TerpConnect or GRACE Account

How do I get a TerpConnect account?

TERPConnect access is available when you join the university. You need to initiate your TERPConnect space by visiting https://cgi.oit.umd.edu/cgi-bin/account/activation.cgi. Check the box next to the TERPConnect option and click Submit. Within 24 hours you should be able to connect. If you have any problems logging in, please contact the Service Desk.

How do I get a GRACE account?

The GRACE (Glue Research and Academic Computing Environment) cluster has been established for instructional and research usage of the faculty, staff and students of the University of Maryland College Park. It is a cluster of four UNIX servers, two running Solaris and two running RedHat Enterprise Linux, and is part of the TerpConnect system.

To access the GRACE cluster you must first have a TerpConnect account. Instructors who wish to use the GRACE cluster for their class can use UMD Grace Account Request to request access. Researchers who wish to use the GRACE cluster for their projects can use Application for Researcher Access to GRACE to request access.

There are general information pages on the system available at http://www.grace.umd.edu

Connecting to your TerpConnect or GRACE account

To establish remote access to your TerpConnect or GRACE account, you must make a terminal connection.

One way to make a terminal connection and access your account is to use a terminal program. Terminals allow you to access the TerpConnect and GRACE servers. Below are the basic steps to getting started with terminal programs.

Connecting with terminal applications on Windows PCs and Macs

It is generally more secure to connect to your TerpConnect or GRACE account with a terminal application that uses SSH (secure shell). Terminal applications that use SSH include:

Terminal (text-only for Mac OS X; this is a default application in Mac OS X) 

See Connect to a Remote Unix System Using Terminal for Macintosh for information about configuring and using Mac OS X Terminal

Mac X11 (X Windows display manager for Mac OS X)
For information about configuring and using Mac OS X X11, see Run Graphical Applications in Terpconnect Using X11 for Macintosh

Logging in for the first time

Once you've established a connection with the TerpConnect (server name: terpconnect.umd.edu) or GRACE system (server name: grace.umd.edu), use your university credentials to log in.

Remember that UNIX is case-sensitive, so you must enter your username all lowercase and passphrase exactly as you entered it when you selected it. In some environments you may see a prompt:

TERM = (unknown)

If you do, enter vt100 and press Enter (unless you think your workstation is set up for a different terminal type, in which case you should use that type).
Next, you will see a prompt that will give the name of the machine you are logged in to, followed by :~:.

Some typical prompts include:





When we refer to a command prompt throughout this document, we are referring to the prompts illustrated above.

Logging off

To log off (or exit) from your TerpConnect or GRACE account, type logout at the command prompt and press Enter.

It is important to log off when you finish using the TerpConnect or GRACE system.

You are liable at all times for the activity on your account. All TerpConnect and GRACE accounts are governed by the Policy on the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources.

Changing your passphrase

Your TerpConnect or GRACE account uses your UM Directory passphrase. Go here if you need to change your UM Directory passphrase.

Troubleshooting your TerpConnect or GRACE account

TerpConnect and GRACE account space is limited. Each customer is assigned a disk quota. This quota is an indicator for the number of files you have created and the limit on space that you can use. If you exceed this amount, you will be unable to access any more space until you have deleted some files.

If you log in to your account and get one of these messages, your account may be over quota:

• your disk space is exceeded

Over quota

To check if you are over quota:

1. Log in to your account with a terminal session (see above section on Connecting to Your TerpConnect or GRACE Account).

2. At the prompt, enter: quota
This displays how much space you are using. If you are using more than 90% of your quota, you should clear space in your account.

3. Clear any temporary files by typing: clearcache

If you are still over quota, go to the next section to determine which directories and files are causing problems. You can then delete any unwanted items. Your account has 2 main directories: pub and home. This section looks at the pub and home directories.

•    The pub directory is where public files for your website are stored (www.terpconnect.umd.edu/~loginname or www.glue.umd.edu/~loginname).

•    The home directory stores files or directories you've created.

Deleting files in Pub

To delete files in your Pub directory:

1. While connected to your account using a terminal program, list the files and directories in your pub directory by typing: cd ../pub then list the files from smallest to largest by typing: du -sk * | sort -n

2. If you see a file or directory you no longer need, remove it by typing: rm filename or rm -rf directory

Deleting files in Home

To delete files in your Home directory:

1. Return to your home directory from the pub directory by typing: cd then list the files in order of smallest to largest by typing: du -sk * | sort -n. To delete files, type the command rm followed by the filename (e.g., rm file.html) then press Enter.

Editing files

Division of IT UNIX systems have several editors available for creating new and editing existing files. The three most popular editors are Pico, Emacs and Vi.

Pico is the easiest text editor to use. This visual editor displays a command list at the bottom of the screen for performing basic tasks such as justifying text, cutting and pasting text and spell-checking a file. For more information on the pico editor, refer to Using the Pico Text Editor.

Emacs is a very powerful editor. It allows you to use and customize a very large set of commands. Emacs has environmental modes for basic text editing, editing C program files and editing Lisp program files. For more information on the emacs editor, refer to Using the Emacs editor.

Vi is an editor that is almost universally available on UNIX-based machines. It is available on all of the UNIX systems maintained by the Division of Information Technology. 

Changing your Account's environment

When you establish your TerpConnect or GRACE account, a number of default (preset) configuration files govern various parameters, window size and placement, and where to look for commands. You can alter these defaults by editing various hidden files (dotfiles) in your home directory:

.environment for modifying environmental variables and conditions
.path for modifying the search path used when executing commands
.aliases for setting user command aliases
.cshrc.mine for setting other user shell variables not mentioned above (do not edit .cshrc)
.startup.X for setting startup commands in X-Windows connections
.startup.tty for setting startup commands in text-only connections

However, should you want to return to default status again, run the original defaults script program again by typing


at the UNIX prompt. This will return your account to its default settings. Previous configuration modifications will be moved to filename-date (filename is the file you modified and date is the date of the modification). For example, .path-27-11-96 would represent the November 27, 1996 version of .path. It is also important to note that after you enter /usr/local/scripts/newdefaults at the UNIX prompt, the .aliases file and any .mine (.cshrc.mine, logout.mine, etc.) files will not be changed.

Internet services

• SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) is used to transfer files from one computer connected to the Internet to another computer connected to the Internet. Both SFTP and SCP (Secure CoPy) are available for use on TerpConnect and GRACE. For more information about using SFTP, refer to Transferring Files with SFTP or SCP.

NOTE: Non-secure connections (telnet, ftp) are not allowed to TerpConnect or GRACE hosts.

Getting help

One feature of UNIX is that system documentation is available online. If you need help with a particular command (e.g., identifying appropriate usage or syntax), enter: 

man command

Using the man command displays the relevant UNIX reference manual pages. If you are uncertain about features associated with any command, review the manual pages.

The apropos command lists all on-line manual sections that contain instances of given keywords in their title. The format for apropos is:

apropos keyword

Contact the Service Desk should you need additional assistance.