Caltech Home > Caltech HPC Homepage > Documentation > Account Information
Search open search form

Account Information


The central cluster uses your username and password. All Caltech students, faculty and staff should already have this type of an account.  It you have a collaborator that needs access, they will need to obtain a visitor account

To access the cluster you will need authorization. If your group has not been configured on the central cluster, the PI will first have to request a new group account by sending a message to or opening a new ticket in the help system (Request Type: IMSS>High Perf Computing). A valid PTA will also need to be provided before any group can be created. Once the group has been created, your PI  and other person(s) whom {he|she} has designated as group administrators will be able to easily add you to the authorized user list via the management console

Requirements Summary for new group request. (Must come from the PI)

  1. Preferred group name. Common names are typically *lab or *group but can really be anything. (no spaces requested, hyphens and underscores ok). This is not easily modifiable so please be sure of the name before making initial request.
  2. Full PTA - A chargeable PTA is required at time of group creation. (No aliases please)
  3. List of group members, if any, authorized to add/remove additional compute users and perform PTA updates. By default the requesting PI and IMSS HPC support will have the ability to add/remove compute users.
  4. List of group members, if any, authorized to run compute jobs on the cluster. The PI, authorized group administrators and IMSS HPC support will have the ability to add/remove users.

MultiFactor Authentication

The Central HPC Cluster requires multi-factor authentication to be set up prior to logging on.  You can set this up yourself by registering on the Access website:

However, if you do not already have Duo setup on an existing device or the device has been erased you'll need to reach out via the ticket system to IMSS > DUO/MFA help. 

The DUO smartphone app for iPhone and Android are the most popular way to use 2-factor with the central cluster. Regardless of phone, you should have the Duo Mobile app installed prior to making the request to security, as an activation link will be sent to your smart device from the security group.

Download Android App

Download iOS App

If you do not wish to use a smart device, there are several types of hardware tokens available. The yubikey is a popular and proven version of the USB device with a button on it which enters the second factor code automatically when pressed. IMSS offers these at a 20% Educational Discount to the community:

  • $32 for the standard (USB type A)
  • $40 for the USB type C

If you opt for a hardware token, please contact for more information.

Connecting to the Cluster

Once everything above has been addressed, you are ready to login to the cluster.