Contact and Support

Mailing Lists

All users can opt-in (or out) of a UMBC Google Group that acts as a mailing list for discussions of account issues or support for the ada cluster environment. The address is

Users are encouraged to seek help from the community in this group, but system administrators moderate this list and may suggest that issues are moved to UMBC’s Research Computing Help Request System (see the Forms drop-down above).

All users are auto-enrolled in a UMBC Google Group that acts as a mailing list for important updates to the ada cluster environment. The address is

Users may always report an issue they are experiencing or submit a feature request by submitting an HPCF Help Request via the Forms drop-down in the menu above. Be sure to select  the “ada” system!

How To Ask For Help
  1. Read the error (if any) carefully
  2. Check file system paths to code and input/output files, missing modules, and requested resources
  3. Read the man pages
  4. Do a quick Google Search
  5. Check the FAQ page
  6. Send an EMail to the mailing list
  7. File a Help Request with Research Computing (the system administrators)
How to Submit a Good Help Request

Provide all of the following in a Help Request (see dropdown menu above titled “Forms”).

  1. System and machine issue is related to (e.g., ada on node g03)
  2. SLURM Job ID (if applicable)
  3. Complete error message generated along with description of problem
  4. Directory where the problem was encountered
  5. Steps needed to reproduce problem


Please note that this webpage is written for the average Unix user. It is expected that new users familiarize themselves with general aspects of a Unix Environment (see the FAQs: “How to Unix?” entry). Aspects of the ada cluster environment that the system administrators feel are novel or atypical of a standard, local unix environment are communicated here and on neighboring pages (see the drop-down above “ada GPU Cluster”).

Suggesting an Edit to this Documentation

The authors of these pages are human and therefore make mistakes or incorrectly assume a certain topic is well-understood. Please submit an HPCF Help Request to request additional language be published, a new FAQ be written, or coorect any tpyos you noteice.



Perhaps twice a calendar year, system administrators will communicate to the user base a need to take system downtime. A system downtime will generally be on the order of a few hours. During this downtime period, system administrators make changes to keep the ada cluster environment secure and usable. Before this downtime period, all users are required to kill jobs and save changes. During these periods running jobs are likely to stop communicating or otherwise fail. System administrators will communicate impending downtimes via all of the following

  • MoTD a.k.a. message of the day which is seen as the initial log-in message to the ada cluster environment
  • A communication to the ada-update-group mentioned above
  • A new posting to the HPCF myUMBC Group (only if it impacts all aspects of UMBC’s HPCF)