NCAS Computational Modelling Services

PUMA

PUMA (Providing Unified Model Access) is the service setup by NCAS-CMS to provide the UK research community with centralised access to the UM on ARCHER2 and other national HPCs.

The PUMA service runs on hardware located at the University of Reading. It hosts mirrors of the Met Office Science Repositories and provides access to Rose & Cylc enabling submission of model simulations to ARCHER2 and other HPCs/clusters. The PUMA service has several hundred registered users. It also hosts the KPP repository which is accessible to the global community.

March 2022:
PUMA is currently replaced with a temporary server pumatest.nerc.ac.uk, whilst we wait for a new server to be procured and configured.

Request an account on PUMA

If you will only be running the UM on Monsoon2 then you DO NOT need a PUMA account.

Please email the CMS Team with the following information to request an account:

  • Full Name
  • Your Institution
  • Email Address (Must be .ac.uk or .metoffice.gov.uk)
  • Preferred PUMA user id
  • Confirm that you accept the terms of usage.

Terms of Usage

The service is provided for bona fide UM activities. The use of these services must be legal, honest and decent. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Complying with all UK and international laws and regulations regarding computer and data use.
  • Being considerate to others.
  • Using resources responsibly. Irresponsible use includes collection, creation, display and circulation of material that others would find offensive.
  • Observing simple security protocols such as not sharing passwords and keeping passwords safe.

Failure to observe these rules will lead to the closure of your PUMA account.

By registering for a PUMA account you are agreeing to the UM licensing conditions that you will:

  • NOT give the UM to others
  • NOT use the UM for commercial purposes
  • NOT publish or do anything that could bring the UM or Met office into disrepute.

As part of your registration we will maintain a record of your username and email address which we will only use to contact you regarding updates to and your usage of the PUMA service.

Connecting to PUMA

Both an SSH key pair, protected by a passphrase, and a password are required to login onto PUMA. Interactive access is achieved using SSH, either directly from a command-line terminal or using an SSH client.

Windows

A typical Windows installation will not include a terminal client. We recommend Windows users download and install MobaXterm to access PUMA. JASMIN website has some nice instructions on using MobaXterm.

Linux and MacOS

Linux distributions and MacOS include a terminal application that can be used for SSH access.

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 then 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

Use the following command from the terminal window to login to PUMA:

ssh -Y username@puma.nerc.ac.uk

You will first be prompted for the passphrase associated with your SSH key pair. Once you have entered this passphrase successfully, you will then be prompted for your machine account password.

When you first login to PUMA you will be prompted to change your initial password. Thereafter, if you wish to change your password again, you can do so using the passwd command. Passwords should be at least 8 characters long, contain a mixture of letters and numbers and at least 1 non-alphanumeric character.

Shells

PUMA is running CentOS. The login shell is the Bash shell (bash)

Transferring Files

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

userid1@host$ scp filename.tar userid2@puma.nerc.ac.uk:.
userid2@puma.nerc.ac.uk's password:
filename.tar 100% |*******************************| 5170 00:00
userid1@host$

Software

Editors

The following text editors are available on PUMA: vi, emacs and nedit.

Rose/Cylc

Rose, Cylc & FCM are available on PUMA. Further details can be found on the Rose/Cylc pages.

UMUI

To start up the UMUI simply issue the command:

puma$ umui

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.