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Virginia Tech Vision and Learning Lab Computing Resources

Instructions for using clusters at Virginia Tech

Table of Contents


  • There are 4 different systems: CVMLP, ARC clusters, VL-Lab, and RTX. We only manage accounts for VL-Lab and RTX.
  • For CVMLP, you need your ECE account. Please contact John ( if you don't have one.
  • For ARC clusters (including Infer-T4), you can find information on their website.

Switch between different ARC clusters

Note that all ARC clusters (e.g., NewRiver, Cascades, Huckleberry) share exactly the same file system (i.e., every file modifications you do in one cluster will affect all your clusters!). You should set up your environment in separate spaces for each cluster. And you can use the following scipts to automatically choose the correct environment when you log in.

if [[ $serv_name == *"hu"* ]]; then
    # Set up Huckleberry Dependencies
    export PATH="/home/user_name/miniconda2/bin:$PATH"
elif [[ $serv_name == *"nr"* ]]; then
    # Set up Newriver Dependencies
    export PATH="/home/user_name/anaconda2/bin:$PATH"
    # Set up Cascades Dependencies
    # Note that Cascades and NewRiver both use CentOS, 
    # you might sometimes use dependencies from NewRiver directly.
    # But they have different types of GPU (P100 v.s. V100),
    # this might cause some issues.

Use customized python kernel in Jupyter Notebook:

  1. Install anaconda/miniconda of your choice
  2. Create an environment conda create --name myenv
  3. Install ipykernel pip install ipykernel
  4. Open the your environment source activate myenv
  5. Install a Python (myenv) Kernel in the environment by python -m ipykernel install --user --name myenv --display-name "Python (myenv)"
  6. Open Notebook, go to Kernel/Change kernel, you will see a kernel called “Python (myenv)” besides the default kernel. Select it.
  7. Done. Now you can use your anaconda python and packages.

Synchronize files from CVMLP to NewRiver/Huckleberry (Manually)

  1. Create a exclude list in your directory, to specify the files/folders you don't want to synchronize (e.g. checkpoints)
  2. Do this
rsync -avz --exclude-from="project/exclude-list.txt" project/

Now you synchronize all the files under project directory with /home/ylzou/research/project.

TODO: Set up automatical synchronization

Restore deleted files in NewRiver/Huckleberry

Check ~/.snapshot, it keeps an hourly backup for 4 days.

X11 Forwarding

For Mac user, you have to add XAuthLocation /opt/X11/bin/xauth to your ~/.ssh/config, then connect to any server with ssh -Y


NOTE: Currently, slurm is not working on CVMLP.


Wiki page: Cannot log into this anymore.

Connecting to the server

You can connect to the server by ssh:

ssh [your ece account name]@[server name]

Note that, if you are not using a VT IP (e.g. you are not in the campus), you need to specify the port to 2222:

ssh -p 2222 [your ece account name]@[server name]

Computing Resources

  1. GPU machines
  • Fukushima(up, cuda: 7.0, 7.5, 8.0): k80 x 16 (w/ 9 are working), 32 Cores Intel, 396GB Ram
  • Werbos(up, cuda: 7.0, 7.5, 8.0): k80 x 16, 32 Cores Intel, 396GB Ram
  • Shenandoah(up, cuda: 8.0, 9.2, 10.0): Titan Xp (12G) x 4 (Ubuntu 18.04)
  • Newell (up, cuda: 9.0, 10.0): RTX 2080Ti (10G) x 8 (Ubuntu 18.04)
  • McAfee (up, cuda: 10.2?): RTX 2080 (11G) x 4 (Ubuntu 20.04). Try using if not available
  • Claytor (up, cuda: 11.1?): RTX 2080 (11G) x 4 (Ubuntu 20.04). Please use to access it.
  • Hebb(up, cuda: 9.0, 9.2): Titan Black x 7
  • Tesla(gpu down): k40 x 8, 32 Cores Intel, 396GB Ram
  • Rosenblatt(down): Titan Black x 3 (?)
  1. CPU-only machines
  • marr(slurm server node):
  • vapnik: 64 Cores Intel, 528GB Ram
  • minsky: 64 Cores Intel, 528GB Ram
  • mccarthy: 64 Cores Intel, 528GB Ram
  • turing(down): 64 Cores Intel, 528GB Ram
  • godel: 64 Cores Intel, 264GB Ram



NOTE: For Shenandoah and Newell, if you want to install new CUDA version. You cannot run your .run file under your home directly (seems that the machine cannot find the path). Instead, you can copy it to /tmp first, then install it there.

root access (root users only)

get a su bash shell

sudo bash


sudo reboot

restart slurm for rebooted machine

e.g. after fukushima reboot, you need the followings on the slurm master machine (marr).

sudo munged
sudo service slurm restart
sudo scontrol update node=fukushima state=resume


How to install cuda 9.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 (requires root access)


Job Submission

Access to all compute engines (aside from interactive nodes) is controlled via the job scheduler. You can follow the instructions here

Example: CPU (Matlab) job submission using PBS



Interactive GPU Jobs

interact -q p100_dev_q -lnodes=1:ppn=2:gpus=1 -A vllab_05 -l walltime=2:00:00

NOTE: You can also use p100_normal_q and set longer walltime.

Valid allocations: vllab_06, vllab_07, vllab_08, vllab_09, vllab_10

Important Commands

# Show CPU resources usage

# See how many empty (GPU) nodes
qstat -Q p100_normal_q

# Check job status
checkjob -v $jobid

# Check resource usage
jobload $jobid

Remote Editing Environment

You can set up a remote editing environment using sftp connect. This example is using Atom + Remote FTP, but you can do similar things for other editors + sftp plug-ins.

  1. First setup your password-less ssh environment. Follow the instructions in 2.
  2. On your local machine, choose a project directory to sync your source codes.
  3. Install Remote-ftp. Go to Setting->Install, type RemoteFTP, Install it.
  4. Write a .ftpconfig file in the chosen directory as follows.
    "protocol": "sftp",
    "host": "", // string - Hostname or IP address of the server. Default: 'localhost'
    "port": 22, // integer - Port number of the server. Default: 22
    "user": "jinchoi", // string - Username for authentication. Default: (none)
    "remote": "/home/jinchoi/src/",
    "privatekey": "/Users/jwC/.ssh/id_rsa" // string - Path to the private key file (in OpenSSH format). Default: (none)

For the “User”, “remote”, “privatekey” fields, you should modify them for your own settings. You may use VPN client if you are off-campus and want to use PowerAI. If you are off-campus and want to use CVMLP clusters, you can simply use port number 2222. 5. Connect to the server using "Packages->RemoteFTP->Connect" 6. Enjoy!


Since both NewRiver and Cascades use the same system, you can use/share the same conda environment.

Create conda environment

Here is an example of creating a conda environment. Chen uses the following commands to create an environment for FlowNet2 (pytorch 0.4.0, gcc5, cuda 9.0)

conda create -n py36torch040cuda90 python=3.6
source activate py36torch040cuda90
conda install -c psi4 gcc-5 
conda install pytorch=0.4.0 torchvision cudatoolkit=9.0 -c pytorch
pip install opencv-python==
pip install opencv-contrib-python==
conda install -c menpo ffmpeg

Interactive GPU Jobs

salloc --nodes=1 --ntasks=1 --mem-per-cpu=16G -p v100_normal_q -t 2:00:00 --gres=gpu:1 -A vllab_05

Valid allocations: vllab_06, vllab_07, vllab_08, vllab_09, vllab_10

A sample slurm batch script using pytorch

This is a file Chen uses. You can modify it appropriately.

#!/bin/bash -l
#SBATCH -t 72:00:00
#SBATCH -p v100_normal_q
#SBATCH -A vllab_01
#SBATCH --nodes=1
#SBATCH --mem-per-cpu=16G
#SBATCH --gres=gpu:1
#SBATCH -J deepfill
#SBATCH -o logs/train.out

module load cuda/9.0.176
source activate py36torch040cuda90

cd /home/chengao/Project/videocomp


You can simply do sbatch to submit the job.

Huckleberry (PowerAI)

Install & Usage



You can ask James McClure if you have questions. Or you can ask Jinwoo.

Help Ticket

When there is a problem, e.g. particular node down when you cancel a job by either ctrl + c or scancel command, it would probably be good to submit a help ticket from ARC website if nodes are offline for this reason and also to email. Check the box for huckleberry. This should help to ensure that multiple people see the request.

Debugging a slurm job ID

scontrol show jobid -dd <jobid> It will show you what .sh file you used for the jobid. Sometimes you need this information.


Members of VT who have received accounts on infer have access to the infer login nodes and the infer cluster job queues. Typical workflow involves logging into a login node for accessing files and applications; creating code and compiling programs; submitting jobs to a job queue to be run on compute nodes; and, displaying information about jobs and controlling submitted jobs.

Install & Usage

Please check this document for details.


# vllab1 (1080 Ti (11G) x 2)
ssh -p 8125 <username>@

# vllab2 (Titan X (12G) x 2)
ssh -p 8126 <username>@

# vllab3 (Titan X (12G) x 2)
ssh -p 8127 <username>@

# vllab4 (Titan RTX (24G) x 2, Ubuntu only)
ssh -p 8128 <username>@

# vllab5 (Titan RTX (24G) x 2, Ubuntu only)
ssh -p 8129 <username>@


  • Please ask Yuliang to create a new user for you. And then you can set up your own anaconda environment, CUDA and CUDNN are already set up.
  • The storage of these machines are not shared.
  • Questions? Check first.

Caffe1 and OpenPose (vllab1 - Ubuntu) (Currently not available due to machine re-installation)

You can use OpenPose with your own account (not the root vllab1) now:

  1. Go to the project directory
cd /home/vllab1/tools/openpose/
  1. Set up the environment
  1. Try the demo. For example
./build/examples/openpose/openpose.bin --video examples/media/video.avi

Note that visualization might fail if you are using the remote access. You can choose to save as json file instead. For more details, please check here.

You can use the OpenPose account for this usage, please ask our lab members for the password.


vllab1, vllab2, vllab3 have Matlab under Windows, vllab2 has Matlab under Ubuntu.

Adobe Creative Cloud (vllab2, vllab3 - Windows)

You can use products from Adobe Creative Cloud (e.g., PhotoShop, AfterEffects) on these machines.

COLMAP (vllab5 - Ubuntu)

You should be able to use it with any account. Please check this for more details.


# RTX-1 (RTX 2080 (11G) x 10, CentOS)
ssh <username>@

# RTX-2 (RTX 2080 (11G) x 10, CentOS) - Need to be set up, stay tuned.
ssh <username>@

# To use admin account, you cannot ssh into it, please use
su - admin


  • Please ask Yuliang to get the initial password, then you can change it with passwd.
  • Please create a new user and set up your own anaconda environment, CUDA and CUDNN are already set up.
  • The storage of these machines are not shared.


Instructions for using clusters at Virginia Tech



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