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Unix Services

Scientific Computing - ITD Unix Datacenter

Information Technology Division's Unix Services group maintains an assortment of general purpose computation resources which are open to the laboratory community.  Any employee or guest may request an account by going to the BNL Account Request Form and requesting a "Unix Systems" account.

Unix Services maintains an assortment of stand-alone computational resources as well as the general purpose Brookhaven Linux Cluster (BLC).

Stand-Alone Compute Servers

These stand-alone compute servers share home directory storage with the processing nodes of the Brookhaven Linux Cluster (BLC).  They provide an alternate method for users to access their data as well as processing resources. 

Machine Processor Type # of cores Memory Operating System Power 4+, 1.7GHz 8 8 GB Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, 64bit UltraSparc III Cu, 900MHz 4 8 GB Solaris 10 Intel Xeon, 2.3GHz, model E5345 8 32 GB Scientific Linux 5, 64bit

Brookhaven Linux Cluster (BLC)

The BLC is an assortment of various commodity processing systems running on a shared private network.  Access to these systems is through one of the available submission nodes which connect to both the public network and to the private BLC network.  Users are only able to access processing nodes through use of a job scheduling system.

"Head" Nodes (also known as "submission" nodes)
Machine Processor Type # of cores Memory Operating System Home Directory Intel Xeon, 3.2GHz, model 80546K 2 2 GB Scientific Linux 4.8, 32 bit BLC

Processing Nodes
Node group # of nodes Processor Type # of cores
per node
RAM per
Operating System
alpha 64 Intel Xeon, 3.2GHz, model 80546K 2 2 GB Scientific Linux 4.6, 32 bit
sunysb 64 Intel Xeon, 3.2GHz, model 80546K 2 2 GB Scientific Linux 5.3, 64 bit

The BLC currently runs Scientific Linux 4, (formerly known as FermiLinux), which is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.  The job scheduling system used by the BLC is a combination of two related software packages, a resource manager, on the BLC it is the software package "Torque", and a job scheduling software, the commercial product "Moab".

Users log in to one of the "head", or "submission", nodes and submit jobs using Torque.  Using the batch system will ensure that your requested resources (CPU or memory) are issued exclusively to your job.  This enables users to have full access to requested resources when engaged in High Performance Computing (HPC).

Top of PageLast Modified: February 14, 2011

To reach ITD Unix Services for any support issues, please contact the ITD Helpdesk via email ( or call x5522.  In any communications, please include the name of the machine(s) in question, as well as their operating system, software package and other relevant information which will allow ITD to help you more effectively.