Access and Login

Using Google Authenticator to login to Nova Cluster

Accounts on Nova Cluster require the use of Google Authenticator. The Google Authenticator provides a six digit one-time password users must provide in addition to their username and password to log into Nova Cluster.

Install Google Authenticator app on your mobile device using the instructions found under your device type on the left.



Telnet is disabled on Nova for security reasons. To login to Nova, you must use the Secure Shell (ssh):

  ssh <ISU NetID>

ssh is usually available on any Linux or MacOS machine, and on Microsoft Windows 10 (in powershell). For older Microsoft Windows machines, we recommend using PuTTY ssh client .

The first time you ssh to nova, it will respond with "host key not found, generate hostkey?(yes/no)". Answer yes.

Access to the Nova cluster is managed through ASW access lists, and PIs can add or delete users to/from the list for their group. Once a user has been added to the access list, he should login to the Nova cluster as described above. At the first attempt to login a GA account will be created for them, and the email with the instructions will be sent to <ISU NetID>

After installing and initializing GA as described in the instructions, login to the Nova cluster by issuing the same ssh command. Enter the 6-digit code generated by GA app when prompted for Verification Code and your ISU password when prompted for password.

Login from off-campus

Access to nova.its is limited to machines in the domain.To access this machine from a home computer install the ISU VPN using the following link: Installation of ISU VPN


GA account reset

Users may need to reset GA accounts when switching or reinstalling their mobile devices that have GA application installed. To be able to perform GA reset by yourself, save an SMS phone number in the system by issuing command on nova. After doing that you will be able to do a self service reset of your GA at .


File Transfer

ftp access into Nova is also disabled. To copy a file from another machine into Nova, issue the following command on that machine:

  scp file <ISU NetID>  

This will copy the file into your home directory on Nova. novadtn is the data transfer node. Your home and group working directories are mounted on all nodes of the cluster, including novadtn.

Larger files should be kept in the group working directory (/work/<group>/<user>, where group is your group name, and user is your user name). On a remote machine issue

  scp file <ISU NetID><group>/<user>

to copy files directly to the group working directory. To find out your group, on nova issue "groups" command.

On older Microsoft Windows machines one can use WinSCP or FileZilla to copy files to and from the cluster.


Globus Online

One can use Globus Online to transfer files to and from the cluster. The advantages of using Globus Online is generally faster transfer rates and not needing to enter Verification code password for each file transfer. The instructions on how to set it up can be found at the Globus Online Guide.