Access and resources

This section describes getting initial access to Sherlock and monitoring available resources.

Compute basics

Acquiring an account and logging in

If you are a new member of a lab at stanford, you will need to have your PI email Sherlock’s support to get your SUNet account configured for use with computing resources. See the Sherlock getting started guide for details.

Once you have an account set up with your SUNet ID <username>, you can access Sherlock via any SSH client client. If you are using a UNIX-like system (e.g., MacOS) and you are using terminal to connect to sherlock, a useful resource is to set up an ssh config file. You can do this by editing or creating the file ~/.ssh/config, and adding the following lines:

Host sherlock
    User <username>
    KexAlgorithms +diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha1

Navigating to terminal, you can login to Sherlock using:

$ ssh sherlock

and then follow the remainder of the instructions Sherlock connection guide.

Storage Monitoring

The Stanford filesystems have fixed allocations for individuals and groups. As such, it will be useful for you to be able to determine how much space you/the group have, so that you can optimally manage your resources. For extended details on storage with Sherlock, check out Sherlock storage guide.

There are several commands that we find extremely useful for working on Sherlock. We will go over several of them.

Sherlock has fixed allocations for the storage of individuals and groups. As such, you will be required to properly manage your storage allocations, re-allocating data to group-level directories as necessary.

To check your quotas for your group <groupname>, you can use the sh_quota command:

$ sh_quota
| Disk usage for user <username> (group: <groupname>)                       |
|   Filesystem |  volume /   limit                  | inodes /  limit       |
          HOME |   9.4GB /  15.0GB [||||||     62%] |      - /      - (  -%)
    GROUP_HOME | 562.6GB /   1.0TB [|||||      56%] |      - /      - (  -%)
       SCRATCH |  65.0GB / 100.0TB [            0%] | 143.8K /  20.0M (  0%)
 GROUP_SCRATCH | 172.2GB / 100.0TB [            0%] |  53.4K /  20.0M (  0%)
           OAK |  30.8TB / 240.0TB [|          12%] |   6.6M /  36.0M ( 18%)

sh_quota is a Sherlock-specific command that provides a general overview for all partitions a user has access to. Documentation is provided on their wiki. When your home directory begins to get filled, it may be valuable to consider moving files to scratch directories, or group directories. HOME, GROUP_HOME, and OAK are persistent storage; *SCRATCH directories are subject to purging.

Another useful tool is the disk usage command du. A useful and more interacrtive version of this command is ncdu. To use ncdu, add the following line to the bottom of your ~/.bash_profile, which will load the ncdu module each time you log in to Sherlock:

ml system ncdu

and then update your ~/.bash_profile for the current session with:

$ source ~/.bash_profile

which will allow the current session to load the new module updated in your bash profile for ncdu. For future login sessions, re-sourcing your ~/.bash_profile is unnecessary.

In the present and future login sessions, you can access the ncdu command via:

$ ncdu <folder>

which will launch an interactive window for monitoring directory sizes from the folder specified by <folder>. Sherlock recommends running it in an interactive job. This can be useful when identifying where quota usage is being allocated.