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User Account Request

As of April 2016, the next-generation MCC is now available. Please visit: MonARCH Home for more information, including how to gain access.

The MCC is available to all Monash researchers and research students. To get access to the MCC, please apply via email to: 

Remember to include your Monash authcate username, as well as your current status (i.e. PhD Student, postdoc, etc.), departmental affiliation, and the name of your supervisor or research team lead (if applicable). It will also help us if you can briefly describe the type of computational work you wish to conduct on the system, including any software requirements (e.g., packages, compilers, tools, etc.) Please never disclose your authcate password.

Once your user account is active, an email containing brief introduction and some important information about accessing your MCC account will be sent to you. It takes a maximum of two business days to process an account.


Since late March 2016, the MCC has changed its identity management system to align it with e-Solutions best practices. All active users of the MCC will need to login using their Monash Authcate.  Changes to the cluster will commence from Wed 30th of March 2016.


In the future, if you need to change your password for the cluster, please visit this page to update your authcate password.

On the Monash Authcate password is the only one you need to use.

Log-in procedure for the Monash Campus Cluster

Once your account is setup, you will need to login into one of two computers using a program known as ssh. 


Login NodeDescription 

Login node with accessibility within the Monash network. Access is possible from outside if Monash VPN is used. You can use passphrase-less SSH keys.

This is a virtual machine with four AMD CPU cores and 12 GB RAM.

Note: If you have changed your password after April 1, 2016, you will find that your old password will continue working. Please use the current authcate password to sign into   
This is the preferred login node with public access from outside the Monash network. This is a physical server with 12 Intel CPU cores and 48 GB RAM, ideal for software builds and data transfers. You must use passwords with logging in via SSH/SCP. Use your Authcate username and password to sign in.

Please use your authcate username for login ID. This login node and the execute nodes mount the same home directory, so your files will be accessible from any node that is part of the Monash Campus Cluster. This login node is accessible (via ssh) from within the Monash network or via VPN connection if connecting from outside.

From this login node, you should be able to:

  •    submit and manage your jobs with the usual qstat, qsub, qdel commands
  •    use scp (WinSCP, if on MS Windows) to upload/download your files.  [ rsync is best avoided due to high demands to CPU and I/O ]

Compute intensive jobs should not be run on the login nodes. That is what the compute nodes are for!



You will need to use ssh (secure-shell) to login to either headnode.  This program encrypts your interactions with the server, and is the only way to login interactively. How to get and use ssh depends upon your desktop operating system.


Linux has ssh built into it, so you do not need to install any software.

To login using the authcate jsmith, you would open a terminal window and type:

ssh login command
ssh -Y

Enter your Monash password when prompted. Note that if successful, you get a welcome message (Message Of The Day).  This often contains useful information, like planned down-times.

Example of logging in (includes MOTD)
$ssh -Y's password: 
Last login: Mon Oct  7 12:01:22 2013 from

*                                                *
* Please limit local CPU-intensive processes to  *
* one at a time and no more than 30 mins. in     *
* duration. It is recommended to use qsub to     *
* execute longer jobs.                           *
*                                                *
* It is recommended that jobs indicate:          *
*                                                *
*   #$ -l h_rt=hh:mm:ss    (for walltime)        *
*   #$ -l h_vmem=nG        (for mem req'ts)      *
*                                                *
* For example:                                   *
*   #$ -l h_rt=16:00:00    (for 16 hours)        *
*   #$ -l h_vmem=2G        (for 2GB mem)         * 
*                                                *



In this example, -Y is added so you can use X11, i.e.  so that graphic programs can be displayed on your PC.  A full list of command line options for ssh can be found by using the Unix 'man' program:

man ssh example
$man ssh
SSH(1)                    BSD General Commands Manual                   SSH(1)

     ssh - OpenSSH SSH client (remote login program)

     ssh [-1246AaCfgkMNnqsTtVvXxY] [-b bind_address] [-c cipher_spec] [-D  [bind_address:]port]
         [-e escape_char] [-F configfile] [-i identity_file] [-L
         [bind_address:]port:host:hostport] [-l login_name] [-m mac_spec] [-O ctl_cmd] [-o option]
         [-p port] [-R  [bind_address:]port:host:hostport] [-S ctl_path] [-w tunnel:tunnel]
         [user@]hostname [command]

     ssh (SSH client) is a program for logging into a remote machine and for executing commands on
     a remote machine.  It is intended to replace rlogin and rsh, and provide secure encrypted com-
     munications between two untrusted hosts over an insecure network.  X11 connections and arbi-
     trary TCP ports can also be forwarded over the secure channel.

Mac OS/X

Like Linux, OS/X has ssh built in.

You access ssh from the terminal program, using the same commands as Linux.


ssh is not native to Windows, but you can download several free versions.  Many Monash PCs have a version of ssh installed already on them.


You can download putty from  Once installed you run putty:

  Start->All Programs->PuTTY->PuTTY 

Select “Session:” on the left pane. A step-by-step procedure to configure Putty is provided below. The example below uses but you are welcome to use

If you want to use X11, you must select "Enable X11 forwarding" (found under  the SSH->X11 menu) as shown in step 4 above.

A terminal window will open when you hit the "Open Button"


Cywgin creates a Unix-like environment on your PC. Download it from

Run setup.exe and follow all prompts till it shows the "Select Packages" screen. You must select the Net category, and then select openssh and openssl as follows:

When installation is finished, run the Cygwin terminal window.  You will find ssh is there and it runs like in the Unix environment


X11  allows GUIs from remote machines to be displayed on your terminal.  However you need X11 software installed on your desktop machine. This is  default for Linux and Mac users, however PC users need to install it. There are at least two choices:


Xming is available free at: . Download it and run the installer by clicking 'Next' until completed. Windows may prompt you with a Security Alert: if this happens simply click Unblock. If successful, you should now see a small X icon on your taskbar (see picture below).

X-win 32

Some Monash machines have X-Win 32 already installed on them.  If not, remember that that it is a commercial package, so please check if you have permission to install it. If so, you can install it using the "Install from Network" link inside  Windows Control Panel->Program.

File upload and download

On Windows, you will need WinSCP to transfer files between your local machine and the MCC. It is recommended that you download the “Portable executables” at the link: 

On first run, you will need to setup the hostname (under “Host name”) and optionally, put your username on the “User Name” field. It is not recommended that you keep your password stored on this program, for security reasons. When ready, click the “Save” button (see below left). The next time you run winscp, you can now use the stored settings and login to the Monash Sun Grid by clicking on the listed session and click “Login” (see below right). Within this program, you will be able to upload or download files to/from the Monash Campus Cluster.

On the Mac OS/X and Linux, there is a built-in secure copy console command sep. This is used as follows:

scp upload command
scp -pr data1

The above command recursively copies the files within data1 (if it is a folder) to the top level ($HOME) directory on your MCC account. The command below downloads all files within the folder1 into the local destination folder "mcc-folder".

scp download command
scp -pr mcc-folder
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