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We have setup our HPC Cluster to run graphical applications using x2go. x2go is a fast remote desktop manager that allows you to reconnect and continue working with graphical applications even if your work is interrupted by network issues. You can close your session and continue exactly where you left off whenever you want (just like you would be able to with a command-line equivalent like tmux).

We generally, recommend against running any sort of graphical applications on the HPC login nodes since graphical applications consume much more resources and is impolite to other users. However there are a few cases where using x2go is necessary. The main reason is to run proprietary software applications that have no command-line interface and only provide a graphical interface. Inside x2go these applications must be run using fisbatch.


For GNU / Linux, OS X and Windows, follow the instructions on the x2go wiki.


Configure the connection settings as follows:

  1. Run x2goclient
  2. When you run x2go for the first time, it shows you a "New session" window. If you do not see this window, click on Session > New session ...
  3. Enter the following:
    1. Host: login.storrs.hpc.uconn.edu
    2. Login: <Your NetID>
    3. (At the very bottom) Session type: GNOME
    4. (If you created your key pair) In the "Use RSA/DSA key for ssh connection" click the folder icon, then your ".ssh" folder and then your "id_rsa" private key.
    5. Click OK to save your new session settings
  4. A new grey box will appear on the top-right hand side of x2go showing your connection settings.


Starting a session

  1. Run x2goclient and click the gray "New session" box at the top-right and login with your HPC credentials.
  2. If this is your first time logging in, click "Yes" in the a message "Host key verification failed: The server is unknown. Do you trust the host key?"
  3. The status message will change from "connecting" to "running" and after a few seconds you will see a new window with your desktop appear.
  4. To run your software, at the top-left side of the screen, click on "Applications" > "System Tools" > "Terminal".
  5. Inside the terminal, start fisbatch to reserve your compute nodes, and then you can run your interactive job.

Pausing and resuming a session

  1. By default, if you close either your running desktop window or the x2goclient window, the session will pause.
  2. Now when you log in the next time you can pick up where you left off.

Terminate session

  1. To terminate your session and start from scratch later, in the main x2go window you will see a power button at the bottom-right side of the gray session box.
  2. Click on the button acknowledge the warning about unsaved documents being lost.


OS X: Black screen after connecting

Please make sure you have installed XQuartz as explained in the x2go installation docs.