User Interface (Shell) Environment

General Unix/Linux resources

W&M's HPC clusters run on a mix of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and its derivative CentOS, so you will need basic Unix/Linux knowledge to use the College's HPC systems. If you are unfamiliar with the Unix/Linux command-line, please avail yourself of one or more of the following resources:

W&M users also have access to many relevant technical e-books through Swem Library, including Unix Power Tools (also available in print), Learning the Unix Operating System (also available in print), Using csh & tcsh, Linux Pocket Guide: Essential Commands, Unix Shells by Example, and Unix in a Nutshell.

Information specific to W&M HPC

We support tcsh as the primary shell environment for user accounts and applications. In order to meld disparate computing platforms into a cohesive user experience, as well as to manage the dozens of software packages which are available on the clusters, we employ a software package called Environment Modules in conjunction with a set of platform-specific shell configuration files. When a new account is created, it is provisioned with the following set of tcsh configuration files:

.login recommended settings for login shells
.cshrc personal environment settings for all subclusters
.cshrc.storm for Hail, Ice, and Wind
.cshrc.rhel6-xeon for Hurricane, Whirlwind, &c.
.cshrc.rhel6-opteron for Vortex and Potomac
.cshrc.rhel7-opteron for Pamunkey
.cshrc.el7-xeon for Bora, Hima, &c.
.cshrc.el7-phi for Meltemi

Customize these files to meet your needs. The most recent versions of these files can be found in /usr/local/etc/templates (be sure to ls -A). A default set of environment modules is loaded at the end of the platform-specific .cshrc.* files to get you started.  System-wide environment settings are initialized in

  • /usr/local/etc/sciclone.{cshrc,login} on SciClone, and
  • /usr/local/etc/chesapeake.{cshrc,login} on Chesapeake.

These files are automatically invoked at the beginning of your personal .cshrc and .login files, respectively.

Text editors

Every login server has at least vim, nano, and emacs, of which nano is the easiest for a beginner (but ultimately least powerful). Alternatively, some users prefer to do their editing on their desktop or laptop computers (with the text editor or IDE of their choice), and then use a file transfer utility such as FileZilla, PuTTY, WinSCP, Fetch, rsync, or sftp to copy files to and from the clusters.