Remote MicroBooNE Shifts


Before your first shift, make sure you know the account name and password for your:

Note that the account names and passwords for these accounts do not have to be the same, nor do they have anything to do with your Nevis account names or passwords.


The remote-shift computers are in room 120 (the Neutrino student office).

There are four computers. From left to right:

  • excalibur, with four monitors;
  • peach, an iMac;
  • lexington;
  • bowser.

The mouse, keyboard, and screens are linked via synergy, so you can use the keyboard and mouse in front of peach to control all the boxes, You can move mouse freely between all four screens.

Excalibur and peach each have speakers, a web camera, and a microphone. The other do not.

Set up


Login using the ubooneshift account, which shows up as "MicroBooNE remote shift" on the login screen. The password is the same as the MicroBooNE DocDB password (you're very excited about the LAr TPC).

Start a terminal session on all four systems (there's a terminal icon in the menu bar for the Linux systems, in the dock for peach).

Once you've logged into all four systems, run Synergy on the Mac. It's in the dock at the bottom, with the icon that looks two arrows in a circle. That will link all the screens to =peach='s mouse and keyboard.

FNAL Authentication

Next, do the following on the Linux systems:

Make a VPN connection to FNAL

  • Click on the Network Manager icon in the menu bar near the right. This icon looks like two tiny computers.
  • Select VPN Connections -> VPN to FNAL.
  • Click on the cable icon next to "VPN to FNAL".
  • Enter your FNAL service account name and password, then hit ENTER.

If all goes well, after a few seconds you'll see a dire FNAL warning message appear in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Just close that.

If things don't work, you'll see something like "VPN connection failed." Trying logging out and logging back in again.

Get a Kerberos ticket for FNAL

Start a terminal session and type:

kinit -f <Kerberos-account-name>

You'll be prompted for your Kerberos password

SSH tunnels

Before you start viewing any screens or private web servers at FNAL, you have to set up SSH port-forwarding. Assume you want to view the PUBS display on lexington. In a terminal session, type


This will create the necessary SSH tunnels, do a "double-hop" SSH connection to FNAL, and start running the PUBS display.

On the other computers (including peach), just type


which only sets up the SSH tunnels.

Note that I've adopted the convention that commands I've written to speed up the set-up have their first letter Capitalized.

VNC viewers

To view the screens on the event-builder and DAQ systems, the commands are:


These commands will spit out a bunch of X11 messages that you can ignore. Just hit ENTER.

Web pages and portals

Start Opera on excalibur; this should bring up the On-line Monitor Lizard and PUBS Resource Monitor by default. If not, the pages are bookmarked; check the Opera menu in the upper left-hand corner of the window.

Run Firefox on both lexington and excalibur. Assuming that no one has changed them, the various run, monitor, summary, and log pages come up by default. If they don't, go to the Bookmarks menu, right-click on the folders with likely names like "Run Assistance", and select "Open all in tabs".

You'll probably have to enter your FNAL service account name and password to access the electronic logbook.

Mandatory social fun

You are required (seriously) to join a Google hangout while you're on shift. One of the browser tabs on lexington should be open to, but it may be you'll have to login to the MicroBooNE shift account:

Account name: ubooneshift
Password: the DocDB password typed twice

Then click on the tiny quotation-mark icon on the upper right to see the Google hangouts available. Click on the MicroBooNE shift conversation.

On your laptop, you can instead login to your own Google account, and add ubooneshift as a friend.

You are also required to start Skype and connect to the on-site shifter. Start Skype on excalibur (which has a camera and mic). You should automatically be logged into the nevis.ubooneshift account (password same as the Google hangout account above). You can click on ubooneshift to call them, or wait for them to call you after you speak with them on the phone.

You can run Skype on your laptop instead. Send a contact request to ubooneshift.

Phone call

Call MCR: 1-630-840-3721

Tell them you're shifting from Nevis. Give them the number of the "landline" next to the computers: 1-914-591-2824

ROC West: 1-630-840-6967

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Topic revision: r3 - 2016-06-29 - WilliamSeligman
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