High-Performance Computing refers to the spectrum of computational
facilities that give more power than you can fit in a typical
desktop machine. This hands-on workshop will cover the techniques you
need to effectively make use of High-Performance Computing resources
in your research, including the Unix shell, and interacting with the
job scheduler used on HPC systems.
The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers at
Swansea University with an interest in making use of High
You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools
that will be presented at the workshop.
Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a
Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges
on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed
below). They are also required to abide by
Code of Conduct.
Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop
accessible to everybody.
Materials will be provided in advance of the workshop and
large-print handouts are available if needed by notifying the
organizers in advance. If we can help making learning easier for
you (e.g. sign-language interpreters, lactation facilities) please
get in touch (using contact details below) and we will
attempt to provide them.
Click on "Next" four times (two times if you've previously
installed Git). You don't need to change anything
in the Information, location, components, and start menu screens.
Select “Use the nano editor by default” and click on “Next”.
Keep "Use Git from the Windows Command Prompt" selected and click on "Next".
If you forgot to do this programs that you need for the workshop will not work properly.
If this happens rerun the installer and select the appropriate option.
Click on "Next".
Keep "Checkout Windows-style, commit Unix-style line endings" selected and click on "Next".
Select "Use Windows' default console window" and click on "Next".
Click on "Install".
Click on "Finish".
If your "HOME" environment variable is not set (or you don't know what this is):
Open command prompt (Open Start Menu then type cmd and press [Enter])
Type the following line into the command prompt window exactly as shown:
setx HOME "%USERPROFILE%"
Press [Enter], you should see SUCCESS: Specified value was saved.
Quit command prompt by typing exit then pressing [Enter]
This will provide you with both Git and Bash in the Git Bash program.
The default shell in all versions of macOS is Bash, so no
need to install anything. You access Bash from the Terminal
See the Git installation video tutorial
for an example on how to open the Terminal.
You may want to keep
Terminal in your dock for this workshop.
The default shell is usually Bash, but if your
machine is set up differently you can run it by opening a
terminal and typing bash. There is no need to
In this workshop we will use the Supercomputing Wales facilities to
learn to use High-Performance Computing. For this, you will need an
account on the Supercomputing Wales facilities.
Sign in with your Swansea University email and password
Fill in the form requesting a Supercomputing Wales
account. Your aaccount request will be processed by an
Once you receive an email indicating that your account has been
created, then revisit My Supercomputing
Wales, and log in again if necessary.
Click the "Reset SCW Password" button, and enter a password
that you will use to access the Supercomputing Wales
hardware. (This does not have to be the same as your Swansea
University password.) Click Submit.
Under "Join a project", enter scw1389 as the
project code for this training session, and click "Join".
We will use FileZilla to transfer files to and from the Supercomputing Wales facilities.
Download and run the installer. You only need FileZilla, not FileZilla Pro.
Follow the on-screen instructions. Note that while the installer may try to convince you to install additional software, you do not need to agree to this; if you do not agree to the additional license agreement, FileZilla will still install.
FileZilla has been known to trigger some antivirus and anti-malware applications. You can also use WinSCP, which functions in the same way.
Download and open the Client bundle. You only need FileZilla, not FileZilla Pro.
Copy the FileZilla app to your Applications folder.
Search for and install FileZilla in your distribution's package manager.
Install the videoconferencing client
If you haven't used Zoom before, go to the
to download and install the Zoom client for your computer.
Set up your workspace
Like other Carpentries workshops,
you will be learning by "coding along" with the Instructors.
To do this, you will need to have both the window for the tool
you will be learning about (a terminal, RStudio, your web browser, etc..)
and the window for the Zoom video conference client open.
In order to see both at once,
we recommend using one of the following set up options:
Two monitors: If you have two monitors,
plan to have your terminal up on one monitor and
the video conferencing software on the other.
Two devices: If you don't have two monitors,
do you have another device (tablet, smartphone) with a medium to large
sized screen? If so, try using the smaller device as your video
conference connection and your larger device (laptop or desktop)
to follow along with the tool you will be learning about.
Divide your screen: If you only have one device
and one screen, practice having two windows
(the video conference program and one of the tools you will be using
at the workshop) open together.
How can you best fit both on your screen?
Will it work better for you to toggle between them
using a keyboard shortcut?
Try it out in advance to decide what will work best for you.
This blog post includes detailed information on how to set up your screen to follow along during the workshop.