Connecting to HPC-UGent

In order to connect to HPC-UGent infrastructure, you need to set up a VSC-id.

How do I request a VSC account?

Accountpage request account form

  1. Navigate to the VSC accountpage:
  2. Accept the certificate

  3. Choose 'UGent' as Home Institution

  4. Login, either using

  5. Complete the request form
    • Select a Research Field from the pull-down menu
    • Optional: upload your public SSH key by selecting the key file via the Browse button if you intend to connect with an SSH client
      • A public SSH key is only required if you want access the HPC-UGent and VSC infrastructure via an SSH client
      • Without an SSH key, you will only be able to use the (powerful and user friendly) HPC-UGent web portal at
    • Click "Submit" or "Submit without key" to create the VSC account request
      • If you use "Submit without key", a popup warning will be shown where you need to confirm that you are willingly not providing a public SSH key
  6. Shortly after submitting the form, you will receive an e-mail

    • Click on the link in the e-mail to confirm your VSC account request

    • You will receive another e-mail once your request is processed and your VSC account is created

  7. Connect with your new VSC account via the (powerful and user friendly) HPC-UGent web portal at
  8. Optional: connect with your VSC account using an SSH client (PuTTy on Windows, ssh command on Linux / macOS)
    • Note that this requires that your SSH public key is registered in your VSC account

These steps are also described in Chapter 2 of the HPC-UGent tutorial.

How to create a public/private ssh keypair?

If you would like to access the HPC-UGent infrastructure via an SSH client, you must have an SSH public key registered in your VSC account.
Note that this is optional and you can always decide at a later stage to upload an SSH key in the VSC account page (via "Edit Account").

You can generate the public SSH key as part of a unique public/private key pair. Here is step-by-step information on how to do that:


  1. Download the complete PuTTY package (free of charge) and install the package
  2. Start the PuTTYgen Key Generator
  3. Choose 'RSA' in the Parameters section at the bottom and keep the number to 4096
  4. Click 'Generate' and move the mouse cursor over the PuTTYgen window to generate random data
  5. Once the keypair is generated, set properties:
    • Key comment - Fill in this field to make your keypair easier to identify later on. Choose for instance 'your_name@computername'.
    • Key passphrase - Choose a passphrase to protect your private key against unauthorized use.
  6. Save both public and private ssh keys on your personal computer. We recommend using the names
    • for the public key
    • id_rsa.ppk for the private key


Linux / macOS

    1. Open a Terminal
    2. Enter the command ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096

user@host:~> ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096

Generating public/private rsa key pair.

Enter file in which to save the key ({HOMEDIR}/.ssh/id_rsa):

Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): ********

Enter same passphrase again: ********

Two files are generated in the $HOME/.ssh directory (by default):

      • private key: id_rsa
      • public key:


These steps are also described in Chapter 2 of the HPC-UGent tutorial.

How to connect to the HPC infrastructure?

The way in which to connect with the HPC-UGent infrastructure depends on your OS.

Consult Chapter 3 of the HPC-UGent tutorial for a full description.