How to Connect
The server addresses are:
As these are private IP addresses, you must be connected to the Illinois State University VPN with the credentials provided to you in order to use them, assuming that you are not on campus. You will then connect to the servers with an SSH client of your choice and authenticate with the private key you generated during the application process.
If you don’t have an account on the service, apply for one here.
In your home directory on each machine, you will find a
Shared folder. It is a network drive that allows you to easily share files between machines and store large datasets. There is currently 2 TB of storage shared between all users of IBA-CLOUD with no individual quotas at this time. We do not anticipate imposing them as long as the space is used responsibly. Capacity upgrades may arrive in the future!
The shared folder is ideal for storing code and resources and as a resting place for data. The performance of your program may suffer if you use it for IO-intensive operations. We recommend utilizing the servers’ local drives (anything outside of the shared folder) for this purpose.
Files can be transferred to and from the server with SFTP or SCP, protocols which are built into most modern SSH clients. For added convenience, you may mount your home directory on the server to your local computer via SSHFS. This would create a directory on your computer whose contents are transparently synchronized with the server. Please contact us if you would like support in setting this up.
As part of our focus on security, the servers are updated regularly. Most of these updates are performed invisibly to the user, but we will occasionally need to reboot the servers for updates to critical components such as the kernel or libc. We will conduct the updates in a rolling fashion and make every attempt to not disrupt active simulations. Major updates will also be announced in advance through the IBA mailing list. If a critical or actively-exploited vulnerability comes to light, we may perform emergency updates outside of this framework.
Whenever a security issue comes to light that requires awareness of the part of the user, we will make an announcement and post it here.
Vim Modelines Vulnerabilities
At the risk of stoking sectarian tensions: our favorite text editor is Vim (that being said, Emacs is provided on IBA-CLOUD as well). Modelines are an unfortunate feature of Vim that allows text in files to be executed as commands as soon as the file is opened. They are supposedly sandboxed; however, a number of vulnerabilities have arisen over the years, as recently as 2019. While we applied the relevant security patches immediately, it is likely that undiscovered vulnerabilities remain. If you use Vim and wish to disable modelines, add the text
set modelines=0 set nomodeline
to your vimrc.