Skip to content

Essential Skills

This section provides information and links on essential skills required to use ARCHER2 efficiently: e.g. using Linux command line, accessing help and documentation.


In order to access HPC machines such as ARCHER2 you will need to use a Linux command line terminal window

Options for Linux, MacOS and Windows are described under our Connecting to ARCHER2 guide

Linux Command Line

A guide to using the Unix Shell for complete novices

For those already familiar with the basics there is also a lesson on shell extras

Basic Slurm commands

Slurm is the scheduler used on ARCHER2 and we provide a guide to using the basic Slurm commands including how to find out:

  • what resources are available to you
  • how to submit jobs to the scheduler
  • the status of jobs submitted

Text Editors

The following text editors are available on ARCHER2

Name Description Examples
emacs A widely used editor
with a focus on extensibility.
emacs -nw sharpen.pbs
nano A small, free editor
with a focus on user friendliness.
nano sharpen.pbs
CTRL+X quits
CTRL+O saves
vi A mode based editor
with a focus on aiding code development.
vi cfd.f90
:q in command mode quits
:q! in command mode quits without saving
:w in command mode saves
i in command mode switches to insert mode
ESC in insert mode switches to command mode

If you are using MobaXterm on Windows you can use the inbuilt MobaTextEditor text file editor.

You can edit on your local machine using your preferred text editor, and then upload the file to ARCHER2. Make sure you can save the file using Linux line-endings. Notepad, for example, will support Unix/Linux line endings (LF), Macintosh line endings (CR), and Windows Line endings (CRLF)

Quick Reference Sheet

We have produced this Quick Reference Sheet which you may find useful.