Connecting to Quest with FastX
How to connect to the Quest High Performance Computing Cluster using the FastX client.
The FastX Desktop Client is an application for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X personal computers that makes a network connection to Quest using SSH. It connects you to the Quest Linux servers with full graphics support via the Linux X Windows system, also called X11. FastX is made available to members of the Northwestern community under a campus site license.
FastX is not required for connecting to Quest. You are welcome to use other ssh clients you may already be familiar with instead. FastX is provided as a convenient option for those new to connecting to Linux servers. If you are running Linux on your personal computer, connect to Quest using SSH via the terminal.
You will only need to follow the configuration steps the first time you connect to Quest. After FastX is configured you can use it whenever you want to connect to Quest.
For a video tutorial of using FastX with Quest, see Running Quest using the FastX Client.
Users wishing to connect to Quest without installing the FastX client or a terminal program can use the web browser-based FastX connection at http://quest.northwestern.edu:3000.
Connect with FastX
- Open a Connection to a Quest Login Node
- Start a Session
- Disconnecting and Reconnecting Sessions
- Terminating Sessions
Install and Configure FastX
You only need to do the steps in this section once on each computer you want to use to connect to Quest.
- Download the FastX Client to your PC.
- Run the installer.
Mac OS X :
- Download the FastX Client to your Mac.
- Open the disk image named FastX.dmg.
- Drag FastX into your Applications folder.
Use the Start Menu ( Click Start Menu > All Programs > FastX ) or use the Start Screen to find the FastX application and Run it. When p;rompted, allow FastX to communicate through the firewall.
Mac OS X :
- In the Finder, open the Applications folder and locate FastX .
- Press the Control-key and c lick the FastX icon.
- Choose Open from the pop-up menu.
- Click Open .
Note: FastX will be stored as an exception to your security settings and you will subsequently be able to run it by double-clicking the FastX icon. You will have to do this each time you upgrade FastX.
FastX uses SSH to connect to a Quest login node.
1. Click the PLUS icon in the upper right corner of the window.
2. Select SSH from the drop-down list. A New Connection window will open.
3. You must already have an account on Quest to login. Fill in the following fields:
- Name : Quest
- Host : quest.northwestern.edu
- Port : 22
- User : Enter your own NetID in lower-case letters.
4. Click Save.
Connect to Quest
This section shows you how to create a connection to Quest each time you want to connect and how to manage your connections.
1. With FastX open, double-click Quest in the Connections window.
2. A window will pop up. Enter your NetID password. Then click Continue.
FastX will open an SSH connection to Quest and open a Session Management window for Quest. You will have no sessions to begin with, so the window will appear to be empty.
1. Click the PLUS icon in the upper right corner of the Session Management window to create a new Session.
2. A new window will appear. Click the Bookmarks pull down menu and select GNOME Terminal from the drop-down list.
3. The Command box will change to start a single application program named, gnome-terminal. Click OK. Your GNOME Terminal window will open, and your Session Management window will change to show that you have a single session named, GNOME Terminal.
A GNOME Terminal window will also open:
The GNOME Terminal Command Line Window is a traditional GNOME Terminal session running a Bash shell; it provides full graphics support via X11. Type Linux commands in this window. Manage batch jobs. Launch programs with graphical interfaces. Edit your files with the evim GUI. Explore the menu bar items to learn more about the features of GNOME Terminal. GNOME Terminal is the recommended way to connect to Quest.
The other options under the Bookmarks menu (including GNOME Desktop and xterm) are not actively supported for Quest. Most analytic applications on Quest are only available to launch from the command line.
Running sessions are listed in the FastX Session Management window. Sessions continue to run on the login host until you terminate them.
You can disconnect from a running session without terminating it by selecting the session from the list and then clicking the Pause Button that will appear when a session is selected. You might want to disconnect in your office, go home, and then reconnect.
You can reconnect to a paused session by double-clicking on the session, or by selecting a session and then clicking the Reconnect Button which looks like "play" button.
If a connection is lost, as in the case of a network failure, the session will disconnect. To re-establish a session after a connection loss, first open a connection to Quest. Your session still will be listed again in the Sessions window.
When finished, sessions should be terminated by typing "exit" in the terminal. Sessions can also be terminated from the FastX program by clicking the Blue X Button that appears on the right when a session is selected to terminate it.