VPN and Accessing the Clusters

The CRC computational resources are housed off-campus at the University’s main datacenter at RIDC Park.

Access to the clusters is firewalled, so you can not directly access it when you are off-campus. You should first connect to the PittNet VPN service.

We are aware of issues that users from UPMC are having with connecting to CRC resources. The current recommendation is to connect with the instructions below from a UPMC workstation equipped with Pulse Secure, or to connect from a non UPMC administered device.

Off-campus access with VPN

If you are off-campus, the clusters are accessible securely from almost anywhere in the world via the PittNet Virtual Private Network (VPN), which is administered by Pitt IT. The VPN requires certain software to run on your system, and multiple alternatives are available in order to cover almost all systems and configurations. You will also need to set up multifactor authentication on another device to successfully connect.


GlobalProtect is a VPN client downloadable by students, faculty, and staff through the Software Download Service. Once you have downloaded and installed the tool, follow these instructions to connect.

Pulse Secure

Similar to globalprotect, Pulse Secure is another VPN client option provided via the Software Download Service.

Install Pulse VPN and follow the instructional image below to connect.

On-campus access (or after you are connected to the VPN)

To use CRC resources, users must first have a valid Pitt ID. With this, Faculty members can request an allocation for their research group (a CRC user account will be created for you). Lab staff and students should have their PI submit this form to sponsor an account for you on their allocation. Once you have valid login credentials, the clusters can be accessed in a few different ways.

SSH to HTC or H2P from a terminal (Mac/Linux)

You can use ssh from command line tools on Mac or Linux.

Here is an example of logging into HTC via the Terminal app found in the Utilities folder in Applications on MacOS. 

H2P and compute nodes that you have been assigned when you submit jobs are also accessible by this method (ssh into H2P or HTC first, then SSH into your compute node).

$ ssh pittID@Hostname.crc.pitt.edu

Your username is your PittID and your password is the same as your campus-wide Pitt password.

Hostname is the server you want to connect to (htc, h2p, etc.)


Connect via an SSH client (Windows)

Download and Install Xming or Putty (use Windows MSI installer package). Putty setup instruction provided in the following snapshots.

This should result in a terminal window that is properly connected to HTC. Note: you may need to provide htc.crc.pitt.edu or h2p.crc.pitt.edu instead of the value in the field shown in the images.


Once you're connected you can check which slurm account your account is associated with. 

To check whether you can use the cluster, use "sacctmgr list user PittID"

[fangping@login0a example]$ sacctmgr list user fangping

      User   Def Acct     Admin 

---------- ---------- --------- 

  fangping        sam      None 

If you do not see your ID listed, your user is not associated with an allocation on this cluster. If you believe that you should have access, please submit a ticket.

Other ways to Connect

If you prefer a visual interface for navigating the your files and submitting jobs, take a look at our documentation for the Open OnDemand portal for HTC  and the VIZ graphical user interface nodes.