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Hartree Centre Projects

Last modified: 5/3/2015

This page provides details of Project set up and administration.

Developing an Idea

We are happy to talk to academic or commercial partners about potential Projects. For example, it may be useful to work together to develop a proposal, or to widen the community who might benefit. We will be able to answer questions about the Project requirements and relevant technology, both hardware and software. We can also organise workshops or training to help share information and develop the skills necessary for successful Project initiation.

Proposing a Project

Contact for a proposal form.

The Project Proposal should define a Principal Investigator, describe the purpose of the Project, list the resources required, and provide a list of initial members. There is a common process for all proposers to follow, but Projects can be broadly categorised as "Development" and "Production". They differ in the sort of resources and support they may require.

Development Projects

These are Projects that do not yet have the ability, or need to use significant computing time. Typical development Projects might include:

  • platform familiarisation
  • software development
  • code porting
  • code optimisation and scaling
  • benchmarking

Proposers of development Projects will be encouraged to identify a future user community, and suggest how their codes would be used in production to address a scientific challenge.

Production Projects

These Projects may follow on from a development Project, and will require substantial resources to address a scientific challenge. Production Projects will therefore be reviewed by the Resource Allocation Committee. Applicants will need to demonstrate the scalability of their codes, and appropriateness of the resources requested. Typically, Projects requesting more than 500,000 Blue Gene core hours will be considered as production Projects.

Getting an Account

Access to the HPC systems at the Hartree Centre is available to groups of academic and industry partners. The PI should complete a Project Proposal form in consultation with help desk staff and submit it for approval.

Setting up userids on our systems

The SAFE system is found at external link: and is used for setting up Projects, Groups, and Userids.

The steps which need to be followed by the person in charge of a Project, the Principal Investigator or PI, and Group members are as follows:

  1. Help Desk will contact the Project PI to let them know that their proposal has been approved.
  2. If not already registered, the PI then needs to sign up with our SAFE system at external link:, providing an Institutional email address which will be used as their SAFE login ID (please note, emails such as gmail or hotmail will not be accepted). An SSH Key is also required at this stage, and instructions on how to generate and upload this are at external link: - "SAFE User Guide".
  3. An email will be sent from SAFE containing your password which must be changed on first logging in. The PI should let the Help Desk know when this has been done.
  4. We will then set up the new Project on the system, and will provide the PI with details. The "Project signup password" can be found by clicking on 'Administer' then 'Update'.
  5. The next stage is for the PI to create a Group under the Project - the simplest approach is to create a single group for the Project for all users, but additional groups can be created if necessary. To do this, login to SAFE, click the Administer button followed by the Project Group Administration button, then click Add New. Type in a name and description and click Create.
  6. The PI then asks other Project members to sign up with the SAFE system.
  7. Once this is done, the PI sends members the Project name and the Project signup password so that they can join via the SAFE system. Members should use the Request Join Project button, scroll to the correct Project, type in the Project signup password, and click Request.
  8. When the PI next logs in to SAFE, there should be a "New Project Management Requests" box. Click the Process button and Accept (or Reject) the new member.
  9. The PI now adds the member to the Group created in 5. above. Click on Administer for the Project then choose Project Group Administration. Click on the Group name, then on Add Account, and then select any available user from a list (including the PI).
  10. There is now a manual process, which may take up to 24 hours, after which the new Project member will be notified of their new userid and invited to log on to the Hartree systems for the first time.

Until processed, your 'Username' will be shown as a 'Pending' status, and your Project will not be listed under 'You are a member of the following Project groups:' until it becomes 'Active'.

Note: The PI does NOT have to 'Request Join Project' as he/she is automatically a Project member. They must however, add themselves to a Group - as in 9.

Project groups and shared file system area

Each Project group maps to a Unix group, and each Project group member's home file system is set up under a directory group structure. The example below starts from a user's home directory and shows that all other members of the Project group are assigned home directories as "peer" directories.

-bash-4.1$ pwd
-bash-4.1$ cd ..
-bash-4.1$ ls
afg27-jpf03  bbl28-jpf03  cxe72-jpf03  dxd46-jpf03  hvs09-jpf03  jjb63-jpf03  jxm09-jpf03  mkk76-jpf03  phw57-jpf03  rrr25-jpf03  rxw47-jpf03  sxl18-jpf03
ajd95-jpf03  bwm51-jpf03  cxl10-jpf03  dxp21-jpf03  hxo76-jpf03  jkj47-jpf03  kxm85-jpf03  mxm86-jpf03  pxj86-jpf03  rrs70-jpf03  sca58-jpf03  tcn16-jpf03
axa59-jpf03  bxp59-jpf03  djc87-jpf03  fxb73-jpf03  ivk29-jpf03  jpf26-jpf03  lim17-jpf03  nxt14-jpf03  rja87-jpf03  rwt21-jpf03  shared       txc61-jpf03
axw52-jpf03  bxv09-jpf03  dwn60-jpf03  gxx38-jpf03  jds89-jpf03  jrh19-jpf03  ltc84-jpf03  pag51-jpf03  rjb98-jpf03  rxl87-jpf03  sls56-jpf03  vvt17-jpf03

Important to some, please note that for each Project group there is a "shared" directory which can be reached at


from each user's home directory. Every member of the Project group is able to read and write to this shared directory, so it can be used for common files and applications for the Project.

Once a Project has Finished

It is Hartree Centre policy that, after the agreed date of completion of a Project, all data will be made read-only and will then remain retrievable for 3 months. During this period, users are able to login to retrieve their data, but will be unable to run jobs. After 3 months have elapsed, all login access associated with the Project will be terminated, and all data owned by the Project will be deleted.

BG Access Projects (HCBGnnn)

PIs agreed to provide, upon completion of the BG Access Program Projects, a report containing full details of the work undertaken, detailing the science or engineering completed and impact of the Project. Review forms were sent to all PIs for completion. We may use the material in these reports as a basis of our promotional material including case studies and future business cases.

The BG/Q Projects Phase 1 (HCBG001 to HCBG055) ended on Thursday, October 10th 2013.

After this date, data was made read-only and remained retrievable until the end of the year.

The BG/Q Projects Phase 2 (HCBG071 to HCBG092) ended on Friday, 11th April 2014.

This programme ran from Monday 13th January and no new jobs were allowed to run after Friday 11th April, though queued jobs were left to run until the maintenance day on Wednesday 16th April. Data has been made read-only and will remain retrievable for the next 3 months.

Early Access Projects (HCEAnnn)

The Early Access Projects finished at the end of June 2013, and user data was made read-only to allow retrieval of data until October 10th 2013. Login access was then terminated and all data owned by the Early Access Projects deleted.

Resource Accounting





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