BwUniCluster User Access

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bwUniCluster is Baden-Württemberg's general purpose tier 3 high performance computing (HPC) cluster co-financed by Baden-Württemberg's ministry of science, research and arts and the shareholders:

  • Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg
  • Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
  • Ulm University
  • University of Hohenheim
  • University of Konstanz
  • University of Mannheim
  • University of Stuttgart

To log on bwUniCluster an user account is required. All members of the shareholder universities can apply for an account.


bwUniCluster wiring by Holger Obermaier, copyright: KIT (SCC)
bwUniCluster wiring © KIT (SCC)

1 Registration

Granting access and issuing a user account for bwUniCluster requires the registration at the KIT service website (step B). However, this registration depends on the bwUniCluster entitlement issued by your university (step A).

1.1 Step A: bwUniCluster entitlement for registration

Each university issues the bwUniCluster entitlement only for their own members. Details on the issuing process and/or the entitlement application forms are listed hereafter:

1.2 Step B: Web Registration

After step A, i.e., after issueing the bwUniCluster entitlement, please visit:

    1. Select your home organization from the list and click Proceed
    2. You will be directed to the Identity Provider of your home organisation
    3. Enter your home-organisational user ID / username and your home-organisational password and click Login button
    4. You will be redirected back to the registration website
    5. Select bwUniCluster Service Description (on the left hand side)
      BwUniCluster registration sidebar.png
    6. Click Register
    7. Finally
      • for all non-KIT members mandatorily set a service password for authentication on bwUniCluster
      • for KIT members optionally set a service password for authentication on bwUniCluster

1.3 Changing Password

By default, for KIT members your bwUniCluster password to log on matches that one of your KIT account, while for all non-KIT members your bwUniCluster password is that one you saved during the web registration (compare step 7 of chapter 1.2). At any time, you can set a new bwUniCluster password via the registration website by carrying out the following steps:

  1. visit and select your home organization
  2. authenticate yourself via your home-organizational user id / username and your home-organizational password
  3. find on the left side bwUniCluster and select Set Service Password
  4. set new service, i.e. bwUniCluster, password, repeat it and click Save button.
  5. the page answers e.g. "Das Passwort wurde bei dem Dienst geändert" ("password has been changed")
  6. proceed to log in using the new password in the next step

1.4 Contact

If you have questions or problems concerning registration, please contact your local hotline.

2 Login

After finishing the web registration bwUniCluster is ready for your SSH based login. bwUniCluster has two dedicated login nodes. The selection of the login node is done automatically and is based on a round-robin scheduling. Logging in another time the session might run on the other login node.

Only the secure shell SSH is allowed to login. Other protocols like telnet or rlogin are not allowed for security reasons.

A connection to bwUniCluster can be established by the command:

$ ssh <UserID>

If you are using OpenSSH (usually installed on Linux based systems) and you want to use a GUI-based application on bwUniCluster you should use the ssh command with the option -X

$ ssh -X <UserID>

2.1 About UserID / Username

<UserID> of the ssh command is a placeholder for your username at your home organization together with a prefix as followed:

  • Freiburg: <UserID> = fr_username
  • Heidelberg: <UserID> = hd_username
  • Hohenheim: <UserID> = ho_username
  • KIT: <UserID> = username (without any prefix)
  • Konstanz: <UserID> = kn_username
  • Mannheim: <UserID> = ma_username
  • Stuttgart: <UserID> = st_username
  • Tübingen: <UserID> = tu_username
  • Ulm: <UserID> = ul_username

2.2 Allowed activities on login nodes

The login nodes of bwUniCluster are the access point to the compute system and to your bwUniCluster $HOME directory. The login nodes are shared with all the users of bwUniCluster. Therefore, your activities on the login nodes are limited to primarily set up your batch jobs. Your activities may also be:

  • short compilation of your program code and
  • short pre- and postprocessing of your batch jobs.

To guarantee usability for all the users of bwUniCluster you must not run your compute jobs on the login nodes. Compute jobs must be submitted to the queueing system. Any compute job running on the login nodes will be terminated without any notice. Any long-running compilation or any long-running pre- or postprocessing of batch jobs must also be submitted to the queueing system.

3 First steps on bwUniCluster

For setting up your environment to use compilers and installed software please visit:

For guides on how to submit compute jobs to bwUniCluster please visit: