The bluepebble system is cluster of powerful servers run by the Advanced Computing Research Centre. Most of the machines have been bought by research groups across the University. We have bought 300Tb of storage on this system, we are also allowed to use the compute facilities of this cluster via their job submission system. Unfortunately, this cluster is not directly accessible from our systems, you need to log on to the bluepebble head node to use and copy your data to the system.

Logging on

Log in via the head node, ie

Where XXXXX is your UoB username.


Our storage is called /bp1/phaethon, this is divided into two parts, one part called 'diana' (around 150Tb) is for Sotiria and her students who partially funded the storage, and the other 'astro_users' is for general use. When you request access, you must request a disk space quota (see below). There is about 150Tb in astro_users and currently it is not very full, use your discretion when requesting space, 20Tb is probably a reasonable starting place.

Requesting Access

In order to request access bluepebble compute and storage, you need to use the webform here: You must click the button that says that you want to join an exisiting project, and in the text box, please copy and paste the following.
I would like an account on blue pebble to use the phaethon storage

Project Title:Phaethon general data storage
Project Code:ISYS023482
Funding Category:RCUK
Funding Body:STFC

I will need to be in the s-phaethon and s-astro groups.
I will need a quota of 20Tb please.
Please check with Sotiria which groups are required to access her part of the storage and the quota to request.

Transferring files to Phaethon example

After your account has been created, and you have logged in to check access, then files can be transferred using a command like the following.
scp /data/scratch4/XXX/some_huge_file

You can also transfer many files using wildcards, eg

scp /data/scratch4/XXXX/some_files*

please change the XXXX to the correct username for you.

Other Information

The scheduler on Bluepebble is moving from PBSPro to SLURM (which is the same as BlueCrystal4). More information at

Bluepebble documentation is here:

Intro to HPC and Bluepebble training mataerials are here:

Video Recording of the Intro to HPC on BluePebble course:


Please email

At some point (before July 2023) the path to Phaethon changed from /bp1storage/phaethon/ to /bp1/phaethon/.

Rhys Morris
Last modified: Monday, 24 July 2023