OnDemand is our "one stop shop" for access to our High Performance Computing resources. With OnDemand, you can upload and download files, create, edit, submit, and monitor jobs, run GUI applications, and connect via SSH, all via a web broswer, with no client software to install and configure.

System Requirements

Currently, the site is confirmed to work with newer versions of Chrome (22+), Firefox (16+), and Internet Explorer (11+). We are still working to expand availability to additional clients, and are planning on including compatibility for mobile devices (phones and tablets) in the future. 


To connect to OnDemand, visit https://ondemand.osc.edu. The first page of OnDemand site displays instructions on how to login to OSC OnDemand which are shown in the image below:

How to Login to OSC OnDemand

Click the button labeled "Login via CILogon" at the bottom to continue to step 1 shown below:

  • Step 1 requires you choose an identity provider to login with. This can be any institute you're affiliated with or even services like Google.
    If you check 'Remember this selection' you will need to delete cookies from the cilogon domain to make a new choice. You can do this through your browser's settings or at https://cilogon.org/me
  • Step 2 has you log in using your credentials for the provider you picked.
  • Step 3 has you log in with your OSC credentials in order to link your identity provider to your OSC account.

NOTE:  These three steps are only needed the first time you login to OSC OnDemand. 

Once completed you will be presented with this page:

Default OnDemand FrontPage

Or this page if your browser window is more compact:

OnDemand Compact Front Page

The three lined icon to the right of the compact page expands when clicked to show the full toolbar that the non-compact page has. At this point, you can begin accessing the tools in OnDemand.

File Transfer

Move data on and off of OSC storage services. To use the file transfer client, select "Files" in the main menu. For more information, please visit the file transfer and management page.

Job Management

Create, edit, submit, and monitor jobs. To access the job management tools, use the "Jobs" menu. For more information about the tools please visit the job management page.

Job Management Menu

Shell Access

OnDemand provides the ability SSH to Oakley or Ruby (if your account has access to) from inside your web browser. To get to a terminal, select the "Clusters" menu and choose either Oakley or Ruby.

Shell Access

Please note that this action will open a "pop-up" window. If your browser is configured to block pop-ups, you will not see the terminal. 

Configuring Pop-up Settings

If your brower is configured to block pop-ups, use the following guide to allow all pop-ups from OnDemand.  You will first need to attempt to open a shell to bring up the following windows.  If you have previously configured the pop-up settings for OnDemand you may need to open your settings page to make the appropriate settings.

Internet Explorer

To configure Internet Explorer to always allow popups from OnDemand, select "Always allow" under the "Options for this site" menu at the bottom of the screen.


To configure Chrome to always allow popups from OnDemand, click the "Pop-up blocked" icon to the right of the address bar.  Select "Always allow pop-ups from ondemand.osc.edu" and click Done.


To configure Firefox to always allow popups from OnDemand, select the Options button at the top of the screen and click "Allow pop-ups for ondemand.osc.edu."


To configure Safari to allow popups, go to Safari -> Preferences -> Security and uncheck "Block pop-up windows."

System Status

This page shows the current status of entire system (nodes in use, cores in use, and number of running, queued, and blocked jobs). 

System Status

If you click the image, you'll get detailed report including the total system load, the CPU usage, the total cluster memory use, and the total network traffic on the cluster. The "CPU Report" showing less than 100% use means that there are some cores not currently being used by job, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are available to be scheduled; there may be a system reservation that is preventing the scheduler from utilizing all of those cores.

Get a Virtual Desktop

Request a desktop to run GUI applications, without the hassle or performance problems associated with X11 forwarding. To access one, please select either "Interactive HPC" or "Virtual Desktop Interface" from the "Desktops" menu.

Virtual Desktop Interface

Select one VDI app you will arrive on the page shown below. Please modify the resolution information if needed and click "Launch". You may need to wait for a few minutes for the interface to launch.


Here, it also provides you the access to Files ("Acess Files") and Shell (">_Launch Shell"), and allows you to go back to OnDemand main page ("Go to Dashboard").

Image of OnDemand Page requesting access to Oakley VDI

Once the interface is ready to be used, your session manager will have a job which looks like the image below:

Image of OnDemand page showing the a successfully created VDI session

To access the interface, you can choose from "noVNC Instructions", or "Native Client Instructions". If you use "noVNC", you can choose from "Launch noVNC in New Tab" to get your desktop shown below and work accordingly, or "View Only (Share-able Link)" to get your desktop or share your desktop with colleagues in "View Only" mode. If you use "Native Client Instructions", see this page for more information on how to use OSC Connect.  

Oakley Desktop


The Virtual Desktop Interfaces should not be used for computationally or memory intensive processes because it is a shared resource and there are other users on the same node. Such processes will be terminated. Please peform such work on compute node as discussed below.

Interactive HPC

Request a desktop on compute node through the batch system, without the hassle or performance problems associated with X11 forwarding. To access one, please select "Oakley Desktop" or others under "Interactive" from the "Desktops" menu.  

If you choose "Oakley Desktop", you will arrive on the page shown below. Please enter the information as desired and click "Launch". You may need to wait for a few minutes for the interface to launch. If you'd like to recieve an email notifiying you of when the interface has launched, please select "I would like to recieve an email when the session starts".

Image of OnDemand Page showing a request to get an Interactive HPC Desktop session

Once the interface is ready to be used, your session manager will have a job which looks like the image below:

Image of OnDemand Page showing a successfully created interactive HPC Desktop session

Similarly, you can choose from "noVNC Instructions", or "Native Client Instructions" to get the interface. If you use "noVNC", you can choose from "Launch noVNC in New Tab" to get your desktop and work accordingly, or "View Only (Share-able Link)" to get your desktop or share your desktop with colleagues in "View Only" mode. If you use "Native Client Instructions", see this page for more information on how to use OSC Connect. 

Here, you can run computationally or memory intensive processes since you do not share the node(s) with other clients

Access Application on Compute Node

Request an applcation on compute node through the batch system, without the hassle or performance problems associated with X11 forwarding. To access one, please select any app from the "Desktop Apps" menu. See "Desktop App Catalog" for more information. 

App Developers

If you'd like to develop your own app through OnDemand, see this link for detailed instructions. 


Desktop App Catalog

OSC OnDemand provides access to applications on compute nodes through the batch system, without the hassle or performance problems associated with X11 forwarding. To access one, please select an application under "Interactive HPC" from the "Desktop Apps" menu. For more information on each product, please go to its page provided below.


OnDemand Desktop App: RStudio Server

RStudio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for R. It includes a console, syntax-highlighting editor that supports direct code execution, as well as tools for plotting, history, debugging and workspace management.

Accessing through OnDemand

All the desktop apps can be found within the 'Desktop Apps' dropdown in our OnDemand web portal as shown in the image below:

Image of OnDemand Desktop Apps Dropdown

After selecting RStudio Server, you will arrive at this page:

Image of how to setup RStudio

Here you can select the resources you would like your RStudio session to have using the menu on the lefthand side of the page. You can also access your files or launch the shell using the options in the center. After you click "Launch", a new session will be queued. Once the session is active you page will look like the image below:

Image of launchable RStudio Session

Click on "Connect to RStudio Server" to begin using RStudio.

Using RStudio

Once you have entered your session, you should see the RStudio page below:

Image of an active RStudio session

This is a typical RStudio interface that should be familiar to most users.

  • Left panel: The console where you can type commands and see the output.
  • Top right panel:
    • Environment tab: Shows all the active objects
    • History tab: Shows a list of commands used so far.
  • Bottom right panel:
    • Files tab: Shows all the files and and folders in your home directory
    • Plots tab: Shows all your graphs
    • Packages tab: Lists a series of packages or add-ons needed to run certain processes
    • Help tab: Can be used to find additional info
    • Viewer tab: Used to view local web content

More info on RStudio and its use can be found on the RStudio official support page.



File Transfer and Management

OnDemand provides a web-based File Explorer that can be used to upload and download files to your OSC home directory or project directory, and copy, delete, rename, and edit files.

Here you can see a screen shot of what the main interface looks like.

File Main Page



Selecting which File System

File Navigation

By default, the file browser will be looking at your home directory. If you have access to a project space for GPFS directory, you can switch to those by backtracking through the path near the top of the window and selecting the file system you wish to browse. In addition, you can use the "Go To" option in the top menu to type the path you wish to navigate to. Both the directory path and "Go To" button are highlighted in red in the image above.

Switching Folders

On the left side of the screen is a tree view of the directory structure. You can navigate this tree the same way you might on a normal desktop GUI to select the folder you wish to use.

Uploading and Downloading Files

File Upload

There are several methods to upload files. The first is to simply navigate to the desired destination, and then drag the file from your local desktop or window navigator to the OnDemand window. You can also click the "Upload" button to open a dialog that will allow you to navigate your local computer and select which files you want to upload. This process is highlighted in the image above.

To download files, you must select the file or files you wish to download, and then use the "Download" button. If you select multiple files ("control+click" or "shift+click") or a folder, the server will zip the files up and download a single zip archive to your desktop machine.

File Operations

Most file operations can be accomplished by selecting the file in the main window pane and selecting the desired operation from the main menu.

File Operations

Viewing and/or Editing a File

The application also includes several built-in file editors. To access these editors and viewers, select the file you wish to view or edit, and select "Edit" from the main menu. This will open up a text editor in a new tab.



Job Management

OnDemand provides two related job managment tools: one allows you to create and submit jobs via your web browser, and the other allows you to monitor queued and running jobs.

Jobs Menu

My Jobs

Selecting "My Jobs" in the Jobs menu will open an application that allows you to create new jobs and submit them to the cluster, and inspect the results of jobs submitted via this tool.


New Job

Please following the steps in order to create a job:

  1. Create a new job by copying from an existing job template directory (by clicking "+New Job" button under "Listing Jobs") or a previously run job directory (by clicking "+Copy Job" button under "Listing Jobs").
    • If you click the "+New Job" button, you will see the page as below. Select the job template to copy, then click "Create New Job". The template directory will be copied and a new job row will be added to the top of the jobs table on the page titled "Listing Jobs"new job
  2. Select the job, then modify and/or add any files to this job by clicking "Edit Files" editfile
  3. Select the job and click "Job Options" to change the cluster, job name, or job script, if necessary editjob
  4. At this point, you can submit the job using the green "submit" button from the "My Jobs" page; or return to this job later to modify it further. You can also monitor the job status here. Currently you must reload the page to see job status changes.

Job Management

On the main screen for "My Jobs" you can click on a job to examine it.

Submit Job

If the job has not been submitted, the "submit job" button will be active, and will submit the selected job to the queue.

Stop Job

The "stop" button will allow you to kill a running job.

Delete Job

The "delete" button will allow you to delete a job

Active Jobs

The "Active Jobs" application will show you all of jobs currently in the queue (running or queued), regardless of how the jobs were submitted. You can click the button on top to switch from:

  • All jobs from your OSC account
  • All jobs from your project/group
  • All jobs from OSC users

You can also use "Search" tool to filter jobs based on sytems (oakley or ruby), status (running, queued, or hold), OSC user accout, etc.


Job Inspection

If you click the arrow to the left of each job you can get more information about this job. It also provides the information of each node on which this job is running on, over the duration of the entire job. Clicking on each image expands it to show more information.

job status