You're going to need access to some computers. If you already have access to cloud resources, then great - you're ready to go. There are some specific requirements depending on your platform type, which are discussed in the relevant chapters of this guide.
You'll need a client device - something to log into your research environment from. The requirements on client devices are fairly minimal, but you'll need:
- A computer with a screen and a keyboard; you can probably access on a tablet or smartphone too, if your typing is good enough
- A relatively modern web-browser; Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and pretty much anything else that was written/updated in the last couple of years should all be fine.
- An SSH client; this comes built-in for Linux and Mac based machines, but you'll need to install one for Windows clients and some tablets.
- Internet access; it seems dumb to list this as a requirement for running HPC on cloud resources, but a surprising number of sites actually limit outbound connectivity to the Internet. You'll need to be able to access the Internet from your client device.
- Optionally: A graphical data transfer tool; you don't actually need one of these, but they can really help new users get started more quickly.
It's worth checking for centrally-managed client systems that you can install the software that you need - some research sites don't allow users to install new software. Here are some recommendations of software that you can use on client machines; this is far from a complete list, but should help you get started:
- SSH client:
- VNC (Graphical desktop client):
- Use the built-in VNC client on Macs
- For Linux, install "vncviewer" package, or install RealVNC viewer
- For Windows, install TurboVNC
- Graphical file-transfer tools:
We've tried to make recommendations for open-source and/or free software client software here - as ever, please read and obey the licensing terms, and try to contribute to the supporting projects either financially, or by referencing them in your research publications.