Why Command Line Only¶
You might be wondering why this HPC is command line only and does not have a GUI interface. When you login the interface is a command line in a terminal.
This HPC is designed to perform long running calculations and data processing, jobs that run for several hours to hundreds of hours. You login to the terminal, setup your job via a script, and submit the job to a scheduler. The scheduler regularly looks at all the jobs, considers how much CPU, memory and time they require, and then starts each job on a HPC node that can provide those resources, exclusively for your job. See Getting Started So it’s likely that you are not going to be even logged in to this HPC when your job is running. A GUI is superfluous.
Additionally, if we have a GUI on the HPC that will mean a lot more software needs to be loaded onto the HPC. That software needs to be maintained and updated, which means the HPC node would need to be rebooted more often. This is likely to adversly impact long running jobs.
Finally, this HPC is a stepping stone to the large HPCs like NCI’s Gadi. That’s in the top 30 of the top 500 HPCs in the world. Once you learn how to use the command line and submit jobs that skill is immediately useable on the other HPCs around the world.