Frequently Asked Questions

BioHPC Staff will add the answers to frequent questions from users here. Click a category name below to jump to questions and answers on that topic:


Accounts, Usage, Quotas

 

How can I create a BioHPC account, and access all of the services?

Ensure with your department or center that you are eligible for membership with BioHPC. If you are not certain, please contact us. Once eligibility is confirmed, register for a BioHPC account here  . Your account will not have full access to BioHPC services until you attend the mandatory new user training session held on the first Wednesday of each month from 10:30 AM - 12:00 AM in NL6.125. Remember to record your signature on the attendance sheet. After 1-3 days, you will receive an e-mail notifying when your BioHPC account has been prepared and activated.

Do I need to register for a training session before I attend?

No, you don't need to register separately for the training sessions.

The system says my account has expired, what can I do?

This is because your password has expired. According to UTSW policy, you need to change your password annually. Click here  to change your BioHPC password. 

I suddenly cannot get access to BioHPC system, why is that?
In most case, it is because your password has expired. Please refer to the above question for solution. 

The situations you have may experience with an expired password are:

  • SSH: Your account has expired; please contact your system administrator.
  • Lamella: Access to your account on the server lamella.biohpc.swmed.edu has been denied.
  • FileZilla: Failed to connect.
  • Network Drive: Fail to connect.
  • Web Visualization GUI session: Connection refused.
  • Thin Client: Cannot login.

How can I create a shared folder between two departments to share data?

Please provide us the information below: 

  • Which department will contribute the storage space required? We need assign a primary department to this folder.
  • How much storage space is needed? We need approval from the primary department chair to assign storage space.
  • Do you need a specific name for this folder? We will name it using the two PIs last names by default.

My /project storage space is over quota, what can I do?

  1) Decrease disk usage

You may want to move files to your /archive directory. Usage on /archive will be calculated only as 2/3 of the actual usage. The archive directory structure is laid out similarly to /project. The default quota is 5 TB per lab, but it can be increased.

  2) Increase quota

Your PI can ask the department chair for approval to increase the lab quota on /project. We will increase the quota with the department chair's email approval.

Submit jobs using SECONDARY GROUP for accounting purpose with multiple projects/groups.

By default when a user submits a job using sbatch, the system will account the CPU usages according to the user's primary group. In some situations, when a user has several secondary groups, and would like to run jobs and make the accounting of usage to the secondary group, the user can submit the job using the --gid=xxxx argument  (sbatch --gid=<the secondary group id> slurm_batch_script.sh) so that the usage can be accounted according to different collaborating groups/projects. 

 


GPU Nodes

How many GPU nodes can be allocated to me at any one time.

Due to their availability, only 4 GPU nodes can be allocated to you at any one time, but during times of high usage, users should reasonably expect to run jobs on 1-2 GPU nodes simultaneously.

How do I use the Dual Tesla P100 and V100 nodes?

There are 12 Nvidia Tesla P100 GPU nodes and 2 Tesla V100 nodes. Each node has two GPU cards.

To run a job on the new GPU nodes, please specify GPUp100 or GPUv100 as the partition in your SLURM script.

# In your SLURM script, choose the new GPU partition

#SBATCH -p GPUp100

# In your script, request the use of 2 GPU cards

#SBATCH --gres=gpu:2

If your program does not seem to see both GPUs, you can try setting the CUDA_VISIBLE_DEVICES environment variable. Use the command:

export CUDA_VISIBLE_DEVICES=0,1  

... before you run your program. This should not be necessary as long as you use the gres line in your batch scripts.


R & RStudio

I'm using a web service from R (e.g. biomaRt) and it complains about a 'redirection'. How can I make it work properly?

The UTSW web proxy can confuse some R packages that interact with web services. Before you use the web service, set download options in your R script:

options(RCurlOptions=list(followlocation=TRUE, postredir=2L))

 

What is the difference between Cloud Service RStudio and BioHPC OnDemand RStudio ?

Cloud Service RStudio (https://rstudio.biohpc.swmed.edu/) is a shared web server open for all BioHPC users. You may keep a persistent session and share the computational resource with all other users. Open this web server when you want to test small tasks. The current version of RStudio is 3.3

OnDemand RStudio will reserve a compute node up to 20 hours for an end user. During the 20-hour reservation period, a user has a dedicated compute node, suitable for heavy load tasks. You could choose either 3.3 or 3.4 version when you request the node.

 

What if I messed up old RStudio sessions and can not log into it?

Try to clean up the configuration folder under your home folder with command:

rm -rf ~/.rstudio


Python & Jupyter Notebook

How can I install packages with conda?

https://portal.biohpc.swmed.edu/content/guides/conda-biohpc/

How can I choose different conda environment from Jupyter Notebook?

Youmay select the Kernel you want either when creating a new notebook or from the notebook’s Kernel menu


Matlab

Why does my Matlab jobs being queued for a long time, while the cluster still have some idle nodes?

The reason is that your job is queueing for the matlab MDCS licence. Right now, we have 128 concurrent MDCS licences shared with all BIoHPC users. If there are other Matlab jobs running on the cluster now, and they consume all 128 licences of matlab MDCS, you have to wait till any of these jobs finish running and release the license.


Software Installation

How to install python module locally without conda environment? 
use pip install:
$pip install --user modulename
will install package automatically to your home directory: ~/.local/lib/python**/site-packages

Or use --prefix to install to a specific directory:
$pip install --prefix /directory/to/install modulename

This will install lib and bin to the path specified, if the software has executable, it will be put into the bin folder. 

How do I install R packages locally:
R packages will be installed automatically into your local R lib. You don't need to worry about permission issues.

Where to find all my local R packages:
Local R packages that user install stay in ~/R/x86_64-***-linux-gnu-library path/{version}.

Getting permission denied error while running a software or command.
The software or command is trying to access a file or a directory you don't have access to.

Possible causes: 

  • The destination does not exist due to misspelling or the command does not create the directories automatically.
  • The installed cluster software is trying to write into its own directory, but the user running the command does not have permission to write in that directory. Usually this happens during installation when a dependency needs upgrade. The software need to be installed in the personal directory. If still not working, please email us. 
  • Running code received from collegues and the code has hard coded paths. Change the hard coded paths to point to existing local directory.

Why do I have multiple version of same modules loaded?
When loading modules, all dependent modules are also added. So if two software depend on the same software but with different versions, multiple version will be loaded. This can cause imcompatibility problems when using the first loaded software. It's a good idea to load only the necessary modules when using certain software.

Where should I create link to locally installed software executable, since I dont have permission in any of the bin directory.
Simply create a bin directory under your home directory and link any executatbles to this directory. This directory is included in the PATH variable automatically. 

"lib***.so" files not found?
Library dependency is not resovled, most likely you are missing a path in LD_LIBRARY_PATH, can be resolved by adding apropriate module or add the path to variable.

"CXX****_1.x.x" not found?
wrong version of C c compiler is used, try adding newer version of gcc or intel.

".h" files not found?
The header file of the software is not found, this can be solved by adding the include directory of the software to CPATH when using c compilers. Or install .devel package of the software through package manager.