PPUnix - Best Practice

Logging in

It is assumed that you have your Windows machine set up as-per these instructions.

During your initial X windows login please:

  • Select Fixed font for the terminals from the preferences menu. (This overcomes a Gnome problem that causes slow scrolling)
  • You may also wish to select the type of window focus and number of scroll lines in a terminal at this time.
  • Now logout and select save desktop settings.

pplxintn at al. are intended for interactive use, program development, and testing only. Therefore:

  • Running of long jobs i.e. greater than 10 minutes is discouraged, submit to the batch system (>400 cpu's available)
  • If you do run a cpu intensive test job use nice or renice to set it to a low priority, by setting it to nice level 19.
  • Avoid running multiple or multi-core intensive jobs. We may kill these without notice to preserve usability for others.
  • Avoid network or disk intensive work on the interactive machines.
  • Avoid memory (RAM) intensive work on the interactive machines. Prolongued use of more than 4GB is not acceptable. Short, test jobs of up to 12GB are OK, but the system will protect other users if more is used.
  • Low intensity jobs can be run in the background using the "screen" command. To start a new session with a title "mySession" use "screen -S mySession". You can detatch by pressing "ctrl+A, then D". You can then log off and go home. The next day your session will still be running. Connect to it with "screen -x mySession".
  • If you think you need an exception to these rules, please email us at itsupport@physics.ox.ac.uk first.

If you do need to do something outside of these above 'best practice' rules, we can probably set something up but for everyone elses sake, don't generally go against these on the interactive machines.

Log out of the interactive machines when you leave on an evening.

Familiarize yourself with the installed software. Software and development environments can be made available on request. The environments are activated using the "module load" command. To get a list of available software, use "module avail". Your experiments will also maintain software separately.

You have access to at least two areas in which to store your files.

  • Your default directory when you log in is /home/{username}. This is an area to store data that needs to be backed up and is limited to 30GB by default. We can increase this on request.
  • Each experiment also has a data disk, accessible from /data/{experiment}. You should store any large files here that are easy to reproduce by re-running scripts or are available in other places, e.g. from the grid. Data areas are not backed up at all.

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