All HPC3 access requires a registered account. To request activation of your HPC Account, see Getting An Account


NEW for 2023: All access requires an active VPN connection. Please see our VPN page for details on installation and operation of an approved client


Most HPC3 access is done through the standard Unix command line and SSH for commands and SSH-FTP (SSH File Transfer)/SMB (Windows File Sharing) for file transfers (see our Storage Page for file management details). MacOS  and Linux operating systems have these built in. If you are using Windows, you will need to use a SSH v2 client for command access (we recommend the free product MobaXterm). You may wish to consult with your Academic Distributed Representative to determine what SSH client that your department supports.

Your username and password are your Wharton domain credentials.

Security: Login Node Public Keys

The first time you login, you may receive a message similar to “Host key not found from list of known hosts. Are you sure you want to continue connecting?”. Below are the public keys that may be offered to you, and can be trusted:

Fingerprint BITS Type
256 ED25519
3072 RSA

If you are presented with something OTHER than one of these keys, PLEASE do not continue connecting, and CONTACT as soon as possible so that we can investigate what’s going on. Under no circumstances enter your username and password if you haven’t received one of the fingerprints listed above.

Key Changes

If you see an error something like “WARNING: REMOTE HOST IDENTIFICATION HAS CHANGED!”, verify that the new ‘fingerprint’ being presented is one listed above (most important!), and then you can remove the ‘offending key’ with:

ssh-keygen -f ~/.ssh/known_hosts -R

Then you should be free to try again.

Imbox_noticeFor those using MobaXterm or SecureCRT, the MobaXterm and SecureCRT pages have additional helpful default settings to make life easier

To login on from Windows or using an SSH client:

  • Make sure you are connected to a VPN service
  • Set the host to:
  • If there’s an option for protocol type: SSH v2
  • Authentication: your PennKey username and password (it will not show any typing activity)

To login on from MacOS/Linux/Unix:

  • Make sure you are connected to a VPN service
  • Open a Terminal window (Applications > Utilities > Terminal on MacOS)
  • Type this command and hit enter: ssh
  • When it prompts for a password: your PennKey username and password (it will not show any typing activity)


Looking for a graphical environment? Give our FastX program a try! Let us know if you run into any confusion with the documentation, or problems with the service.
NEW! we now offer clickable menu items for some of the most popular programming tools. These are in the Applications > Programming menu at the top left of the HPC3 Desktop, and include:

  • Atom
  • Emacs
  • Mathematica
  • MySQL Workbench
  • RStudio
  • SAS
  • Stata
  • StatTransfer

Connecting to FastX

You must have an active Penn or Wharton VPN connection. See our VPN page for details on installation and operation of supported VPN clients.

FastX via the Desktop Client

Download and install the FastX client from the HPC3 Desktop website:, and use these settings (web (https) or ssh):

  • Name: Wharton HPC3 Desktop
  • Host:
  • Port: 22
  • User: PennKey

Watch the following video for an example (OUTDATED!!):

FastX via a Web Browser

  • Open a web browser and go to:
  • Log in with your PennKey credentials (or download the Desktop Client!)
  • Start a new session:
    • select (click) the ‘MATE’ icon twice:

    • you may have to ‘allow’ access from the HPC3 Desktop to your pop-up blocker
  • That will open a graphical desktop in your browser! You can then:
    • open a terminal window (right-click desktop and choose ‘Open in Terminal’, or click the Terminal icon on the top menubar)
    • do the ‘normal’ qrsh -now no -pe openmp 2 matlab or qrsh -now no xstata-se
    • even if you close your browser, the work will continue to run*

    * WARNING – remember all interactive (qlogin or qrsh sessions) are limited to 12 hours! Open sessions will be cancelled at that time

    HPC3 Desktop Quick Video (OUTDATED!!)

    A brief video showcasing Wharton’s HPC3 Desktop system to access GUI (interactive) programs in the HPC3.


    NOTE: please use FastX (above) instead of X!
    The HPC3 no longer supports X window forwarding through SSH for graphical interactive sessions.