Skip Navigation
Oklahoma State University
High Performance Computing Center

A unit in the Division of the Vice President for Research

Logging in to Cowboy

Why use a terminal?

Imagine a research scientist who has data files containing the results of their research. For each run of the experiment, the scientist must make a change to each one of the files. If there are only 20 data files then clicking on each file to open it and change it, while time consuming, is doable. However, what does the scientist do for an experiment that has 200 runs, or even 2,000?

Unless they employ a lot of graduate students, our poor researcher will not be able to complete their research in a timely manner. The terminal has a nice set of features that allows us to automate such tasks so that the computer does the work for us. Remember, while the terminal has a steep learning curve, terminal-based computer systems are ideally suited for certain types of computing and it is an investment that pays itself back later by saving you time.

Click on the operating system that your computer runs

Windows    |    Mac    |    Linux

 

Windows

Putty is a free and open-source terminal emulator that supports network protocols such as ssh, which is what we use to log in to Cowboy. If there isn't already an ssh client installed on the machine to be used, here are the instructions for downloading and logging in with Putty.

  • First download Putty, save it to your desktop and then run it.
  • When you start Putty, window will open that looks like the image below.
   
  • In the box labelled hostname, enter the name of the system you want to connect to: cowboy.hpc.okstate.edu
  • Make sure the Connection type is SSH and the Port number is 22.
  • In the Saved Sessions box, you can give a name for these login settings, i.e. Cowboy. Click save.
    • The next time you open Putty, you can double click this saved session and it will open a terminal window that will be ready to log you into Cowboy.
  • After clicking 'Open', you'll be prompted first to enter your Cowboy username. Hit 'Enter' after you've typed your username.
  • Next you'll be prompted to enter your password followed by 'Enter'.
    • (**NOTE** your password will not show up on the screen as you type)
  • If you entered your password correctly, you should get the command prompt.
    • ​If it says something like permission denied or login invalid, you might have entered your password incorrectly. Remember passwords are case sensitive.
  • If everything has worked according to these instructions, you are ready to continue the tutorial.
 
Mac

The Mac OS has a built-in terminal application so you won't need to download anything. To find your terminal:
  • Double click on the hard drive icon >> the Applications folder >> the Utilities folder
  • Double click on the Terminal icon - shown to the right
  • Now that you are in a terminal window, type ssh username@cowboy.hpc.okstate.edu
    • Where 'username' is your Cowboy username. (For Example: If your username was 'pete', you would enter:   ssh pete@cowboy.hpc.okstate.edu)
  • Next you'll be prompted to enter your password followed by 'Enter'.
    • As a security measure, your password will not show up on the screen as you type.
  • If you entered your password correctly, you should get the command prompt - a line ending in a $
    • If you have a message that says permission denied or login invalid, you might have entered your password incorrectly. Remember passwords are case sensitive.
  • If everything has worked according to these instructions, you are ready to continue the tutorial.
 
 
Linux
  • In a terminal type:   ssh username@cowboy.hpc.okstate.edu
    • Where 'username' is your Cowboy username. (For Example: If your username was 'pete', you would enter:   ssh pete@cowboy.hpc.okstate.edu)
  • Next you'll be prompted to enter your password followed by 'Enter'.
    • As a security measure, your password will not show up on the screen as you type.
  • If you entered your password correctly, you should get the command prompt.
    • If you have a message that says permission denied or login invalid, you might have entered your password incorrectly. Remember passwords are case sensitive.
  • If everything has worked according to these instructions, you are ready to continue the tutorial.
 
 
 
Visit our New User Tutorial for more instructions on the basics of navigating Cowboy.

NEED HELP?  hpcc@okstate.edu