Long-term visitors to ICERM are provided with an exploratory account on the Oscar high performance computing cluster maintained by Brown's Center for Computation and Visualization. Oscar access may also be provided to short-term visitors on a case-by-case basis with advance notice.
Oscar can be used via SSH terminal or via the Oscar VNC client. The Oscar VNC client is preinstalled and available on the thin clients in all ICERM 10th floor offices and the graduate student workspace in the 10th floor lobby.
Oscar provides both command line (SSH) access and virtual desktop (VNC) access to the computing cluster. All Oscar accounts are capable of using both interfaces, so you should choose the method that will work best for what you are trying to accomplish.
Oscar accounts are tied to Brown Shibboleth accounts, so you must have an ICERM Sponsored Brown ID to use Oscar. Once Oscar access is enabled for your Brown account, you can log in to SSH and VNC using your Brown Shibboleth username and password.
Oscar's SSH interface provides a standard command line shell for interacting with the cluster. This is the best option for using simple command line scripts and submitting scripts for batch job processing. See the SSH Login Instructions for information on how to connect and basic usage. It's important to note that you should never run complex scripts or computations within the SSH login nodes. Computations should either be submitted as batch jobs or run in an interactive compute session using the
Oscar's VNC client provides a standard Linux graphical desktop using virtual network computing. If you'd like to use applications with a GUI, such as MATLAB or Mathematica, this is the best way to do so. Oscar's VNC sessions run within the scheduling system directly on a compute node, similar to the
interact command, so you can run computations directly in the VNC session. See the VNC Login Instructions for information on how to get started with the VNC client.
Oscar maintains a large library of software packages for use on the HPC cluster. Some of the most commonly used mathematical applications and languages available include:
To see the most up to date list of available software, log in to your Oscar account and run the terminal command
Oscar has a large library of software available on the cluster, but only a few apps are pre-loaded in to your sessions. The commands below will allow you to list all available modules, search the list of modules, and load/unload software packages. When using Oscar over VNC, you must open the Terminal Emulator to run these commands.
module avail <package>.
module avail mathematica. Many packages, like Mathematica, have multiple versions available. This command lets you see all available versions of the package you searched for.
module load <package/version>.
module load mathematica/11.0. This will load the Mathematica 11.0 into your session and make it available for use.
module unload <packagename>
Oscar supports two main methods of running jobs: batch jobs and interactive sessions.
interactcommand that can be used in real time.
module avail. More information about Oscar's software packages are available in the Oscar User Manual. If you require a software package that is not currently available on the Oscar cluster, please contact ICERM's IT staff and we will work with CCV to get the software installed.
–useras an option in the install command. For example, with Sage, the command would be something like
sage -i <package name> –user.
If you have questions about these instructions or require further assistance, please contact the ICERM IT staff by dropping by the administrative offices or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.