What is GRACE?
GRACE stands for Glue Research and Academic Computing Environment. It is also a nod to Grace Hopper, a pioneering computer scientist who invented the concept of machine-independent computer languages and linkers. It is designed to help meet some of the information technology needs of faculty, students, and researchers at the University of Maryland. Because the needs of different campus members can be diverse, different users might have different views about what GRACE is. But it provides students and faculty with
- Unix-based compute resources, compilers, and an assortment of software packages for scientific computing.
- A modest amount of network-attached storage with a standardized directory layout. This layout provides areas for the instructor to share files with the students, private areas for students to do work, areas to facilitate collaboration among students and areas for TAs to do work.
- A web-based tool enables instructors to manage the GRACE project/class.
- A roles-based system for controlling the level of access rights. Students registered for the specific course are automatically granted student-level access for as long as they are enrolled.
What is this Login Access?
Login access means connecting over the internet to several Linux systems designated for general-purpose access to members of the campus communities, such as GRACE or Glue.umd.edu
When you connect to these systems, you will get a Unix shell from which you can issue commands. In addition to allowing you to use standard Unix command line utilities, including the GNU compiler suite, a number of software applications are available.
How do I get this access?
To access these systems, you must have a Glue account. The username and password for this will be the same as your campus Directory ID and password, but it might need to be activated separately. If you are a student, it may have been activated when joining the university.
Suppose you are not a member (faculty, currently registered student, or staff) of the University of Maryland. In that case, you might still be able to get a Glue account if you are working with a faculty member willing to sponsor you as an affiliate.
How do I access the systems?
You must use the Secure Shell protocol (SSH) to access the cluster. This is usually standardly installed as ssh on Unix systems, and clients are available for Windows and macOS. On non-Unix systems, you typically must install an SSH client. Students may work with their professor or TA for additional information. Note these are DIT-provided systems, and you don't have root access! Please don't try to run sudo on these systems. They are actively monitored.
Calendar of expiration dates
GRACE Class spaces assume that the courses follow the standard University semester calendar and that the GRACE space for a course can go away after the semester. We provide a little time after the semester is over for things to be saved, but it is not intended for regular access after the semester.
Access to GRACE class spaces expire on the following schedule, according to the semester the course is in:
||File Access Removed
||15 Jan *
||15 Apr *
||15 Oct *
||15 Feb *
||15 May *
||15 Nov *
||15 Mar *
||15 May *
The asterisks(*) in the table above indicate that the expiration date is in the year following the year for the semester. E.g., access to files for courses in the Fall 2013 semester will be denied on 15 April 2014. The winter semester is the same calendar year as the semester since the semester in the first half of January 2014 is considered the Winter 2013 semester (e.g., access to files for the Winter 2012 semester, which met in January 2013, was disabled on 15 May 2013).
The various expiration stages are defined below:
Unix shell login access to the various GRACE systems will be disabled unless the student/faculty/etc. is registered or associated with a current GRACE course or project. Affected users should still be able to log in to glue.umd.edu as long as they are registered or otherwise affiliated with the university. This mainly impacts CMSC courses; most other classes do not generally use Unix shell access, so if you do not understand this, you can probably safely ignore it.
File Access Removed
Access to all files associated with the GRACE course is removed for students, TAs, and faculty members. The web pages for the course will be inaccessible, and you will no longer be able to read or write any files associated with the course.
At this stage, the GRACE course and all files are deleted from the system to make space for future courses. Once this happens, all data is lost for good.
Class web pages
A feature that will be deprecated shortly and not utilized by all classes is accessing a class webpage. DIT suggests professors utilize ELMS-Canvas for hosting class information. http://class.umd.edu/
Instructor management tool
Where can instructors get additional information?
Instructors may connect to VPN and review additional information about GRACE on the DIT Linux support pages.