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The login node of PALMA is not a place to start any serious calculations nor is it a playground for testing purposes or compiling programs! Any user processes violating this rule will be terminated immediately without any warning!

This page gives you an overview of the most important aspects of the PALMA-II cluster, how to connect to it and what a typical workflow could look like. Specifics can be found in the subsections for each topic separately.

PALMA-II consist of several hundred compute nodes running CentOS 7 as operating system. Every node consists of 2 Intel Xeon Gold 6140 CPUs containing 18 CPU cores each. Users will first have to connect to so-called login nodes to gain access to the compute nodes themselves. Applications or compute jobs can then be started via an interactive session or via job/batch scripts using the slurm workload manager.

Table of Contents


To access the PALMA-II cluster you have to connect to one of the login nodes via an SSH connection using a terminal emulator. If you are on Linux or Mac OS, you can use the terminal applications that come pre-installed with your OS. If you are on Windows you can use PuTTY or (since Windows 10) the command prompt if you enabled Windows 10 OpenSSH feature.

You will need an ssh-key to access PALMA. Please find further instructions here.


If you need a short introduction on how to use a shell (terminal), we highly recommend this video tutorial series:

For verification, the current SSH host keys of the login node have the following fingerprints:

SHA256:QrEL/sQR1Au04vZm28OMc5rJKdXiZ3p8zEd2LkKDohs (DSA)

MD5:b2:b6:6b:f9:a7:e0:0e:e8:23:2e:cb:68:5f:bb:bf:c8 (DSA)

SHA256:teQfp9+Rdk4/QeFCF/jrsaH4+jtDLd8ywFNyvoSfB5o (ECDSA)

MD5:51:2d:01:0a:66:10:3e:77:06:62:21:5e:8a:07:5c:5e (ECDSA)

SHA256:CFa8LuaWz2huvbN3Ahtej+WLmUugAKmt85ZZ6eG+1lw (ED25519)

MD5:33:27:23:aa:4b:c9:8f:d7:4d:30:0c:d9:a0:a7:46:88 (ED25519)

SHA256:2DgT9f4Egl82qbm+eLtryg3bNfIxYuT2z8Mhqa5H4B0 (RSA)

MD5:f9:e8:28:e6:18:ae:7b:3e:f0:41:20:38:f3:cd:b2:dc (RSA)


When you log in to the cluster for the first time, a directory /home/[a-z]/<your-username> is created for you. Please use this folder only to store your applications. Do not store your numerical results in here. Storage in /home is limited. For (numerical) results of your computations use the folder /scratch/tmp/<your-username>. The environment variable $WORK automatically points to the scratch folder.

/home/[a-z]/<username>Personal applications, binaries,  libraries etc.
/scratch/tmp/<username>Working directory, storage for numerical output
(start your applications from here!)
/mnt/beeondTemporary working filesystem, provided on a per-job basis


There is NO BACKUP of the home and working directory on PALMAII as these are not intended as an archive. We kindly ask you to remove your data there as soon as it is no longer needed.

Further information can be found at: Data & Storage


To transfer data from and to the cluster, you can either use the scp command from a terminal (Linux & Mac OS) or use something like WinSCP (Windows) or FileZilla (all platforms).

An example using scp is given below:

Copy a local file to your home folder on PALMA-IIscp -i $HOME/.ssh/id_rsa_palma MyLocalFile[a-z]/username/
Copy a local folder to your working directory on PALMA-IIscp -i $HOME/.ssh/id_rsa_palma -r MyLocalDir
Copy a file on PALMA-II to your local computerscp -i $HOME/.ssh/id_rsa_palma /PATH/ON/YOUR/LOCAL/COMPUTER/

Loading available software

Common applications are provided through a module system and have to be loaded into you environment before usage. You can load and unload them depending on your needs and preferences. The most important commands are:

module availList currently available modules (software)
module spider <NAME>Search for a module with a specific NAME
module load <NAME>Load a module into your environment
module unload <NAME>Un-load a module from your environment
module listList all currently loaded modules
module purgeUnload all module in your environment

Details and specifics can be found in the module system section.

Starting Jobs

Jobs can be started in three different ways using the the slurm workload manager:

  1. Interactive (giving you direct access to the compute nodes)
  2. Non-interactive (using slurm to directly queue a job)
  3. Batch system (submitting a job script)

Interactivesalloc <config options>
Non-interactivesrun <config options> <my-applications-to-run>

All methods will reserve a certain amount of CPU cores or nodes for a given amount of time depending on your settings. Further information about the submission of jobs, configuration options, example job scripts can be found in the Submitting Jobs section.


An example of a typical workflow on PALMA-II is given below:


1. Connect to the login node of palma

2. Navigate to your working directorycd /scratch/tmp/username/MySimulation/
3. Load the needed software into your environment

module load intel/2019a

module load GROMACS/2019.1

4. Start your simulation / computationsrun -N 4 -n 36 --partition normal --time 12:00:00 gmx mdrun -v --deffnm NPT