Introduction to the Ada and Terra Clusters


Instructor: Mark Huang, Michael Dickens


  • Friday, January 18, 1:30PM-4:00PM
  • Friday, January 25, 10:00AM-12:30PM

Location: SCC 102.B

Prerequisites: Unix/Linux skills; Ada account.

This short course covers a variety of topics relevant to computing on the Ada and Terra clusters, demonstrated through a live login session. The topics include, but are not limited to, basic system information, compiling and running programs, as well as batch processing. Use of the batch system will be demonstrated with real-time examples.

Course Materials

Presentation slides

The presentation slides are available below:

  • Introduction to the Ada and Terra Clusters (Spring 2019): PDF
  • Introduction to the Ada and Terra Clusters (Fall 2018): PDF
  • Introduction to the Ada and Terra Clusters (Spring 2018): PDF
  • Introduction to Ada (Fall 2017): PDF
  • Introduction to Terra (Fall 2017): PDF

Further Reading

The material presented in the short course is referenced from the Ada and Terra User Guides.


This course focuses, among others, on the following topics:

  • Usage Policies
  • Brief Introduction to Parallel Computing
  • Hardware Overview of Ada and Terra
  • Accessing Ada and Terra
    • File Transfers
    • File systems and User Directories
  • Computing Environment
    • Application Modules
    • Software
    • Development Environment - Toolchains
  • Compiling and Running Application Codes
    • Development Environment
  • Upcoming Programming Short Courses
  • Batch Processing on Ada and Terra
    • Batch Queues
    • Consumable Computing Resources
    • Batch Job Files
      • Mapping Job Requirements to Cluster Resources
      • Example Job Files
    • Job Submission and Monitoring
    • Debug job failures
    • Service Units (SU)
    • Job Environment Variables
    • Concurrent Program Execution in Jobs via tamulauncher
  • Common Problems
  • Need Help?

Note: During the class sessions many aspects of the material will be illustrated live via logins to Ada and Terra. Attendees are welcome to follow these parts with their own laptops. They will need to configure their laptops to use the TAMULink wireless network. Relevant details on this can be found at:

You are encouraged to contact the HPRC helpdesk with any questions regarding Ada and Terra.