How do I use Biglab?

Some courses involve computer assignments that generate heavy load, and therefore are not well suited to shared computing environments. Students in these courses use Biglab for these assignments, as the resource restrictions in place on shared machines like Eniac will terminate CPU- and memory-intensive processes.

Access to Biglab is not available to all SEAS students, only those registered for certain courses. CETS does not provide access to Biglab for individual students.

How do I access Biglab?

Penn VPN software is required for all SSH connections from networks that are outside of PennNet.

Before connecting to a machine on PennNet via SSH from an external network, you must install and run the University Client VPN software:

The biglab machines can be accessed from anywhere using SSH:


Where username is your SEAS account.

Alternatively, SSH to a specific machine listed in the biglab monitoring page.

How do I run GUI applications on Biglab?

You can use X11 forwarding or VNC to run GUI applications on Biglab.

How much storage space is available on Biglab?

Your SEAS home directory will be mounted automatically when you log in to Biglab. If you are working with especially large data, unsuitable for storing in your home directory, consider using the /scratch partition. Files saved to /scratch may be deleted at any time, so don't store anything there that can't be recreated easily.

Why can't I access Biglab?

There are multiple reasons that you may not be able to access Biglab:

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