Access and data transfer

Before you can really start using one of the clusters, there are several things you need to do or know:

Logging in to a cluster

You need to log on to a cluster via an ssh-client to one of the login nodes. This will give you a command line. The software you’ll need to use on your client system depends on its operating system:


When logging in to a KU Leuven cluster, take a look at the page on Multi Factor Authentication.

Data storage

Your account also comes with a certain amount of data storage capacity in at least three subdirectories on each cluster. You’ll need to familiarise yourself with

Transferring data

Before you can do some work, you’ll have to transfer the files that you need from your desktop or department to the cluster. At the end of a job, you might want to transfer some files back. The preferred way to do that, is by using an sftp client. It again requires some software on your client system which depends on its operating system:

GUI applications on the clusters

Optionally, if you wish to use programs with a graphical user interface, you’ll need an X server on your client system. Again, this depends on the latter’s operating system:


Logging in to the login nodes of your institute’s cluster may not work if your computer is not on your institute’s network (e.g., when you work from home). In those cases you will have to set up a VPN (Virtual Private Networking) connection if your institute provides this service.