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Noctua Hardware Overview

pc2status on Noctua

File Systems on Noctua

Workload-Manager on Noctua

Available Software on Noctua

Tuning Hints for Noctua

Noctua FPGA Usage


The Noctua cluster[Bearbeiten]

Details about the hardware architecture of Noctua can be found at the PC² website. The current status and upcoming-events related to the Noctua system can be found at the main page of this wiki.

Noctua is the first phase of the Noctua-project and will be extended 2020/2021 by the second phase.

Please note, that you can only log in to Noctua if you are a member of a project that has been granted computing time on the Noctua cluster by the resource allocation board. If you are not yet a member of an accepted project you can:

  • ask the project administrator of an accepted project to add you as a user
  • or submit a proposal for computing time. Please follow the instructions at [1].

How to access Noctua[Bearbeiten]

Noctua uses a "jump host" as a load balancer

From you can then establish an ssh-connection to one of the two physical frontends of Noctua.

For the authentication, you can

  • use password-based or ssh-key-based authentication as a user from Paderborn University.
    • We recommend ssh-key-based authentication with password-protected ssh-keys.
  • As an external user, you can only use ssh-key-based authentication due to security considerations.
    • If you have not yet deposited a key, please send us the public key of your SSH keyring to We can then install it for you.

Instruction on how to create an ssh-key can be found at [2]. Only keys that are password-protected are allowed to be used in the context of PC² cluster systems.

Interactive Sessions[Bearbeiten]

We recommend the following combined command for an interactive session:

   ssh -t ssh noctua

Alternatively, you can put

   Host noctua
   User [USERNAME]
   RequestTTY force
   IdentityFile [PATH TO PRIVATE KEY]
   IdentitiesOnly yes
   RemoteCommand ssh noctua

in your ~/.ssh/config and replace [USERNAME] with your username on Noctua and [PATH TO PRIVATE KEY] with the path to your private key of your ssh-key. Then you can use the short command ssh noctua to connect to Noctua. You will be asked for the password of your ssh-key when logging in instead of your user password.

If you want to connect to the last connected frontend, then use this command:

  ssh -t ssh noctua-last

If you need to a run graphical application, the -X option should be used, which enables X11 forwarding with X11 SECURITY extension. The complete command is

   ssh -X -t ssh -X noctua

Further information for accessing Noctua by using SSH public key authentication can be found here.

Access for Programs[Bearbeiten]

For programs like Visual Studio Code [3] that support remote development via ssh, you need a different ssh-config to deal with the load-balancer. You can add the following blocks to your ssh-config:

Host noctua-jumphost
  IdentityFile [PATH TO PRIVATE KEY]
  IdentitiesOnly yes

Host noctua-ln1
  Hostname ln-0001
  ProxyJump noctua-jumphost
  IdentityFile [PATH TO PRIVATE KEY]
  IdentitiesOnly yes

Host noctua-ln2
  Hostname ln-0002
  ProxyJump noctua-jumphost
  IdentityFile [PATH TO PRIVATE KEY]
  IdentitiesOnly yes

This will instruct ssh to use the host noctua-jumphost as a proxy when trying to connect to one of the frontends noctua-ln1 or noctua-ln2. We recommend to explicitly choose a frontend here because programs like Visual Studio Code run a daemon on the remote host and by explicitly choosing a frontend you avoid issues if you want to use multiple program instances. In programs like Visual Studio Code you can then simply select to ssh configuration noctua-ln1 or noctua-ln2 to connect to. Please don't use this way for interactive sessions.

First Steps on Noctua[Bearbeiten]

After you have successfully logged in to Noctua we recommend you to:

  • Try out pc2status. This command-line tool gives you an overview of the projects you are a member of, the used computing times, monthly contingents, and file system quotas.
  • Get familiar with Slurm which is the workload manager used on Noctua because you need it to do computations on the cluster.
  • Have a look at the software already available on Noctua.

If some questions or problems come up, please consult the FAQ or ask us by mail at