Biowulf High Performance Computing at the NIH
Online class: Introduction to Biowulf

The 'Introduction to Biowulf' class is now an online, self-paced class. New Biowulf users are encouraged to work through the entire class, and experienced Biowulf users can view specific videos to brush up on a particular section.

How To: The general process is to watch the relevant video, then work through the associated hands-on section. The References point to the documentation associated with that section.

Questions? Users can email the HPC staff ( to get help, or come by one of the monthly Walk-In Consults (now virtual)


A familiarity with Linux and the Bash Shell is vital for using the Biowulf cluster. Submitting, monitoring, and managing jobs on the cluster largely involves command-line operations. To test your Linux/Bash familiarity, take the quiz below. If you score below 8/10, we highly recommend that you work your way through one or more of the Linux tutorials

   Take the Linux/Bash Quiz! (10 random multiple-choice questions)

Already familiar with Biowulf? Test your knowledge with the Biowulf quiz. If you get less than 8/10, you should brush up on the appropriate sections in the online class below.

   Take the Biowulf-specific quiz! (10 random multiple-choice questions)

Section 1 -- Basics

Section 2 -- Modules, Data Storage and Transfer

Section 3 -- The Batch System

Section 4 -- Swarm

Section 5 -- Cluster Resources

Section 6 -- Monitoring and Dependencies

Section 7 -- Multi-node parallel jobs
This section is designed for users who intend to run parallel (typically MPI) applications such as molecular dynamics simulations. Users who do not run these applications can skip this section.

And finally


Additional topics? Anything insufficiently covered? Please send any comments regarding this online class to