Notes on Accessing the IDEA Cluster

If you have been granted access to the IDEA Cluster. If you do not have access and would like to make a request, fill out our form.


  1. You will be using your RCS credentials
  2. To quickly test that you have access, go to while on the RPI network.
  3. To access RStudio Server only, use one of the following links  (Classes and Research) (Research)
  4. To access JupyterHub (EXPERIMENTAL!):
  5. To access a node via the shell (e.g. ssh in Linux and Mac or Putty in Windoze), there are two steps:
    1. First access the "landing pad" (Linux commands shown):
      $ ssh
    2. Now, access one of the compute nodes; for example, idea-node-02
      $ ssh username@idea-node-02


    3. You will now be in your home directory on idea-node-02 (which happens to have the GPUs, etc.). R and Python are installed on all of the nodes, but most people doing heavy Py work do it on Node 2 so they can also use the GPUs.


  • The cluster uses a storage server, so you will access your files in the same way across all the machines.
  • idea-node-01 is used heavily by students in various IDEA courses, including IDM and DARL, using RStudio Server
  • idea-node-03 is just like idea-node-1, but is "reserved" for use by researchers
  • idea-node-02 doesn't provide access to RStudio, but does have R, Py, and some extra libraries to support GPU work
  • idea-node-04 supports a number of virtual servers
  • Note that sftp is also available for transferring files from e.g. your laptop onto the Cluster.