Intel Computer Systems Cluster (the "fish machines")

Intel has donated 25 Pentium III Xeon servers to CMU for systems courses. The systems, which run the Red Hat 6.2 distribution of Linux (version 2.2.16), are rack-mounted in the Wean Hall 3rd floor machine room, and are administered by the CS facilities group (help@cs).

Getting help

Information about the CS computing environment is at

For routine questions or requests send mail to For more urgent matters, contact the CS help desk at x8-4231 or visit them in person M-F, 9am-5pm, in WeH 3613. Outside of office hours, the phone rolls over to the CS operations group, which is staffed 24x7x365.

Frequently asked questions

Q: How do I get an account?
A: Accounts will be created for you automatically.

Q: Are the accounts ready yet?
A: Yes, you should be able to log in. Please contact one of the TAs in case of problems.

Q: What do I need to do before logging in for the very first time?
A: From your Andrew home directory on one of the Andrew Unix cluster machines (linux.andrew, etc.), run the following one-time script:


Q: What does the checkin script do?
A: It creates two subdirectories in your Andrew home directory: "15-213" and "213hw".

Remember, you only need to run the checkin script once, before your very first login to the fish machines.

Q: How do I log into one of these machines?
A: If your Andrew login is bovik and you want to login to machine FISH, then login as follows:

% telnet
Connected to
Escape character is '^]'.
[ Kerberos V4 accepts you ]
[ Kerberos V4 challenge successful ]

Red Hat Linux release 6.2 (Zoot)
Kernel 2.2.16 on an i686
             ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ don't leave this out!
password: [andrew password]

Alternatively, if you use ssh:

% ssh -l's password: [andrew password]

Don't forget to replace "FISH" with a cluster machine name from the table below.

Q: I changed my Andrew password and can no longer log in. What happened?
A: Your password for the fish machines is set to your Andrew password at the beginning of the semester and stays fixed throughout the semester, so changes to your Andrew password won't affect it. Therefore, you have to use your old Andrew password for logging in.

Q: I can no longer log in. What happened?
A: You probably deleted your "15-213" directory. Run the checkin script again (follow the instructions above).

Machines available to students

Intel engineers traditionally use the names of North American rivers as internal names for their processor projects. So it seems fitting that we, as denizens of the Intel cluster, name the machines after freshwater fish of North America. The machines can be accessed with either ssh or telnet.

Machines available to teaching staff for course development

About the Intel Cluster

The machines in the Intel Cluster are connected by a Cisco 3524 switch with 24 full-duplex 100 Mb/s ports and 2 full-duplex 1 Gb/s ports. The switching fabric has a peak bandwidth of 10.8 Gb/s and a maximum aggregate forwarding rate (from port to port) of 5.4 Gb/s.

Each node on the cluster runs Red Hat Linux 6.2 (Linux kernel 2.2.16) and consists of the following hardware: