCluster 2.0 without restrictions. If you are outside of one of the BelWue networks (e.g. in your home office instead of in your campus office), a VPN connection to your home institution has to be established first (see e.g. [1] for the KIT).

3 Login

After finishing the web registration and making sure that you have access to a network from which you have access to bwUniCluster 2.0 (e.g. by establishing a VPN connection), the HPC cluster is ready for your SSH based login. Available SSH applications are:

  • built-in command under Linux and macOS using the application terminal
  • MobaXterm under Windows

bwUniCluster 2.0 has four + two dedicated login nodes. The selection of the login node is done automatically and is based on a round-robin scheduling. Logging in another time the session might run on the other login node.

Only the secure shell SSH is allowed to login. Other protocols like telnet or rlogin are not allowed for security reasons.

3.1 Login applications: Linux and macOS

A connection to bwUniCluster 2.0 can be established by the command:

$ ssh <UserID>   # or
$ ssh <UserID>            # Login on a Cascade-Lake-node - or
$ ssh <UserID>           # Login on a Broadwell-node  

If you are using openSSH (usually installed on Linux based systems) and you want to use a GUI-based application on bwUniCluster 2.0 you should use the ssh command with the option -X

$ ssh -X <UserID>   # or
$ ssh -X <UserID>            # or
$ ssh -X <UserID>

3.2 Login applications: Windows

3.2.1 Hints for using MobaXterm

Note: The bwHPC-C5 support team strongly recommends to use MobaXterm instead of PuTTY or WinSCP. MobaXterm provides a X11 server allowing to start GUI based software.

Start MobaXterm, fill in the following fields:

Remote name              :    # or
Specify user name        : <UserID>
Port                     : 22

After that click on 'ok'. Then a terminal will be opened and there you can enter your password.

3.2.2 Deprecated: Hints for using PuTTY

Start PuTTY, fill in at window PuTTY Configuration under category Session the following fields

Host Name        : <UserID>    # or <UserID>
Port             : 22
Connection type  : SSH

and click on Open, enter your password and accept adding host key. Note that you can also name the configured session via Save and load it later via the given name.

3.2.3 Deprecated: Hints for using WinSCP

Start WinSCP, fill in the following fields:

File Protocol    : SCP
Host name        :          # or 
Port             : 22
User name        : <UserID>

and click on 'Login' and enter your password. Note that you can also name the configured session via Save and load it later via the given name.

3.3 About UserID / Username

<UserID> of the ssh command is a placeholder for your username at your home organization together with a prefix as followed:

Home organization <UserID>
Universität Freiburg fr_username
Universität Heidelberg hd_username
Universität Hohenheim ho_username
KIT username (without any prefix)
Universität Konstanz kn_username
Universität Mannheim ma_username
Universität Stuttgart st_username
Universität Tübingen tu_username
Universität Ulm ul_username
Hochschule Aalen aa_username
Hochschule Albstadt-Sigmaringen as_username
Hochschule Esslingen es_username
Hochschule Furtwangen hf_username
Hochschule Karlsruhe hk_username
HTWG Konstanz ht_username
Hochschule Reutlingen hr_username
Hochschule Rottenburg ro_username
Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart hs_username
Hochschule Ulm hu_username

3.4 Allowed activities on login nodes

The login nodes of bwUniCluster 2.0 are the access point to the compute system and to your bwUniCluster 2.0 $HOME directory. The login nodes are shared with all the users of bwUniCluster 2.0. Therefore, your activities on the login nodes are limited to primarily set up your batch jobs. Your activities may also be:

  • short compilation of your program code and
  • short pre- and postprocessing of your batch jobs.

To guarantee usability for all the users of bwUniCluster 2.0 you must not run your compute jobs on the login nodes. Compute jobs must be submitted to the queueing system. Any compute job running on the login nodes will be terminated without any notice. Any long-running compilation or any long-running pre- or postprocessing of batch jobs must also be submitted to the queueing system.

4 First steps on bwUniCluster

First and some important steps on bwUniCluster 2.0 can be found here.

5 Deregistration

If you plan to permanently leave the bwUniCluster 2.0, follow the deregister checklist:

  1. Transfer all your data in $HOME and workspace to your local computer/storage and after that clear off all your data
  2. Visit
    • Select your home organization from the list and click Proceed
    • Enter your home-organisational user ID / username and your home-organisational password and click Login button
    • You will be redirected back to the registration website
    • Select Registry Info of the service bwUniCluster (on the left hand side)
      BwUniCluster registration sidebar.png
    • Click Deregister

Note that Step 2 will automatically unsubscribe you from the bwunicluster mail list.