Getting Started at OSC
This guide was created for new users of OSC.
It explains how to use OSC from the very beginning of the process, from creating an account right up to using resources at OSC.
OSC account setup
The first step is to make sure that you have an OSC username.
There are multiple ways to start this process.
You can sign up at MyOSC or be invited to use OSC via email.
Make sure to select the PI checkbox if you are a PI at your institution and want to start your own project at OSC.
Contact OSC Help with questions.
Email notifications from OSC
As soon as you register for an account with OSC, you will start receiving automated emails from MyOSC. These include password expiration emails, access to project(s), etc. These are sent from "email@example.com." All folders should be checked, including spam/junk. If you did not receive this email, please contact OSC Help.
OSC will also add you to our mailing list within a month of your account being opened. Emails will be sent from firstname.lastname@example.org for system notices, monthly newsletters, event updates, etc. This information can also be found on our events page and known issues page.
Finally, we may notify clients through ServiceNow, our internal ticketing and monitoring system. These notices will come from the OH-TECH Service Desk, email@example.com.
Project and user management
Creating a project
Adding new or existing users to a project
Once a project is created, the PI should add themselves to it and any others that they want to permit to use OSC resources under their project.
Refer to adding/inviting users to a project for details on how to do this.
Reuse an existing project
If there was already a project that you would like to reuse, follow the same instructions as found in creating projects and budget, but skip to the budget creation section.
Costs of OSC resources
If there are questions about the cost, refer to service costs.
Generally, an Ohio academic PI can create a budget for $1,000 on a project and use the annual $1,000 credit offered to Ohio academic PIs. Review service cost terms for explanations of budgets and credits at OSC.
Classroom project support
Transfer files to/from OSC systems
There are a few options for transferring files between OSC and other systems.
OnDemand file explorer
Using the OnDemand file explorer is the quickest option to get started. Just log into ondemand.osc.edu and click "File Explorer" from the navigation bar at the top of the page. From there you can upload/download files and directories.
This is a simple option, but for files or directories that are very large, it may not be best. See other options below in this case.
SFTP client software
Local software can be used to connect to OSC for downloading and uploading files.
There are quite a few options for this, and OSC does not have a preference for which one you use.
The general guidance for all of them is to connect to host sftp.osc.edu using port 22.
Using Globus is recommended for users that frequently need to transfer many large files/dirs.
We have documentation detailing how to connect to our OSC endpoint in Globus and how to set up a local endpoint on your machine with Globus.
Request extra storage for a project
Storage can be requested for a project that is larger than the standard offered by home directories.
On the project details page, submit a "Request Storage Change" and a ticket will be created for OSC staff to create the project space quota.
See service costs for details.
Getting started using OSC
Finally, after the above setup, you can start using OSC resources. Usually you have some setup that needs to be performed before you can really start using OSC, like creating a custom environment, gaining access to preinstalled software or installing software to your home directory that is not already available.
Interactive desktop session
The best place to start is by visiting ondemand.osc.edu, logging in and starting an interactive desktop session.
Look for the navigation bar at the top of the page and select Interactive Apps, then Owens Desktop.
Notice that there are a lot of fields, but the most important ones, for now, are cores and the number of hours.
Try using only a single core at first, until you are more familiar with the system and can decide when more cores will be needed.
Other interactive apps
If there is specific software in the Interactive Apps list that you want to use, then go ahead and start a session with it. Just remember to change the cores to one until you understand what you need.
Getting to a terminal without starting a desktop session
A terminal session can also be started in OnDemand by clicking Clusters then Owens Shell Access.
In this terminal you can perform the needed commands in the below sections on environment setup and software use/installation.
Environment setup to install packages for different programming languages
Some of the common programming languages for which users need an environment set up are python and R.
There are other options, so please browse the OSC software listing.
OSC managed software
All the software already available at OSC can be found in the software listing.
Each page has some information on how to use the software from a command line. If you are unfamiliar with the command line in Linux, then try reviewing some Linux tutorials.
For now, try to get comfortable with moving to different directories on the filesystem, creating and editing files, and using the module commands from the software pages.
Install software not provided by OSC
Software not already installed on OSC systems can be installed locally to one's home directory without admin privileges. Try reviewing locally installing software at OSC.
Batch system basics
After getting set up at OSC and understanding the use of interactive sessions, you should start looking into how to utilize the batch system to have your software run programmatically.
The benefits of the batch system are that a user can submit what we call a job (a request to reserve resources) and have the job execute from start to finish without any interaction by the user.
A good place to start is by reviewing job scripts.
OnDemand job composer
OnDemand provides a convenient method for editing and submitting jobs in the job composer.
It can be used by logging into ondemand.osc.edu and clicking Jobs at the top and then Job Composer. A short help message should be shown on basic usage.
OSC offers periodic training both at our facility and at universities across the state on a variety of topics. Additionally, we will partner with other organizations to enable our users to access additional training resources.
We are currently in the process of updating our training strategy and documents. If you are interested in having us come to your campus to provide training, please contact OSC Help. You can also contact us if there is a specific training need you would like to see us address.
To get an introduction to HPC, see our HPC Basics page.
To learn more about using the command line, see our UNIX Basics page.
For detailed instructions on how to perform tasks on our systems, check out HOWTO articles.
Still Need Help?
Before contacting OSC Help, please check to see if your question is answered in either the FAQ or the Knowledge Base. Many of the questions asked by both new and experienced OSC users are answered on these web pages.
We recommend following HPCNotices on X to get up-to-the-minute information on system outages and important operations-related updates.