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Getting Started on the National Systems QuickStart Guide

Compute Canada’s national systems -- CedarGrahamNiagara, and Béluga -- and the Compute Canada Cloud (Arbutus) are available for use by researchers across Canada.

Intended purpose and usage of the systems

Compute Canada's national platform of Advanced Research Computing (ARC) resources offers expandable and modern data centres with highly qualified personnel. The systems are for high performance computing, storage and data analysis beyond what you can accomplish using a standard desktop or laptop computer.

The facilities provided by Compute Canada and its regional organizations (WestGrid, Compute Ontario, Calcul Québec, and ACENET) are distributed among several resource provider sites, with some specialization at each site. All sites are connected by high-performance networks so that users can access the system which best fits their needs, regardless of where it is physically located. Operations of the national systems are delivered through distributed teams which draw upon regional and local expertise distributed across Canada.

Accessing the resources 

To use the national systems and services you must apply for a Compute Canada account.
CLICK HERE for more details on how to Apply for an Account.


Connecting and logging in 

You can SSH to the new servers using the following login nodes: 


** Note: You will need to use your Compute Canada username and password to login (the same credentials you use for the CCDB). Your password to log in to all new national systems are the same one you use to log in to Your username will be displayed at the top of your home page at once you've logged in there.

If you have troubles logging in or have forgotten your Compute Canada username or password, contact

Accessing the Compute Canada Cloud

To access the Compute Canada Cloud (Arbutus), you will also need to request a cloud account via email to 

 More information about using the cloud can be found on the CC Docs Wiki HERE.


Additional Information

How To Use 

The Compute Canada Documentation Wiki will be your go-to reference centre for step-by-step instructions and documentation for:

File Transfer

You can transfer files to and from the new systems using the Globus endpoints:

  • computecanada#cedar-dtn
  • computecanada#graham-dtn
  • computecanada#niagara
  • computecanada#beluga-dtn
Live systems status

If you have recently used a national system (i.e. within the last 6 months), you are automatically subscribed to a System Notices mailing list that will notify you of any scheduled maintenance or unscheduled disruptions to service. Alternatively, a national systems status page can be viewed here, and if you use Twitter, you can follow @CanadaCompute to receive live tweets of system status notices.

Getting Help & reporting issues 

Contact to report issues, ask questions or share feedback on the national systems. 

Training Materials

A series of short webinars (5-10 minutes each) are available for quick and basic overviews of the new systems. These are meant to complement the Documentation Wiki pages, which are more detailed.  

  • Getting an account: If you don’t have a Compute Canada account, you’ll need to register for one to access these new national systems.
  • General info: General information about the new national systems.
  • Getting help: Need help? This short video will show you how and where to get it.
  • Software environment: Learn more about the software environment of the national systems.
  • File systems: Discover the ins and outs of the file systems on the new national systems.
  • Managing jobs: Find out how to manage jobs on the new national systems, including basic slurm commands.
  • Common mistakes to avoid: Save yourself time and discover the most common mistakes to avoid.
  • Accessing the environment: This short video will tell you everything you need to know about accessing the new environment - from login to data transfer.

Below is a listing of other seminars and information sessions that may help you get started on the new systems:

  • Introduction to Using Cedar
    WestGrid hosted an introduction to using Cedar. The demo included instructions for logging in, exploring the file systems, compiling basic programs, working with modules, running jobs via the SLURM scheduler, running interactive jobs, finding documentation and getting help. 
    Click here to view the recording

  • Cloud Basics: Logging in & creating a virtual machine
    Presented by WestGrid, this one-hour tutorial walks you through how to get started with the Compute Canada Cloud, covering how to log in and configure a simple virtual machine that can be used to support your work.
    Click here to view the recording

  • How Jobs are Scheduled to Run on Graham and Cedar
    SHARCNET hosted a webinar that described the configuration of the national systems' Slurm scheduler and explained how it determines how jobs are dispatched to resources. This presentation also provided recommended best practices when submitting jobs and demonstrate tools for monitoring jobs and the job queue on Graham and Cedar.
    Click here to view the recording

  • What's New & Exciting About Graham's GPUs
    SHARCNET presented a webinar outlining the newest and largest SHARCNET cluster and Compute Canada national system, Graham. This webinar discussed all the new important features of the Graham GPUs, with a live demonstration.
    Click here to view the recording

  • Using the Niagara Supercomputer
    SciNet introduces Compute Canada's newest cluster, Niagara, with a demonstration of how to log in, load software, and submit jobs. 
    Click here to view the recording

  • Introduction to Béluga
    Calcul Québec hosted an introduction and overview of the Béluga system, the national system located at the École de technologie supérieure in Montreal.
    Click here to view the recording