Accessing the FOCI Cluster (April 2024)

IDEA Cluster Image

NOTE: If you're looking to access RPI's Quantum One system via the FOCI Cluster, go here instead...


  • The Rensselaer FOCI Computing Cluster (formerly the IDEA Cluster) is a high performance computing environment with five Intel Xeon and two AMD compute servers in various configurations ranging from 24-40 cores (48-80), 256GB-1TB RAM, and up to four GPUs per machine (Tesla K40m or Titan RTX). The IDEA Cluster includes two dedicated storage servers totaling more than 40TB of usable space.
    • RCS credentials and VPN are required
    • Email John Erickson for access privileges:
  • Student Access:
    • Students of FOCI/IDEA-sponsored courses (e.g. MATP-4400, MATP-4900) are automatically added for the term of the course. Class privileges end with the end of the term, but home directories are preserved
    • The Cluster provides access to: RStudio, Jupyter, Python, MATLAB, GPUs (on Nodes 2, 5, 6 and 7); lots of storage and computes
    • Access via the RPI physical network or VPN required
    • Priority is given to FOCI researchers and students in FOCI/IDEA-sponsored courses (e.g. MATP-4910, MATP-4400)
  • Web links to RStudio and Jupyter GUIs:
  • GUI access to MATLAB possible via port forwarding; command line recommended! (Contact John Erickson)
  • Linux terminal accessible from within RStudio "Terminal" or via ssh (below)
  • Shared Data on the Cluster:
    • All idea_users have access to shared storage via /data ("data" in your home directories)
    • Permissions are best managed via the Linux terminal (see above)
  • Shell access to individual nodes: You must access "landing pad" first, then a specific compute node:
    • ssh, then ssh idea-node-XX
    • For example:
      1. ssh
      2. Then, ssh idea-node-02 (to access "Node 02," a GPU node)

Help for R users new to Linux & github

Help for IDEA Cluster Python Users

Help for General IDEA Cluster Issues

Contact John Erickson for details!