Introduction to Terra


This short course covers a variety of topics relevant to computing on the Terra cluster, 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 as downloadable PDF files.

  • Introduction to Terra (Fall 2017): PDF
  • Introduction to Terra (Spring 2017): PDF

Further Reading

The material presented in the short course is referenced from the Terra User Guide.


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

Introduction to Terra

  • Usage Policies
  • Hardware Overview of Terra
  • Accessing Terra
  • File Transfers with Terra
  • File systems and User Directories
  • Computing Environment
    • Application Modules
    • Software
  • Development Environment
  • Batch Processing
    • Batch Queues
    • Consumable Computing Resources
    • Batch Job Files
    • Mapping Job Requirements to Cluster Resources
    • Job Submission and Monitoring
    • Job Environment Variables
    • Service Units (SU)
    • Debug job failures
    • 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 a login to 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 Terra.