Hoffman2:Accessing the Cluster

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Here are some of our favorite ways to access the Hoffman2 Cluster login nodes.

SSH - Command Line

SSH stands for Secure Shell and is a method of remotely logging into a computer using an encrypted connection. It is a command-line tool and is available on most *nix-based operating systems with ports available for Windows.


Simple SSH

Use the ssh command from a terminal:

ssh login_id@hoffman2.idre.ucla.edu

where login_id is replaced by your cluster user name.

GUI-Enabled SSH

Macs (post - Snow Leopard 10.6.x) no longer come with an X Window System Server pre-installed.

Before doing the following steps, please install XQuartz and restart your computer. Note: From Xquartz 2.7.9, indirect GLX is disabled by default, so you'll need to run this command followed by a reboot

defaults write org.macosforge.xquartz.X11 enable_iglx -bool true

For M-series Macs use the following instead with XQuartz 2.8.2:

defaults write org.xquartz.X11 enable_iglx -bool true

  1. Open up your Terminal. It's under Applications > Utilities on Macs.
  2. Type the command
    $ ssh -Y login_id@hoffman2.idre.ucla.edu
    replacing login_id with your Hoffman2 username.
    The -Y is for X11 Forwarding so that any graphics that are rendered on Hoffman2 get forwarded to the screen of your computer.
  3. Press enter and type in your password when it asks for it. No characters or asterisks will show up while you type.
  4. Provided your typing was good, you will be greeted by the Hoffman2 login message and have successfully SSH into a login node.


  1. Go here and follow the instructions under Windows. We recommend PuTTY or Cgywin.
    If you use putty, please install xming for GUI access.
  2. Once you have that setup, the process is the same as if you were on a Mac or Linux/Unix machine

Remote Desktop [Recommended]

Currently, Hoffman supports connecting to the cluster via the X2Go client and the NoMachine client.

NX Client - GUI

The NX Client program allows you to set up a Virtual Network Computing (VNC)-like session with Hoffman2. This session will keep running even if your Internet connection drops in and out (much like screen on the command line).

X2Go - GUI

X2Go provides a desktop-like GUI for accessing the Hoffman server. Please see here to find out more about setup details.

Change Passwords

Once you've logged on and made sure its works, you can change your password to something more rememberable To change passwords, logon and type:


It should ask you for your old password and then new ones.

External Links