Introduction to using PUMA

This page contains information on getting started with PUMA once you have received your password and provided us with your public ssh-key.

Logging In

Loading your private key

Both an ssh key pair (protected by passphrase) and a password are required to log onto PUMA. Users can log onto PUMA via ssh (and ssh only). You will need to load you key before logging in. The detail vary depending on whether you are logging in from a machine running Windows, MacOS or Linux.

Linux and MacOS: ssh-agent can be used (Instructions below)

Windows: we recommend using the MobAgent utility within MobaXterm. (JASMIN has some nice instructions on using MobaXterm)

ssh-agent is a utility that stores private keys and makes them available to other software that use the SSH protocol to connect to remote clients. There are two stages to loading your private keys into ssh-agent: starting the agent and them loading your private key.

$ eval $(ssh-agent -s)
$ ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa_puma
Enter passphrase for /home/ros/.ssh/id_rsa_puma:
Identity added: /home/ros/.ssh/id_rsa_puma (/home/ros/.ssh/id_rsa_puma)

When you run the ssh-add command you will be prompted to enter the passphrase that you specified when generating the SSH key pair.

You can test whether your key has been loaded by using the -l option to list the currently loaded keys in your agent:

ssh-add -l
4096 SHA256:oi+hEYR+HfHN1mAIEOyDejt09LCAUmWIXL9ndfFbyaE /home/ros/.ssh/id_rsa_puma (RSA)

This confirms that the key is loaded and ready for use.

Logging into PUMA

$ ssh -Y

If you wish to change your password, do so using the passwd command. Passwords should be at least 8 characters long with at least 1 non-alphanumeric character.

System Maintenance

Details of system maintenance, planned outages as well as informative notices will be sent to the PUMA users' email list. You will automatically be added to this mailing list when your PUMA account is activated. Whilst it is possible to unsubscribe yourself from this mailing list we advise that you DO NOT do so otherwise you will miss out on important announcements affecting PUMA. Only the PUMA systems team can post to this mailing list.

Shells, etc

PUMA is running SUSe Linux. The login shell is the Korn shell (ksh).

Transferring Files

File transfer to and from PUMA can be achieved via scp or sftp. For example:

userid1@host$ scp filename.tar's password:
filename.tar 100% |*******************************| 5170 00:00


The following text editors are available on PUMA:


Rose and Cylc are available on PUMA. Further details can be found on the Rose/Cylc pages.


Using the UMUI

To start up the UMUI simply issue the command:

$ umui

Hand-Edit & STASHmaster Files

This section only applies if you are moving from using a local UMUI installation to PUMA.

If you use any personal hand-edit scripts and/or STASHmaster files, then these will need to be copied over to PUMA using scp or sftp (see instructions above).

It will make life a lot easier if, and hence strongly recommended that, you keep the same directory structure when you copy these files over to PUMA.


$ scp -r /home/ros/hand-edits ros@puma:/home/ros/hand-edits

If you don't keep the same directory structure then you will have to update the paths to these files in all of your jobs, as will everyone else who uses your files!

Useful UMUI information

  • Ability to mark experiments as Private/Public

If you don't wish for an experiment to be viewable by everyone (Public) it is now possible to mark an experiment as being Private, meaning that the experiment is only viewable by the owner and those on the access list. This functionality is accessed from the Experiment menu. (Also see the Help menu on the main UMUI window.)

  • Using the "Submit" button to submit a job to ARCHER and MONSooN

If you are submitting your job to run on ARCHER or MONSooN then you need to have ssh setup correctly to allow submission to work. See setting up ssh for ARCHER and setting up ssh for MONSooN. Once you have ssh set up correctly, then having saved and processed your job you simply need to hit the "Submit" button. Submission to any other machine requires the use of the umsubmit script.

  • Troubleshooting

Should you have problems submitting your job to ARCHER using the "Submit" button then it is likely that the problem lies with the execution of the ssh commands. Before contacting the CMS Helpdesk please exit the UMUI. Set the following environment variable on the command line and restart the UMUI:

    $ export UMUI_SSH_DEBUG_LEVEL=1
    $ umui

Resubmit the job. Debug information about the ssh processes will be printed to the terminal window. This may help you diagnose the problem yourself, if not then please contact the Helpdesk and include the debug output.

For further hints and tips on using the UMUI and customisations that can be made see the webpage - customising the UMUI.

Last modified 15 months ago Last modified on 10/08/20 13:37:57