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Getting Started in Phys2660

In Phys2660 we will work on a Linux cluster called galileo located in the Physics Department. galileo is composed of a number of PCs (a cluster) running a version of the GNU/Linux operating system. Each student will have an account – check your email for initial login information – that allows you to connect/log on to galileo to do your classwork. Make sure to change your password from the default value the first time you log in.

After you log into galileo, see the 5 minute Linux guide for an overview of basic commands you will need. Logging in to your account on galileo You may connect to the galileo cluster using a terminal emulator program that supports the secure shell (SSH) protocol. A terminal emulator provides a text-based interface to a remote computer. SSH is a network protocol that allows two computers to communicate securely over an Internet connection. This prevents sensitive data, like passwords, from being intercepted as they pass through the network.

There are a variety of options for connecting via ssh to galileo.

Connecting from the Lab computers in Room 22

In the Lab click on the terminal icon :konsole.png to make a local shell or terminal window. From that window you can connect to Galileo using the following command:

ssh -Y
or equivalently
ssh -Y -l username

enter your password when prompted and now your window is connected to your account on galileo. Note: you can connect using the ssh command above from any computer running the Linux operating system as long as it has an Internet connection.

Connecting from an ITC Public Lab computer (PC's)

The computers in the Thornton Stacks have a piece of software called NXclient installed on them. You can use this to get a text/graphics connection to Galileo, but first you'll need to download an NX profile file for Galileo.

To do this:

  1. Point a web browser at Galileo's home page (
  2. RIGHT-click on the link labeled “Download NX Session Profile” at the left-hand side of the page.
  3. Select “Save Link As” from the menu, and save the file into your home directory.
  4. To connect to Galileo, double-click on the file you saved.

Note: several of the ITC Computer Labs have consultants on duty, they should be able to help you with questions about using the software.

Connecting from your home computer

From a personal Windows PC or Mac there are a number of options listed under the software information page for this class. To connect from your personal computer, it is likely that you will need to download and install additional software.

Java-based client from the galileo homepage

It is not recommended to use the java-based client (“SSH to Galileo”) that is linked from the galileo homepage. Because of recent security issues related to java-based clients on the web, we discourage use of this method for establishing connections to galileo. Instead follow the guidelines linked above. Anyways, this java-based client's usefulness is limited, and we would exceed its capabilities by about the 10th minute of the first lab. So just avoid it altogether.

Transferring files to and from your account

To exchange files between your personal computer and your account on Galileo, you can use one of the secure copy programs listed in the software information page. You can also email your files from Galileo, using a method shown on the homework page.

Changing your password

To change your Galileo password, visit Galileo's web page at and click the “Change password” link at the left-hand side of the page.

getting_started.txt · Last modified: 2015/01/17 11:49 by neu