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Accessing the servers at ND/CRC

QuarkNet's primary servers are hosted at Notre Dame's Center for Research Computing (CRC). The CRC is a specialized division of Notre Dame's Office of Information Technology (OIT); it handles high-performance computing operations for ND research programs. To obtain a login to them, you'll need a Notre Dame ID (ndID) and a Notre Dame NetID as well as a separate CRC account.

Opening your accounts

1) Notre Dame Account

Notre Dame faculty, staff and students are issued nine-digit ndID numbers and NetID usernames when they begin work at the university. If you are not currently employed by ND, obtaining these will be your first step. (If you are ND student, staff, or faculty, then you'll already have these, so skip down to the part about CRC accounts.)

Notre Dame refers to external collaborators with ND accounts as "Affiliates." Affiliates must be sponsored by two active ND faculty/staff, and their Affiliate status must be renewed yearly.

Obtaining your ndID and NetID

The ndID is a 9-digit number, typically beginning with "9", that uniquely identifies you within Notre Dame's systems.

The NetID is a login name of the form mwayne or jgriffi8 that allows you to login to ND network services, including e-mail and the CRC servers.

Request Form

The first portion of the application must be completed by a Notre Dame employee (i.e., Joel). The employee must submit a Requesting NetID Access for Affiliates form through the ND ServiceNow platform. The form is behind the login wall, so if the previous link doesn't work, it's accessible as the "Request an Affiliate Account" link from the OIT Accounts & Identity page.

The form requires the outside collaborator's
  • First and Last Name
  • Last 4 digits of SSN (for a non-US-citizen, use "0000" and email to let them know you're requesting an ndID for a noncitizen)
  • Date of Birth

The fact that Notre Dame has no earthly need for information regarding an Affiliate's SSN or DoB, or that Joel has no business handling their PII, is no excuse to submit fake values. Be certain to use the Affiliate's real SSN and DoB, and make sure that the Affiliate remembers which of their real SSNs and DoBs they selected for submission.

For other fields,
  • Department access required? - I think this means access to the department-specific resources, which the QuarkNet servers might be. To be safe, select "Yes" with "QuarkNet servers at the CRC" as explanation.
  • This individual is a - "External Consultant" works.
  • Start/Stop dates - Pick a day within the next week for the Start Date. The current day works. Affiliate accounts are good for no longer than one year, so choose a Stop Date of one year from the Start Date.
  • Second University Contact - another ND employee associated with QuarkNet, which is typically Mitch. Make sure Mitch knows what's going on, though.

Within a day or two of submitting the form, the Primary Contact (the person who submitted the form) will get an email from the ND Service Desk with further instructions along the lines of
This e-mail is to inform you that NetID access has been granted for {Collaborator Name} - ndID: {numbers}.

Please communicate the NDID number to the requester and direct them to: to obtain their NetID (different from NDID) and to set up their secure password. They will need to wait two business days to visit this site to allow time for the necessary download of their information which will make access to their NetID possible.

Forward this to the Outside Collaborator, who'll fill out the linked form and take a brief quiz on network security etc. They should receive an email with their NetID 3-5 days after that. This establishes a Notre Dame account, which is also a Google/GMail account. You can login to ND's Central Authentication Service to try it out, and you can login to your new GMail account for the address {NetID}

The Affiliate should make careful note of the following:
  • ndID number
  • NetID
  • Expiration date of Affiliate status
  • SSN and DoB values, since these are used at renewal

2) CRC Account

Once you have a NetID, you can get a CRC account by submitting the CRC Account Request Form. This is a Google Doc, so if you have a Google account open in the browser you use to open the form, the form will pick up that account automatically. It expects this to be your ND account, so if you have a different Google account open, that will confuse it. Be sure to have either your ND account (preferable) or no Google account open in the browser you're using.

After you submit the form, you should get an email within a day letting you know that you have a CRC account. You will have to change your ND account password in order to sync it across all of the University's services, but the email will explain how to do that.

You'll also be asked to register for a one-hour CRC Basics course held on-campus. We've always ignored this for off-campus people, with no apparent consequences. If you get hassled about it, tell Joel and we'll take care of it.

VM login

Let Joel know what you need to be able to do, and he'll contact the CRC staff to arrange your logins to the appropriate VMs with the appropriate permissions. This usually takes less than a day once your account is ready. Your username on the server will be the same as your NetID; the password will be the one you set when receiving your NetID, which is always the same across Notre Dame services.

3) Campus VPN

The CRC doesn't allow connections to private VMs (like i2u2-data and i2u2-db) from off-campus IP addresses. If you're SSH'ing from off-campus (say, from Fermilab), you'll need to use the university's VPN to connect through an on-campus address.

Instructions on setting up the VPN are system-specific, so you'll have to use the guide at for your particular OS. As I recall, though, it isn't too difficult.


Under "Recommended VPN Instructions for all ND faculty, staff, & students" on, select

Connecting from Windows 8/Mac (10.8) - Download the software from the OIT Software Downloads page

You will be asked to login with your ND credentials. On the following page, find "VPN Standard Access (AnyConnect)" and select "More Details".

On the following page, select the link that describes your OS. Note that Mac OS X is divided into pre-10.6 (Snow Leopard) and 10.6-and-after.

Once you've downloaded the correct AnyConnect client, I believe you should be able to join the VPN through You may have to do some sort of configuration the first time you use it. If you can't work it out, you can contact OIT using the information on the right-hand side of

Renewing your Affiliate status

This must be done yearly, and it's up to the user to remember to do this. Notre Dame might send reminders to your ND email address (we actually aren't certain), but this is entirely useless because
  1. No one outside ND is going to use their ND email for anything,
  2. It's a GMail account, and GMail doesn't let you forward emails to your real account where you would see them, and
  3. If your Affiliate status is cut off unexpectedly, you can't login to your account to see how to renew, because your Affiliate status has been cut off.

To renew, a Notre Dame employee (Joel again) must resubmit the "Requesting NetID Access for Affiliates" form.

Troubleshooting your ND account

If you have trouble logging into resources at the CRC or Notre Dame, try the following steps in order:

0) Try the usual password checks - make sure your caps lock isn't on, that you're using the right password, username, etc. (to help with this, Joel highly recommends the use of an open source password manager like KeePassX). Don't try to reset your password at this point - it won't work, and it will complicate further troubleshooting.

1) Try logging into Notre Dame's Central Authentication Server. This will tell you if Notre Dame recognizes your username/password at all.

2) If the CAS doesn't recognize your username/password, search for your name in the Notre Dame online directory. If you have a valid NetID, you will be in the directory. If you can't find yourself, it's a good sign that your Affiliate status has been cancelled. Ask Joel to submit the renewal form.

3) If the CAS does recognize your username/password, but you still can't access the servers, it's likely a problem at the CRC. The CRC synchronizes login information with OIT, but it's not the exact same login system, so there can be accidental mismatches. In particular, when you reset your ND password through OIT it can take up to an hour for the CRC to synchronize to this change. If you haven't reset your password in the past hour, have Joel ask the CRC engineers to look into it. It could be a problem with your login info on the server OS itself, though this is rare.

-- Main.jgriffith - 2016-03-02
Topic revision: r9 - 2017-08-09, JoelG
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