The HECToR Service is now closed and has been superceded by ARCHER.

FAQ: User Administration

Information for users on administrative tasks.

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Q. My browser complains that the SAFE uses an invalid security certificate. What does this mean?

A. The SAFE uses the root certificates from the UK Certification Authority (UK-CA). This message simply means that the UK-CA e-Science root certificate has not been imported into your web browser.

You can find the correct UK eScience 2B root certificate at: http://www.ngs.ac.uk/ukca/certificates/cacerts .

Q. How can I get an account on HECToR?

A. First thing: you must belong to a project which already exists on HECToR. You will need to know:

  • Your project code
  • The project password

The Principal Investigator (PI) of your project, or its project manager, will supply these to you.

It's explained here that you will need two accounts: one on SAFE, and one on the service machine itself. However, you can register for both of them at once. Once you have your project code and the project password, this is what to do.

  1. Go to the SAFE New User Signup Form
  2. Fill in your personal details. You can come back later and change them if you wish
  3. Enter the project code and the project password
  4. The "Machine Name" box contains by default the current service machine. Leave this unchanged.
  5. Enter the username you would prefer to use on the service machine
  6. Click "Submit"

Next you will be asked to accept the Terms and Conditions of Access, by clicking the appropriate button. When you do this, you will be sent an acknowledgment by email, which will include your SAFE password—you should change this as soon as possible (see below).

Now you have to wait for your PI or project manager to accept your request to register. When this has happened, the systems team are prompted to create your account on the service machine. Once this has been done, you will be sent an email. You can then pick up your password for the service machine from your SAFE account (see below).

Q. How can I login to SAFE?

A. Go to https://www.hector.ac.uk/safe/. Then:

  • Enter your email address
  • Enter your SAFE password
  • Click Login
Q. How can I pick up my password for the service machine?

A. Wait till you receive the email with your details. Then:

  • Login to SAFE.
  • Under the heading Your user accounts you will see your account on the service machine listed. Click View
  • This will display details of your account. In the section labelled Password, enter your SAFE password and click View again, and you will see your password to the service machine

This password is generated randomly by the software. It will be hard to remember and will probably include a selection of l, 1, O and 0 characters. For this reason it's best to copy-and-paste it across when you log in to the service machine. Once you have logged in, you can change your password to something more memorable using the passwd command. Note that when you change your password on the service machine in this way, this is not reflected on the website.

Q. I've forgotten the password to my account on the service machine. How can I change it using SAFE?

A. Login to SAFE. Then:

  • Under the heading Your user accounts you will see your account on the service machine listed. Click View
  • This will display details of this service machine account. In the section labelled New Password, click New.

Now the systems team will change your password. When this has been done, you will be informed by email; this means that you can come back to SAFE and pick up your new password.

Note that your passwords on all the HECToR login nodes and other machines are synchronised—when you change one, all the others will be changed to match. This is different from the arrangement on HPCx.

Q. How can I change my SAFE password?

A. Login to SAFE. Then:

  • Scroll down the page to the section headed Your details
  • Click Change password
  • Fill in the boxes and click Change
Q. I've forgotten my SAFE password. What can I do?

A. Go to https://www.hector.ac.uk/safe/. Then:

  • Enter your email address
  • Click Email
  • SAFE will mail your password to your email address

SAFE will only mail to email addresses it already knows. But email is not a secure medium, so if you change your password this way, you should immediately change it again from inside the website.

Of course, anyone could go to SAFE, type your email address and request a new password by clicking "Email". If that happens you will receive an email message out of the blue saying that your password has been changed. In this case you should certainly change your password again.

Q. I'm already a user of HECToR in one project. Now I need to join another project as well. How can I do this?

A. You will need to open a new account on the service machine to use for the new project. The default setup on HECToR no longer allows users to use existing accounts to join new projects.

To open a new account for the new project:

  • Login to SAFE
  • Click on New Account Request
  • Select the project you wish to join
  • Select the service machine—this will be hector in most cases
  • Type in the username you would like
  • Click Submit

The PI or project manager of the new project will be asked to approve your request to join their project. After that, the systems team will be asked to create the account, and when this has been done, you will be sent an email. You can then come back to SAFE and pick up the password of your new account.

Q. How can I change personal details about me held by SAFE?

A. Login to SAFE. Then:

  • In the panel headed Your details, click Update
  • Make the changes you wish
  • Click Commit Update

Do not forget the last step, or nothing will happen. Note that your postal address does not automatically include the name of your department and institution; if you want these in your postal address, you must type them again.

Q. How can I change my email address as known to SAFE?

A. Login to SAFE. Then:

  • In the panel headed Your details, click Update
  • Scroll down to the panel headed Email address update form, click Update Email
  • Enter the new email address and click Request

A verification email will then be sent to the new email address. This email contains a link which you must use to verify your new address. On acknowledging your new address the change will be committed.

Q. How can I view HECToR user mailings?

A. All mailings are archived and can be viewed in SAFE. Please login to SAFE and go to the section View user mailings. Press the View button to access the mailings.

Q. How can I be added to, or removed from the email mailing list?

A. There are three mailing list options available.
The Major Announcements mailings will contain information on major service upgrades and future plans. This option is enabled for all users by default.
The Service News mailings will contain information on training courses, CSE newsletters, events, and other general announcements.This option is enabled for all users by default.
The System Status Notifications will inform users when the service goes up or down, including the reminders of the next planned maintenance shutdowns. This option is not enabled by default, those wishing to receive this information will need to explicitly subscribe to it.

Any combination of these three options may be selected via SAFE:

  • Login to SAFE.
  • In the panel headed Your details, click Update
  • In the panel headed Mailing list preferences click on the options you would like to subscribe to.
  • Click Update mailing list preferences

Note 1: There is an option to unsubscribe from the user mailings completely, which overrides any option enabled in Mailing list preferences panel.

  • In the panel headed Your current details find the Opt out of user emails field and click it
  • Click Commit Update

Do not forget the last step, or nothing will happen.

Note 2: Regardless of whether you are subscribed to a particular mailing list, you can still view ALL user mailings which have been sent in SAFE. See here for details.

Q. How can I request higher priority for a job?

A. You can only do this when the job has already been submitted. Find the details of the jobs in the queues, and note the id of the job or jobs you wish to have priority. Then:

  • Find the Request Higher Priority for Batch Job panel and click the button
  • Enter the job id in the box (or boxes)
  • Select the project which the jobs are running under
  • Explain in the box why you need priority
  • Click Submit request

Your request will be checked by the HECToR team. Obviously we cannot give priority to every job, so you will need to make a convincing case to justify your job jumping ahead of other people's.

Q. How can I register a Globus certificate for a service machine account?

A. Login to SAFE. Then:

  • Find the panel headed Your user accounts
  • Click the View button next to the account which you wish to have the Globus certificate
  • In the Globus certificates panel, click Add
  • Insert your certificate number in the box and click Submit
Q. How can I see how much time and space are available to me?

A. Login to SAFE and move down to the panel headed You are a member of the following project groups. Here you can see how much time is left in each project group's budget. You can also see the quotas for home, work and archive space (if the project group is using these) and how much is in use.

The budget values displayed are updated every morning, and the values shown for disk use are updated four times a day. For this reason, all these values may not be completely up-to-date. If there is a lot of activity in your project, the numbers shown could be significantly different from from the current ones.

Q. How can I review the use I have made of the service, or the activity of the service as a whole?

A. Login to SAFE. Then:

  • At the bottom of the page, click Go to the Report Generator
  • In the Reporting Period section, select the start and end dates of the period you want to look at
  • Select either Service information or Your Usage Information
  • If you selected Service Information, click the information you want under Generate?
  • If you selected Your Usage Information, select the account you wish to look at (if you have more than one), and the information you want
  • At the bottom, select the format you want: you can have HTML, PDF or CSV (comma-separated values—useful for input to Excel, etc)
  • Click Generate Report

If you are a PI or Project Manager, you will have other options in the Report Generator.

Q. How can I check the active queries I have submitted to the helpdesk?

A. Login to SAFE. Then:

  • Find the Current helpdesk queries box and click the button
  • Click the number of a query to check the contents of the query log

This will show you the queries of yours that haven't yet been resolved. Note that some of the internal correspondence about a query will not be shown. You can also use SAFE to submit a query—use Submit a new helpdesk query.

Q. How can I register my approval — or my annoyance?

A. Login to SAFE. Then:

  • Find the panel headed Quality Tokens and click Quality Token Allocation
  • Click on the scale somewhere between 5 penalty points and 5 gold stars indicating your level of anger or delight.
  • Optionally: enter a comment in the comment box.

Changes in your token level are emailed directly to the managers of the HECToR service. They are also reported to EPSRC and appear on the website; note that your name will be published with them. Although an entry in the comment field is optional, it necessarily gives greater weight to your feelings—without it we cannot tell why you have set a token.


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