The SCP Computer User Guide
Hopefully you have been assigned a desk somewhere
with a computer on
it. If this is the case, you should use that computer. If you require
more computational power than this computer provides, or you are
in from elsewhere, you can use topdog,
lavals, sauls, sierra, paloma, filippos,
cha-am. We don't have very many Suns anymore. As of this
kirala and europa remain. All of these computers sit on
somebody's desk, so be courteous and don't load down the machines so
heavily that the person working at them has difficulty using their own
machine. Europa is the nicest
Sun, but Kirala seems to be very seldom used, so that may be
your best bet.
If you are going to run any long heavy-CPU jobs,
then you probably
should read this whole page. Otherwise, you will be running up
against long heavy-CPU jobs run by people who should have read the
but didn't, or you run the risk of disturbing the poor folks whose
those computers are on.
For source code, papers, and things that aren't too
big, just stick
them in your home directory. This disk is backed up weekly. Please do
not put big data files here. We simply can't afford to back up
data files weekly. You must do your own data backups, if you need
For scratch space, make yourself a subdirectory
/home/astro23/scratch. Files will not be deleted from here
without warning, but they will not be backed up. If you require
more directory space, talk to one of the sysadmins, who will be happy
to set you up with some space somewhere.
The SCP computers are run by the group for our own use. Although
some members of the SCP use larger LBNL user facilities
(e.g. the NERSC
supercomputers and HPSS), the computers themselves are the collection
desktops, servers and other computers that we own, and on which we do
most of our
work. The purpose of SCP computing is to support SCP research; we are
user facility or a software company.
Aside from a few miscellaneous other computers, most of our computer
into one of two categories: Linux PCs and Suns. Most of the SCP
is supported on both platforms, and both platforms should be effective
for computing. Although all of the disks are crossmounted between the
platforms, each platform is a separate environment. Among other
things, this means that your login account on each platform is
and that you may not necessarily have an account on both platforms.
passwords should not be the same on the Suns and the PCs. Your home
directories (and hence startup files) will be in different places (on
Suns, usually /home/astro10; on the PCs, usually /home/lilys).
Trouble Contacts: whom to call when things break
This is the trouble contact sheet for the SCP computers.
Make sure the problem isn't your own. Have you changed
anything in your startup? Are you sure that your environment is set up
properly? Have you read the documentation? Have you done anything
Try exiting and re-entering IDL. Try killing your netscape/mozilla
Try logging completely out of the computer
and logging back in. If problems persist, proceed to the next number.
However, because our sysadmins are also scientists with other work to
want to minimize stupid questions. At this stage, do not try
rebooting any computers.
Contact the group system administrator.
Position currently open.
Contact Vladimir or Gary Jung.
Vladimir Eberman VVEberman@lbl.gov x7817
Gary Jung GMJung@lbl.gov x4894
Reboot the offending computer. If there really is nobody
help you, you can try rebooting the computer. On PCs, you can usually
this with the three-finger nuke, CTRL-ALT-DEL. On the Suns, hold down
"Stop" key at the left of the keyboard and press A, and then at the
prompt type "sync". If that doesn't fix the problem, try turning off
power, and the power of all peripherals (disks, etc.) attached to it.
one-by-one, turn on the power of the peripherals, and finally, the
the computer. This may not help, and power cycling could very
cause additional problems. You should hesitate even before
computer, because it may cause problems, and will certainly irritate
else who is working on that computer (or, potentially, any other SCP
computer). Lilys, the McDonalds cluster and most of the
are down on the 2nd floor.
Workarounds and "Yes we know"'s of problems
I can't telnet into x computer!
- Use ssh. None of our computers will allow you to use telnet to
connect. Why? Telnet is inherently insecure. Use of telnet anywhere
on the network could potentially expose the SCP computers
to easy hacker
access, and that is a headache your part-time sysadmin really does not
want to deal with. Please use ssh whenever possible, making any
connection to any computer, inside or outside of
For file transfers, use scp; it works just like rcp.
My c/c++ code runs fine on one machine, but not another
- Is one of the machines involved running RedHat Enterprise 3 and
other RedHat 7.3? RedHat Enterprise uses gcc-3.2 (rather than the
gcc-2.96 of 7.?), and the libraries have changed enough that code
against the old libraries won't work with the new ones -- and vice
If you really need to run your code on an enterprise machine you will
need to recompile it. You can check which version of redhat your
is running by typing cat /etc/redhat-release
What computers are there?
The Suns are:
The SCP PC servers are:
(and rustica, kirin, lococos and spengers -- which will be replaced by
olivetos by end of Oct. 2005).
These machines, except for drago and olivetos,
do not permit user logins.
The PC desktops are:
These machines all do permit user logins. Note, however, that each one
is a workstation on somebody's desk, so you
shouldn't run CPU intensive jobs if they are using it.
There is a Detailed Listing of SCP PCs
which was last updated in 2001 by Alex Conley, and is mostly
but kept here for reference purposes.
Miscellaneous other computers include: laptops, Macs and PCs. There
are also a few computers we
keep as backups and extra workstations, which are not currently turned
on. These include a Sparc 5, a Sparc 10, and a couple of 486 Linux
- Europa is an Ultra 10 with a 440MHz processor and 512MB of RAM.
on Greg's desk in 50-5030. Although we all have accounts on this,
frequently Greg is running big jobs on it. You should check with Greg
before using this CPU. Europa is a Mediterranean restaurant on
Shattuck near University that no longer exists.
- Kirala is an Ultra-1 with a 143MHz processor and 160MB of RAM. It
Saul's office. Saul doesn't seem to use it much, so it can probably
be used pretty freely.
- topdog is a single processor PIV 3.06GHz hyperthreaded machine
with 1GB of RAM that sits on Marek Kowalski's desk in 50-5004.
It runs RedHat Enterprise 3 WS. It's a good choice of a
machine on which to run something, if you won't disturb Marek by using
all the memory on the machine, or if Marek isn't around using it at the
moment. Topdog is a chain of East-Bay hot-dog eateries, several of
are in Berkeley.
- sauls is a dual 1GHz Pentium III with 512MB of RAM that is in
50-5038. It sits on Saul Perlmutter's desk. It's a good choice of a
machine on which to run something, if you won't disturb Saul by using
all the memory on the machine, or if Saul isn't around using it at the
moment. It runs RedHat Enterprise WS 3. Saul's Deli is a delicatessen
on Shattuck on the north side
of the Gourmet Ghetto. It's nice, but very expensive.
- barneys is a dual 1GHz Pentium III with 1GB of RAM that is in
50-5014. It sits on Richard Scalzo's desk. It's a good choice of a
machine on which to run something, if you won't disturb Richard by
all the memory on the machine, or if Richard isn't around using it at
moment. Barneys is a gourmet hamburger chain. The closest one is
on Shattuck and Cedar.
- Filippos is a dual 1GHz Pentium-III machine with 1GB of RAM
Vitaly Fadeyev's desk in 50-5040. It runs RedHat Enterprise Linux WS 3.
It's free to use if you won't
disturb Vitaly or anybody else who might be sitting at his desk.
Filippos Pastaria is a pasta place. There's one on College.
- Oscars is a dual 450MHz Pentium-III with 512MB of RAM that sits
in 50-5036. It is used by SNfactory undergrads.
It runs RedHat Enterprise 3 WS.
Oscars is a burger joint on the corner of Hearst and Shattuck.
- ajanta (pronounced ayanta) is a dual AMD 2000 MP+ machine with
1GB of RAM that sits in 50-5040, and is used by students. You can use
it for small
things, or big things if the students aren't using it at the moment.
It runs RedHat Enterprise 3 WS.
Ajanta is an indian restaurant on the top of Solano near The Alameda.
- Jimbean is a dual 600MHz Pentium-III machine with 1GB of RAM that
Ben Weaver's desk in 50-5014. You can use it for small
things, or big things if Ben isn't using it at the moment.
Jimbean mounts DAT and DLT 8000 tape drives, and is used for
- plearn is a single processor PIV 3.06GHz hyperthreaded machine
with 1GB of RAM that sits on Rollin Thomas's desk in 50-5014. It runs
Enterprise Linux WS 3. Plearn is a Thai restaraunt on University.
- milano is a dual 1GHz Pentium-III machine with 512MB of RAM that
David Rubin's desk in 50-5040. It runs RedHat
Enterprise Linux WS 3. Cafe Milano is on Bancroft and Boditch.
- vics is a 600MHz Pentium-II machine with 384MB
of RAM that sits on Tony Spadafora's desk in 50-5009A. It runs Redhat
Enterprise WS 3. You can use it
for small things, but it's rather old and slow.
Vics is an indian fast food place south of University
near the water.
- paloma is a dual 1GHz Pentium-III machine
with 1GB of RAM that is in Gerson's office, 50-5010. You can use it
for small things, or big things if Gerson isn't using it at the
moment. It runs RedHat Enterprise WS 3.
- dara is a 333MHz Pentium-II machine with 256MB
of RAM that sits on Wonyong Lee's desk in 50-5010. You can use it
for small things,
or big things if nobody else is using it at the moment. Dara is a Thai
restaurant on Shattuck near Cedar.
- sierra is a dual 1GHz machine with 512MB of
RAM that sits in Don Groom's office on the 6th floor. You can use it
small things, or big things if Don isn't using it at the moment.
Sierra does not obey our naming conventions, since it is not named
after a restaurant.
- venezia is a machine bought in 2005, running cAos,
that sits on Lifan's desk in 50-5004. You can use it for small things,
or big things if Lifan isn't using it at the moment. Venezia is
a nice Italian restaurant on University.
- skates is a 3GHz Pentium-IV machine with 1GB of RAM which
sits in 50-5030. It runs RedHat Enterpise 3 WS.
Skates is a seafood restaurant in the Berkeley marina.
- flints is a dual 600MHz Pentium-III machine with 512MB of RAM
is outside Carl's office. It is one of the designated guest or
- celias is a dual 3GHz Pentium-IV machine with 2GB of RAM which
sits on Cecilia Aragon's desk in 50-5034. Celias is a Mexican
restaurant in West Berkeley.
- fontina is a 64-bit machine which
sits in 50-5040B on what will be Nao Suzuki's desk, who will arrive
sometime in fall 2005. Fontina is an Italian restaurant on
Shattuck, north of campus.
- yoshis is a 32-bit machine, running cAos linux, which
sits on Kyle Barbary's desk in 50-5040. Yoshi's is Japanese
restaurant/Jazz house on Jack London square, formerly on
- valerian is a 32-bit machine, running cAos linux, which
sits on Jesse Noffsinger's desk in 50-5040. Valerian Cafe is a
pizzeria on Piedmont Ave. in Oakland.
- emerald is a 32-bit machine, running RedHat linux, which
sits on the student desk in the corner of 50-5040. (This machine is the
recycled old venezia).
The SCP servers are all located in 50-2109C.
- rustica is a 500MHz Pentium-III system with
256MB of RAM. It sits in the machine room on the second floor.
Rustica exports /usr/local to all of the PCs, so when it is down
everything grinds to a halt. /home/astro25 is mounted
on rustica, as is /home/steege, which is only really of interest to
system administrators. Rustica is a pizza place on College
- kirin is a 533MHz Pentium-III system with
256MB of RAM that sits in the machine room on the 2nd floor.
/home/astro70,71 and 72 are mounted on kirala. Kirala is a chinese
restaurant on Solano.
- lococos is a 450MHz Pentium-III system with
512MB of RAM that sits in the machine room on the 2nd floor.
Lococos is a Sicilian restaurant on Shattuck near where it splits
- lilys is a dual 1GHz Pentium-III with 1GB of
RAM that is downstairs in the machine room, which our database and ntp
Lilys is a cheap chinese restaurant on Gilman.
- panisse is a 3GHz Pentium-IV machine
with 1GB of RAM that sits under the central table in 50B-5215. It
runs cAos, and is the web server.
Chez Panisse is a famous resaurant on
Shattuck which is generally held to be the birthplace of California
- spengers is a 400MHz Pentium-II system with 256MB of RAM that
sits in the machine room on the second
floor. (It will be upgraded by the end of Oct. 2005, and will run
/home/astro55, 1, 23 and 21 are mounted on it. Spengers Seafood
Grotto is a seafood restaurant and Berkeley landmark down on 4th
avenue near the University overpass.
- zacharys is a 450MHz Pentium-III with 256MB of
RAM that sits in the second floor machine room. It serves /home/astro9
and /home/astro10 (which includes /home/lilys, which is where all of
users home directories are), /home/panisse, and /home/astro16. It is
also the mail server and ftp server, and mounts the automated tape
library system that is used to back up /home/astro10 and /home/astro9.
It mounts a horrible hardware RAID thing that will hopefully be gone
since it doesn't work under linux kernels more recent than 2.2.
Zacharys Chicago Pizza is an excellent pizza place with two locations,
one on College near the BART tracks, and one on Solano near Pegasus
- drago is a 3GHz Pentium-IV with 1GB of RAM
that sits in the second floor machine room. It runs cAos.
It serves /home/astro82
(a deepsearch disk) and /home/astro24 (user scratch space). Drago was a
short-lived restaurant on University at
- olivetos is a 3GHz dual 64-bit Xeon with 4GB of RAM
that sits in the second floor machine room, sharing the rack with the
baryon cluster. It runs cAos.
It serves a 3.7TB disk /autofs/hstdata. Oliveto Cafe and
Restaurant is an up-scale restaurant on College near the Rockridge BART
Logging In to the PCs
Sit down at the console of a PC and log in. Type "startx" to
Xwindows. Start working.
Log in to a Sun and start a window manager normally. You will
need to use "ssh" to connect to a PC. Start working.
You may only connect remotely to the SCP computers with ssh.
rsh, and ftp will not work. ssh works almost exactly like rsh,
and scp works almost exactly like rcp. Use scp when you want to use
ftp. (Note that ssh is actually quite a bit more functional than rsh,
but it takes some effort to get it set up. See the page on Setting up SSH for Easy Access on PCs and Suns
Please do not log in remotely to any SCP computer if
an unencrypted line anywhere between the computer you're
at and the PCs. If you do not understand this, then do not log into the
PCs remotely at all. For example, it may be possible (if you have an
account) to telnet into ux8, and then ssh from there to the PCs. Don't
do this. Use ssh for everything. You're best off ssh'ing directly to
the PCs rather than going through any other computer.
To change your password, run "passwd". The
system startup files
make this an alias. Type "which passwd" to see what this alias
milano:~% which passwd
passwd: aliased to /usr/local/bin/passwd.scp
Your account on the Suns is separate from your
account on the Suns.
It has a different home directory, the password is stored separately.
Changing your password on one Sun changes it on all the Suns, and
likewise with the PCs, but changing your password on a Sun will not
change your password on any PCs. Ideally, your password on the Suns
should be different from your password on the PCs. Both should
be good passwords, i.e. at least 8 characters long, a mixture
letters, upper case, lower case, numbers, and symbols, and not
obvious or easily guessable. Words based on "dictionary" words, even
with substitutions such as 1 for i or l, or 0 for o, are not
Do NOT alias passwd to be something else.
NOT directly run /usr/bin/passwd. When you run the
passwd, it will change your password on all of the PCs. If you
/usr/bin/passwd, you only change it on the PC on which you are
running. What's more, the next time the current system administration
routines are run, your change will be overwritten, and your password
will revert to
its old value.
Currently chsh does not have similar functionality,
so if you want to
change your login shell, please talk to the system administrator.