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. Request: Fill out the form below, generate your ssh keys, and email both to us at
  2. Advisor/PI Confirmation: You will also need to have your advisor or project PI send us a confirmation email. We will not create your account until we receive this email.
  3. Approval: You may receive an email stating your account has been approved. You may also receive an email with additional questions before you are approved.
  4. Creation: When your account is created and your ssh keys are in place, you will receive an email with your username. It is a good idea to check whether you can log in once you have received this email.
  5. Tutorial: We will set up a meeting with you to give you a mini-tutorial on the system, help you get started running your code, go over some of our policies, and answer any questions you might have.

If you are working on a project that can benefit from supercomputing resources please send a request to with the following information:

  • Name
  • Affiliation
  • Name of faculty advisor or PI
  • Name of research collaborators
  • Reason for creating account: e.g., research project, online course
  • Operating system on machine you will use when connecting to supercomputer
  • High Performance Computing experience level
  • Brief description of project needs, e.g., high performance databases, software, accelerators (GPUs)
  • Any software or packages you are planning to use
  • Do you plan to use any data that is not publicly available? If yes, please describe any agreements governing the data. (Why do we ask?)
  • Any shared groups that you need to be added to
  • ssh keys for the machine you will access your account from, see below for instructions on setting up your keys

Additionally, we require an email confirmation from faculty advisors or PI's of anyone requesting an account. We will not create your account until we receive this email.

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 in your account request email and we can help you.

MacOS and Linux:

If you have no existing ssh keys, from the command line in a terminal window, follow the steps below.  If you already have ssh keys then you can use those. Please send us the public key,

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


You will see the following:

Generating public/private rsa key pair.

When answering the 3 requests (1st 3 lines) just 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 .  We want the content of the file sent to us or the entire file itself.


[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 


*This file content would be added to the user’s ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file from each machine that they intend on connecting to TX-E1 from.

Windows 10:

Windows 10 users should use the bash shell included in the Windows 10 operating system. Search for "bash" to find the bash shell. If nothing comes up, you will need to install the Windows Subsystem for Linux to enable bash. Follow the instructions on this page through the section "Complete initialization of your distro" to do so. There is also an FAQ provided there that may answer any questions you may have about bash on Windows. Once you have a bash command line window open follow the instructions for generating an ssh key on Mac/Linux above.

Other Windows:

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 Mac/Linux. If you are using PuTTY as an ssh client, follow the instructions below to create an ssh key.

To install Mobaxterm, 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.

  • 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.  (Please note, the link will open in a new window. Only follow the instructions in the "Generating an SSH Key" section. We will put it in place once you send it to us.)
  • Once you have generated your ssh keys, please either paste the public key in the email body or attach the public key file.





Current Approver List

  • Boston University: Wayne Gilmore
  • Harvard: Scott Yockel
  • MIT, Lincoln Laboratory: Jeremy Kepner, Vijay Gadepally, Chris Hill (MIT)
  • Northeastern: David Kaeli
  • UMass Amherst: John Griffin
  • UMass Dartmouth: Gaurav Khanna
  • UMass Lowell: Anne Maglia
  • UMass Medical: Paul Langlois