1. Getting set up

1.1. Launch MobaXterm

  • Login to the windows machine with your University of Reading credentials
  • If there is a MobaXterm icon on the Desktop, double click it, choose to run the application, then move on to the next Section “Login to PUMA”.

Mobaxterm may also be available through the Start menu, under All programs.

If there is no MobaXterm:

  • Open the Chrome browser
  • google “mobaxterm download”
  • Download the Personal Edition
  • Choose Save As - and save to the Desktop
  • Double click the MobaXterm folder, drag MobaXterm_Personal_8.4.exe to the Desktop
  • Double click the MobaXterm icon


Windows sometimes fails to display a MobaXterm icon on the desktop; if this happens, simply double click the application in the Desktop file listing.

1.2. Login to PUMA

xterm$ ssh -Y <puma-username>@puma.nerc.ac.uk

1.3. Set up your PUMA environment and access to MOSRS

i. Configure ~/.profile

If this is the first time you have used your PUMA account, you will need to create a .profile. Copy our standard one:

puma$ cd
puma$ cp ~um/um-training/setup/.profile .

(If you already have a .profile, make sure it includes the lines from the standard file.)

ii. Configuring access to MOSRS

Run the mosrs-setup script which will take you through the set up process to access the Met Office Science Repository Service (Remember your MOSRS username is one word; usually firstnamelastname, all in lowercase):

puma$ ~um/um-training/mosrs-setup

Log out of PUMA and back in again (you will get a warning about not being able to find ~/.ssh/ssh-setup this can be ignored and will be resolved in the next step). You should be prompted for your Met Office Science Repository Service password. A new window should then pop up (it may be hidden behind other windows) for Rosie asking for Username for ‘u’ - ‘https://code.metoffice.gov.uk/rosie/u’ . Enter your MOSRS username again.


The cached password is configured to expire after 12 hours. Simply run the command mosrs-cache-password to re-cache it if this happens. Also if you know you won’t need access to the repositories during a login session then just press return when asked for your MOSRS password.

1.4. Make sure you can login to your ARCHER training account

An ARCHER username will be provided on the day of the course. Ask the CMS team if you’re unsure. The password for these accounts is listed in a file on PUMA: ~um/um-training/login.txt.

From PUMA:

puma$ ssh <archer-username>@login.archer.ac.uk


It’s best to copy and paste the password from the file rather than type it by hand.

1.5. Set up your ARCHER environment

Once you have successfully logged into ARCHER, copy the following profile to your home directory.

archer$ cp /work/y07/y07/umshared/um-training/rose-profile ~/.profile

1.6. Exit ARCHER

Log out of ARCHER. This should take you back to puma.

archer$ exit

1.7. Set up an ssh connection from PUMA to ARCHER


If you already have ssh keys and agent set up on PUMA, follow the instructions on Using an existing ssh agent in the Appendix, then skip to Section 1.8.

i. Generate authentication key on PUMA and install it on ARCHER.

Run the install-ssh-keys script. This will take you through ssh-key creation and copy the key over to ARCHER.

puma$ source ~um/um-training/install-ssh-keys <archer-username>@login.archer.ac.uk

When prompted to Enter passphrase, this should be a fairly complicated and unguessable passphrase. You can use spaces in the passphrase if it helps you to remember it more readily. It is recommended that you don’t use your password in case it is hacked.


DO NOT use an empty passphrase as this presents a security issue.

After generating your ssh-key, the script will copy it over to ARCHER.

When prompted for Password, enter your ARCHER password.

ii. Verify the authentication works.

puma$ ssh <archer-username>@login.archer.ac.uk
Enter passphrase for key '/home/<puma-username>/.ssh/id_dsa':

If you don’t get asked for your Passphrase (i.e. RSA key), then something has gone wrong. In this case, make sure the public key, was successfully copied over to ARCHER by logging into ARCHER and opening the file ~/.ssh/authorized_keys. It should contain something similar to:

ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAABIwAAAQEAt1JmHYgsuf0UWVLqNqnDSaUUP2xJ+Um0H5WnUt/i

If it doesn’t, and no errors were reported from the install-ssh-keys script, please ask for assistance.

Once you have this part working, log out of ARCHER.

iii. Start up ssh-agent.

Run the following command and type your passphrase:

puma$ ssh-add
Enter passphrase for /home/<puma-username>/.ssh/id_rsa:

The ssh agent should keep running even when you log out of puma, however you may need to restart it from time to time. For instructions on how to do this see Restarting your ssh agent in the Appendix.

1.8. Check this all works by ssh-ing to ARCHER

From PUMA type:

puma$ ssh <archer-username>@login.archer.ac.uk

If you get to ARCHER without a password or passphrase, then you’re done.

You are now ready to try running a UM suite!