NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

Logging in to Edison

Interactive Access

You can log in to Edison using SSH (Secure Shell) with the following command from any UNIX, Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, etc. command shell or terminal:

ssh -l username

There are several SSH-capable clients available for Windows, Mac, and UNIX/Linux machines. NERSC does not support or recommend any particular client.

Edison has 12 login nodes.  You will be randomly connected to one of those 12 when you ssh to In all cases it will appear to you as if you are on "" 

The login nodes are where you compile codes, submit jobs, and view data.  The login nodes on Edison are "external," meaning they are not directly connected to Edison's internal high-speed "Aries" network. Because the login nodes are external you can log in and work with data and files when the main system is undergoing maintenance. 

Please do not execute long-running applications on the login nodes.  Instead, use a batch script and submit it so that the applications run on the Edison compute nodes.

Accelerated X11 Performance

NX is a freely available software package that greatly improves X11 performance over the wide area network. NERSC recommends NX for those having X11 performance issues when running X applications at NERSC. See the  Connecting to NERSC  for more information.