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.


We've created a brief video explaining OnDemand's capabilities so users can better gauge if it is the right fit for them.  Getting connected to OnDemand is also explained in this video.  We've also created tutorial videos for OnDemand's Job client and file management client.

System Requirements

Currently, the site is confirmed to work with newer versions of Chrome (22+), Firefox (16+), and Internet Explorer (9+). 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. Java 1.6 or better is also required, for access to desktops on Oakley or Glenn.


To connect to OnDemand, visit http://ondemand.osc.edu/catalog and log in using your HPC credentials. You will be presented with the following home page after logging in. 

If you are accessing OnDemand in a smaller sized browser window you may be presented with a slightly different looking top menu.

All submenus are still accessible in this view through the drop down menu on the top right corner.

At this point, you can begin accessing the tools in OnDemand.

Shell access

OnDemand provides the ability SSH to Glenn or Oakley from inside your web browser. To get to a terminal, select the "Clusters" menu and choose either Oakley or Glenn.

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 browers 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."

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.

Get a desktop

Request a desktop to run GUI applications, without the hassle or performance problems associated with X11 forwarding. To access one, please select "Glenn Desktop" or "Oakley Desktop" from the "Apps" menu. A small "JNLP" file will be downloaded; execute that file in Java and it will open a desktop on the HPC system selected.

The Desktop Applications should not be used for computationally or memory intensive processes. OnDemand is a shared resource, and there are other users on the same node.  Such processes will be terminated.  Please submit such work to the batch system using a batch script.

Access Portal applications

Run any of our web portal applications, available via the "Apps" menu.  Currently there is access to Abaqus, Ansys, COMSOL, and Paraview.


File Transfer and Management

OnDemand provides a web-based FTP client that can be used to upload and download files to your OSC home directory or project directory, and move, delete, rename, modify permissions, and even edit files.

Here is a tutorial video that gives an overview of OnDemand's file management client's capabilities and how to utilize them.


Most of the operations available in the FTP client are fairly intuitive. Here you can see a screen shot of what the main interface looks like.

We'll walk you through a few of the basic operations. But first, please note that you may see a message about requiring a Flash plugin when loading this app. The application uses HTML5 to manage file uploads, so in newer browsers it should be safe to ignore that Flash message. On older browsers, it may be necessary to install Flash for full functionality.


Selecting which File System

By default, the file browser will be looking at your home directory. If you have access to a project server for GPFS directory, you can switch to those by selecting the pull-down menu in the upper left of the window and selecting the file system you wish to browse. In addition, you can use the input field to the right of the pull-down to type the path you wish to navigate to, and you can set a bookmark using the "star" icon.

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

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 select "From computer" in the "Upload" menu item to open a dialog that will allow you to navigate your local computer and select which files you want to upload. If you wish to copy files from a website directly to OSC without downloading them to your computer first, you can select "From remote server" in the "Upload" menu to open a dialog that will allow you to specify multiple HTTP URLs to copy data from.

To download files, you must select the file or files you wish to download, and then use the "Download" link in the menu. 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.

There is a file upload limit of 1 GB. Additionally, performance of this tool for uploading and downloading large files is poor. Please see our documentation on Getting Connected for information on SFTP clients.

File Operations

Most file operations can be accomplished by selecting the file in the main window pane and either selecting the desired operation from the main menu, or right-clicking to open a context menu with various options. These options will typically include move, copy, rename, delete, and setting file permissions. Additionally, you can compress or download files via the context menu.

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 "Open In" from either the main menu, or the context menu (available via right-click). Based on the filename extension (.txt, .png, etc) the application will suggest an appropriate viewer. If you do not see the viewer you need, you can select "Choose Other...". This will open the following dialog:

You can choose the viewer or editor you need to open the file.


Job Management

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

Here is a tutorial video that gives an overview of OnDemand's Job client's capabilities and how to utilize them.


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

The core functionality of this tool is provided by the "New Job" button. Clicking on it will open the job creation wizard.

Following the steps in order:

  1. Input a job name.
  2. Select which cluster you wish to run the job on from the pull-down list.
  3. Select whether you want to use one of our provided job templates as a starting point, use a job you have already created with the wizard, or use a template for which you know the directory.  
  4. Expanding the list items will show you what files are associated with that template. Click on the template you wish to use to ensure it is selected.
  5. Click "Copy" to copy the template files to your new job.
  6. Select the file you wish to submit from the job directory. Double click it to have it loaded into the editor pane.
  7. Make any necessary changes to the script.

At this point, you can either submit the job to the queue using the "submit" button, use the "save" button to save the job (if you need to make more advanced changes to the input files, for example, or just want to save it until later), or "cancel".

After you exit the wizard, you will be returned to the main My Jobs screen.

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.


The "Edit" pull-down menu will allow you to edit or delete a job, depending on it's status.


The "View" pull-down menu will allow you to view the script, job output, and job error files.


The "Go" pull-down menu will launch the file transfer client or ssh client, starting in the job directory, or jump directly to the job monitor for that job, depending on the job status.

Active Jobs

The "Active Jobs" application will show you all of your jobs currently in the queue (running or queued), regardless of how the jobs were submitted.

System Status

Across the top are four links, the first jumps back to the default screen for "Active Jobs". The other three provide systems status for the two supercomputers, and your home directory file server. All three of these screens will look like the following screen shot.

Across the top, you can select the timeframe you are interested in examining. The four charts show the percent of cores of the entire system that are in use, the total system load, 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.

Job Inspection

On the main "Active Jobs" screen, you can click on a job in the list to select it, and then perform various inspection tasks.

Job Status

Selecting the "Job Status" button will open a screen similar to the system status, but allowing inspection of each node in the job individually, over the duration of the entire job.

This screen will allow you to select each node individually (listed as tabs across the top) and examine each node's state. You can check that your job is working well in parallel, if the network communication is high or low, if the memory is swapping, etc.

Peek Job

The "Peek Job" option will display the output of a qpeek on that job.

Delete Job

This option will execute a qdel and delete the job.