Administrative Resources‎ > ‎Computing‎ > ‎Linux‎ > ‎Research Computing‎ > ‎

How to Connect to Math Research Machines

The math department has an assortment of server and workstations running Linux and specific math software designed to help with math research.  We call them Magma machines, as those are the only machines which have the program Magma installed, but they are not just used for Magma computations.  Matlab, Mathematica, Macaulay, and Maple are also installed.  Additional programs can be installed upon request.

1.  Do you need WiscVPN?
  • If you connect from off-campus, you'll need to use a WiscVPN connection first.  If you need the WiscVPN program, you can find it here:  Once installed, use the portal of and connect with your netid and netid password.
  • If you are connecting from on-campus, there's no need to use WiscVPN.
  • From a chromebook:
2.  To connect, open a terminal window.
3.  Connect to the UW Math Department "portal".  
    People who have a math account should connect to our portal machine,
    If you are using a program like PuTTY or Secure CRT, you'll need to set up a connection to connect to it.
    If you are using a terminal program, you simply need to type


    If you don't know your math account name, please contact
    Once you have successfully connected, you'll see something that looks like this...

Welcome to Ubuntu 19.10 (GNU/Linux 5.3.0-23-generic x86_64)

 * Documentation:
 * Management:
 * Support:

  System information as of Fri 03 Jan 2020 09:27:58 AM CST

  System load:  0.0                Processes:            208
  Usage of /:   3.7% of 124.94GB   Users logged in:      3
  Memory usage: 7%                 IP address for ens32: 
  Swap usage:   0%

 * Overheard at KubeCon: "microk8s.status just blew my mind".

Last login: from 

4.  You can't run math programs for research from login0.  You need to hop to one of the research machines.

    Our current list of research machines can be found here.

    type the following from the bing> line

    bing> ssh magmaN

    where N is any number from 0-11.  

    Once you have successfully connected, you'll see this...

bing>ssh magma2
nagreen@magma2's password: 
Welcome to Ubuntu 19.04 (GNU/Linux 5.0.0-27-generic x86_64)

 * Documentation:
 * Management:
 * Support:

 * Overheard at KubeCon: "microk8s.status just blew my mind".

0 updates can be installed immediately.
0 of these updates are security updates.

*** System restart required ***
For help with this workstation, contact
Last login: Tue Dec  3 13:13:39 2019 from

5.  You now have a command line interface to our server.