Guide to the Princeton Research Computing Clusters

Getting Started Guide

An open laptop and an empty, open notebook to its right.

All users of the Princeton Research Computing Clusters are expected to have a basic working knowledge of the systems. This is important because a naive user can unknowingly waste resources or even adversely affect the work of others.

The guide below has been prepared to help everyone use the clusters effectively. Each page gathers links to the foundational resources spread across this website, and introduces them in the appropriate order.

This guide covers the following topics:

  1. Introduction to (Princeton's) Clusters
    1. What is a cluster?
    2. Basic introduction to parallel programming concepts
    3. How to get an account
    4. How to connect to Princeton's clusters
    5. How to work with files on the clusters
  2. Software
    1. How to use software already installed on the clusters (through modules)
    2. How to install your own software on the clusters
  3. First Slurm Job
    1. Introduction to Princeton's job scheduler (Slurm)
    2. Step-by-step instructions to run a first Slurm job on the clusters
  4. Effective Usage
    1. Optimizing use of resources through Slurm
    2. Proper use of filesystem
  5. Getting Help
    Options for getting help with Research Computing's Clusters,
    programming, visualization, and more

If you prefer live training, we offer a Getting Started with the Research Computing Clusters workshop, which reviews the above material. You can also view past recordings of this workshop in our training archives. One such video recording is provided below:

Getting Started with the Research Computing Clusters Video Version (2.5 hours)