Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science

General Purpose Linux Computing (Linux GP)

SCS Computing Facilities (SCSCF) maintains a group of Linux computers running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS for general purpose computing (Linux GP). These computers are available via SSH at and an SCS account is required for access.  

SSH Host Key

When logging in to for the first time, you may be presented with an SSH key fingerprint. This fingerprint is to verify that you are really connecting to  After the first time you log in, the public keys should be stored on your machine and you should not be prompted to verify the fingerprint again. If you get a warning about the SSH keys not matching, do not enter your password until you recheck the current fingerprint list. If you do not see the fingerprint in the list, please submit a ticket

Usage Guidelines

Linux GP is a shared resource and should not be used for resource-intensive jobs. It is intended for simple tasks that require the use of a command-line operating system.

Intended Usage

Below is a list of common and acceptable uses for Linux GP:

  • Access to a command line operating system
  • Access to AFS
  • Non-resource-intensive jobs
  • To test software or access to other machines, if you are having problems with your desktop machine

Unintended Usage

Please do not use Linux GP for:

  • Jobs longer than 24 hours
  • Jobs that are resource-intensive
  • A mail drop

Your Environment

Home Directory

Your home directory on will be your AFS home directory. For example, if your SCS username is 'example', your home directory would be /afs/

Temporary Space

Access to the local disk on Linux GP is limited. The directory /usr/tmp/ may be used for storing temporary files. 


the Linux GP machines have all the software included in the standard SCS Ubuntu environment as well as site-licensed software such as Matlab and Mathematica that can be used for testing. 

Weekly Maintenance Period

Every Monday morning at 4:00 AM, each of the Linux GP computers will be rebooted. These reboots are scheduled to perform routine maintenance including performing software updates and clearing stuck jobs. Starting one hour before the reboot, reminders will be sent to anyone who is logged in.

You should save your work and log off before the reboot to avoid any loss of data