Access from Linux#

Since all VSC clusters use Linux as their main operating system, you will need to get acquainted with Linux using the command-line interface and using the terminal. To open a terminal in Linux when using KDE, choose Applications > System > Terminal > Konsole. When using GNOME, choose Applications > Accessories > Terminal.

If you don’t have any experience with using the command-line interface in Linux, we suggest you to read the basic Linux usage section first.

Getting ready to login#

Before requesting an account, you need to generate a pair of ssh keys. One popular way to do this on Linux is using the freely available OpenSSH client which you can then also use to log on to the clusters.

Connecting to the cluster#

Text-mode session#

The OpenSSH ssh command can be used to open a connection in a Linux terminal session.

Display graphical programs#

X server#

No extra software is needed on a Linux client system, but you need to use the appropriate options with the ssh command as explained on the page on OpenSSH.

NX client#

KU Leuven On the KU Leuven/UHasselt clusters it is also possible to use the NX Client to log on to the machine and run graphical programs. This requires additional client software that is currently available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS. The advantage over displaying X programs directly on your Linux screen is that you can sleep your laptop, disconnect and move to another network without loosing your X-session. Performance may also be better with many programs over high-latency networks.


Most VSC sites offer some form of support for visualization software through Virtual Network Computing (VNC). VNC renders images on the cluster and transfers the resulting images to your client device. VNC clients are available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS or can be even used directly on web browsers.

On the KUL clusters, users can use NX NX start guide.

VNC is supported through the Web portal interface.

On the UAntwerp clusters, TurboVNC is supported on all regular login nodes (without OpenGL support) and on the visualization node of Leibniz (with OpenGL support through VirtualGL). See the page Remote visualization @ UAntwerp for instructions.

On the VUB clusters, TigerVNC is supported on all nodes. See the documentation on remote desktop sharing for instructions.

Software development#


Eclipse is a popular multi-platform Integrated Development Environment (IDE) very well suited for code development on clusters.

Version control#

Linux supports all popular version control systems. See our introduction to version control systems.