Q: How can I learn Linux before accessing the cluster if I don't have a Linux machine? A: There are several options discussed below including the macOS Terminal, Windows Unix emulators, and reserving a Virtual Linux Machine with NCSU's Virtual Computing Lab (VCL).
To learn Linux commands on a Mac, use the Terminal.
Open the Terminal by opening the Applications folder, then the Utilities folder, and then click Terminal.app.
Alternatively, use the Mac 'Spotlight Search' tool (hit [Command+Space] or click the magnifying glass in the tool bar) and search for Terminal.
Download and install the MobaXterm Home Edition.
Open MobaXterm and click Start local terminal.
To install additional commands, use apt-get install, e.g.:
apt-get install nano
If using the VCL, several versions of Linux distributions are available. Henry2 uses CentOS and the LinkedIn Learning tutorial uses Ubuntu 18.
Go to the VCL website and click the Make a Reservation button. Enter credentials, click the Reservations tab, and then click the New Reservation button. Choose Basic Reservation, choose CentOS 7 base from the dropdown menu, increase the duration of the reservation, and click Create Reservation.
After the reservation finishes the pending state, click Connect!. Do not close the resulting window until after copying/saving the number for the Remote Computer.
Log in to this remote computer with SSH in the same manner as described in the instructions for logging in to the HPC, but replace login.hpc.ncsu.edu with the number for the Remote Computer.
To have a GUI interface on the VCL Linux instance, choose a VCL Ubuntu 18 base image, open the RDP file, then right click on the virtual desktop to open a terminal.