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Moving on from Killdevil

ITS at UNC decommissioned the Killdevil cluster on 12/17/2018. Access to the Killdevil cluster is no longer available. Longleaf and Dogwood have replaced the services provided by Killdevil. Generally, serial and single node or data intensive jobs do well on Longleaf and multi-node, distributed computing (e.g. MPI) workloads do well on Dogwood.

So what now?

Killdevil users should migrate their workflow onto Longleaf or Dogwood and familiarize themselves with the SLURM resource manager/job scheduler.

For starters

We recommend that researchers read through Getting Started on Longleaf or Getting Started on Dogwood to learn how to get an account, become familiar with the new file structures, and learn some basic SLURM commands.

Getting an account

Visit the Onyen Services page, click on the Subscribe to Services button, select Longleaf Cluster, and then fill out the web form. You will receive an email notification once your account has been created.

What about my files?

Don’t fret! Once you have your new account, transferring your files from Killdevil to Longleaf or Dogwood is no sweat. The only thing to keep in mind is where exactly your directories and files are being transferred from on Killdevil. Let’s go over the possibilities:

Directories and files under /proj, /nas/depts, and /ms

If you have folders and files under /proj, /nas/depts, or /ms on Killdevil, then you need to do nothing! These file systems are already on Longleaf and Dogwood.

Directories and files under /home and /netscr

We have set up a special, temporary file mount/link to these Killdevil directories on Longleaf and Dogwood:

  • killdevil’s home is mounted in Longleaf/Dogwood as /nas02/home/<O>/<N>/<ONYEN>

With this special mount, you can simply copy these files into your new environment just like you would copy files from one directory to another:

> ssh <ONYEN>
$ mkdir <NameOfDirToHoldOldKilldevilFiles>
$ cp --recursive /nas02/home/<O>/<N>/<ONYEN>/<dirOnKilldevilWithFilesToCopyOver>/* ~/<NameOfDirToHoldOldKilldevilFiles>
    ("recursive" means create and copy all subdirectories too)

If, instead, you would prefer to download those files to your computer, you will need to move them via a secure file transfer application. Follow this illustration to learn how to transfer files using a SFTP application. If they are very large files, please use GLOBUS instead.

Directories and files under /lustre

There is no special mount available to move lustre files; these files are no longer accessible.


What about the applications/modules I need?

You should find all modules you need on Longleaf or Dogwood already. If there is a module on Killdevil that you have been using which is not already on Longleaf or Dogwood, please tell us via email to or Online Web Ticket for Research Computing. See the Getting Started web page to learn how to get a list of available modules on either Longleaf or Dogwood.


Is there a tool I can use to convert all my bsub scripts to SLURM’s sbatch/srun format?

Sorry, no. You will need to re-shape these scripts into a SLURM format on your own. We have lots of SLURM examples to help you on either Longleaf or Dogwood.

How do I learn more about working on Longleaf or Dogwood?

Links to reference documents, courses and course materials are available for Longleaf and Dogwood.

What happens now that Killdevil is decommissioned?

Files not copied or transferred from Killdevil’s /netscr and /lustre directories are no longer accessible. Files not copied or transferred from Killdevil’s /home directory are only available via /nas02/home/<O>/<N>/<ONYEN>/ for a short time.

If you have any questions, please send them via email to or submit an Online Web Ticket for Research Computing.