Requesting an Account

Account Request Process

The MIT SuperCloud is intended to support research and collaboration between MIT Lincoln Laboratory and students, faculty and researchers at MIT and other academic institutions. It is our practice to allow access from within the United States. The account request, approval, and creation process is:

  1. Complete Cybersecurity Training: With the increased requirements for keeping systems, data, and information safe, all new users are required to successfully complete cybersecurity training before applying for a SuperCloud account. For MIT students and staff we recommend the MIT SANS IT Security Awareness I & IT Security Awareness II available through the Learning Center in Atlas. The free and openly available Cybersecurity Awareness Challenge also meets this requirement. We are aware that some of the topics in the Cybersecurity Awareness Challenge are not relevant to everyone, and we suggest using the “Help Me” button on each page for topics that may be unfamiliar. Alternative cybersecurity trainings offered through your organization may also be submitted for approval.
  2. Request: There are two steps to the request:
    1. Fill out all fields of our Account Request Form. In this form we ask if you are using non-public data, see why below. If you are not part of an MGHPCC institution, list your MIT or Lincoln Laboratory collaborator. Do not submit this form without answering these question, it will cause significant delay in the process. If you have any questions about the form, ask us by sending email to
    2. Ask your faculty advisor or PI to send us a short confirmation email for your account verifying that you will be using your Supercloud account for your work. This email should be sent to supercloud@mit.eduWe will not email your advisor for you. We will not proceed with the account creation process until we receive an email from your advisor/PI.
  3. Faculty Advisor/PI Confirmation: Once we receive an email from your faculty advisor/PI we can continue the next step. This confirmation must come from a faculty member or PI on the project that you are using Supercloud for.
  4. Approval: This usually happens behind the scenes. You may receive an email with additional questions before you are approved. While you are waiting you can start learning to use your account by working through the Practical HPC course.
  5. Creation: When your account is created, you will receive an email with your username and further instructions to set up your account. When your account is first created you will have a small startup allocation. Once you complete steps 5 and 6 you can request your account be updated to the standard allocation.
  6. Set up your account: Create an ssh key and add it to your account, then make sure you can log in through ssh. The Practical HPC course also has a section with videos that walks you through this process.
  7. Learn to use your account: Work through the Practical HPC course. This course:
    1. Includes an Introduction to HPC, canonical HPC Workflows, and the SuperCloud system.
    2. Walks you through setting up your account, installing software, running your first test job, submitting your first batch job.
    3. Describes how to scale up efficiently and measure your performance.

The account creation process is manual and can take approximately two weeks. You can make this process smoother by making sure you have fully filled out your request form before submitting it and making sure your advisor has sent us an email confirmation. While you are waiting for your account you can get a head start learning how to use the account by reviewing the Practical HPC course.

Why do we ask if you are using data that is not publicly available?

Not all data is appropriate for Supercloud. If your data is not publicly available, we ask for any agreements or requirements you have for your data to make sure Supercloud is the right place to be putting the data. Please be as detailed as you can. To get a general idea of the sorts of data that may or may not be appropriate for Supercloud, take a look at MIT IS&T's guidance for storing data in Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive here.

Generating ssh Keys for Supercloud Authentication

If you have any issues or questions regarding the generation of ssh keys, please contact the team at To access the system you will need ssh keys. For additional security you can create a passphrase when you generate your key, which you must enter every time you log in. Since you set this yourself on your own computer, we cannot help you reset it if you forget it. If you can't remember your passphrase you'll have to generate a new key and re-add it using the Web Portal.

If you cannot generate ssh keys on your system, let us know and we can help you.

If you have no existing ssh keys, from the command line in a terminal window, follow the steps below. On Mac and Linux, open your standard terminal window. On Windows 10 and higher, you can use the Windows command prompt. If the command prompt does not recognize the ssh-keygen command, you can install OpenSSH by following the instructions on this page. If your Windows operating system is older than Windows 10, see the note below.

If you already have ssh keys then you can use those. You will need your public key,

[user1234@yourMachine]$ ssh-keygen -t rsa

You will see the following:

Generating public/private rsa key pair.

When answering the 3 prompts (first 3 lines) hit return to create passwordless keys and save them in the default location. Alternatively, for extra security you can create a passphrase for your key that you'll have to enter every time you log in. To do this, instead of pressing "enter" or "return", enter the passphrase you've chosen when prompted.

Enter file in which to save the key (/home/user1234/.ssh/id_rsa):
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:
Your identification has been saved in /home/user1234/.ssh/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /home/user1234/.ssh/
The key fingerprint is:
88:90:6a:dc:f1:bd:ed:fb:b1:aa:46:14:34:5e:b9:70 user1234@yourMachine
The key's randomart image is:
+--[ RSA 2048]----+
|      .o ..      |
|   .  .ooE       |
|  o.   .+ .      |
|....o..o .       |
|.o ...o.S        |
|.      .o        |
|      .. . .     |
|       ..   o    |
|      ...++o     |

To view your public ssh key, go to your .ssh directory.

[user1234@yourMachine]$ cd .ssh

In ~/.ssh you would see two files id_rsa and The file contains your public key.

[user1234@yourMachine]$ ls

This is the file content after generating a public SSH key that we would require. To view it, type cat at the command line.

[user1234@yourMachine]$ cat
ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAABIwAAAQEA1NAD8v4nFzQ6G7KIEzkDLOnlH7t/4zmw0vVXlJjjFW4kLBgLJa0tkk61jHCxO2CurDr4zdEs2NeHG9agZJgMKMJZdIVaxtPcEBVVaNutvn/ZDRe3VsrRjToKEoR0xlAUdoef++AwiwI6K6vBOGIq6whLIlY5L9tZJfaLF3xMwmQRRhf4C+al/yZ5hX7BfGba2fqZmugTPpeSbLnFMVPKK/wy6XZasBSAKgLBA141EMXIKuGrpXpxLMECPBN5GDd/xmjmD0pC2o2z5OdfdYJj/FRWL2sC8hWTZSPa4p/n7Qc9ErFW5wM7FkynwguN4t/A+QOCa+p8C/nrOcTQKugrtw user1234@yourMachine

Copy the entire output, including the ssh-rsa at the beginning.

Adding your SSH Keys to your Account

Once you have created your ssh keys and copied your public key, you can add your key to your account using the Web Portal:

  1. Go to
  2. Log in. If you are an MIT affiliate or an affiliate at another university or institution you can log in with your MIT or institutional credentials. Click on MIT Touchstone/InCommon.
    1. Select your institution (note these are spelled out, MIT is listed as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example).
    2. Click the checkbox next to "Remember my Choice" and click the "Select" button.
    3. Log in with your institutional credentials.
  3. Click on the "sshkeys" link.
  4. Paste your public ssh key in the box at the bottom of the page, click "Update Keys".
  5. Verify you can log in by running ssh in the terminal where you created your ssh keys, where USERNAME is the username we sent you in your new account email.

NOTE: For other Windows users there are a number of ssh clients you can use. Some ssh clients like Moba Xterm and Cygwin give you a Linux-like environment, and so once you start the program (which should look include a command line window), you can follow the instructions for creating an ssh key in above once you install the client.

To install Moba Xterm, follow the instructions here through the section "Create Local Shell". Anytime you are instructed to open a terminal window, you can follow the instructions to create a local shell. Once you have installed, follow the instructions above for creating an ssh key.

Instructions for installing PuTTY are here. (Please note, the link will open in a new window.) Once PuTTY is installed please follow the instructions at this link to manually generate your ssh-keys, only follow the instructions in the "Generating an SSH Key" section.





Current Approver List

  • Boston University: Wayne Gilmore
  • Harvard: Scott Yockel
  • MIT: Jeremy Kepner, Vijay Gadepally, Chris Hill, Lauren Milechin
  • Lincoln Laboratory: Jeremy Kepner, Vijay Gadepally, Albert Reuther
  • Northeastern: David Kaeli
  • UMass Amherst: Georgia Stuart
  • UMass Dartmouth: Geoffrey Cowles
  • UMass Lowell: Anne Maglia
  • UMass Medical: Paul Langlois
  • University of Rhode Island: Gaurav Khanna