-- ChadFreer - 2017-12-11

Coop guide to CERN

Starting out at CERN!

Before you can come

  • You should have received an email from cms.people@cernNOSPAMPLEASE.ch. Follow instructions to set up a CERN account
  • First you will need a visa. Apply at the French consolate in Boston. Further instructions
  • You will need to pass basic safety trainings (safety at CERN and computer security) using the safety site.

Getting registered upon arrival

  • Useful link for maps
  • Get into CERN campus by showing the guard at the front your paperwork and tell them you’re going to get registered.

  • Go to the Users’ Office in building 61 R-010 to get registered and to get started on your French and Swiss cards applications. This process may take ~1 month

  • Get your CERN badge printed out at building 55 (near entrance B). You’ll need this to enter and exit the campus.

  • You may need a dosimeter; that is also something that is taken care of in building 55.

Safety Training Courses

  • There are three basic mandatory online safety courses that you need to take through the learning hub.
  • In order to go underground, you'll need to enroll in the Self-Rescue Mask course, which is in person.
  • Radiation protection training is required to obtain a dosimeter (see below).

Getting a dosimeter

  • You'll need an Institute Certificate, signed by the radiation safety director at Northeastern. (You don't need the institute stamp.)
  • Complete the radiation protection training according to the requirements for Supervised Radiation Areas.
  • The dosimetry office is on the right when you enter building 55. Bring the Institute Certificate and your CERN badge. Afterwards, they'll send you upstairs to the biometry office.

Request CMS Surface Buildings Access

  • Log into ADaMS, and go to Request Access. The surface buildings code is CMS_S.

Public Transportation

  • Daily free CERN shuttles.
  • Tram/Bus passes are more useful if you need to travel into Geneva. Find passes here
  • Otherwise Biking is very common


What you should have to start

Cern specific

  • Create an lxplus account
  • Example log in for lxplus ssh -X -Y cfreer@lxplusNOSPAMPLEASE.cern.ch
  • Northeastern also has a server in Building 32, Room C-17 (B32-C-017)
  • To log in: ssh -X -Y cfreer@cmsneu
  • Connect your github to lxplus. Create/Edit ~/.gitconfig to have the following(replace as necessary).
name = Chad Freer
email = chad.freer@cernNOSPAMPLEASE.ch
github = chadfreer

Northeastern machine shortcomings:

  • Doesn't have VOMS, so can't export for crab jobs.
  • Has slc5, not slc6, so can't use CMSSW_7_X

Getting grid access

  • Go to certification authority and click on "New Grid User certificate" (you may need to verify account)
  • You should see "Your new certificate is ready". Click on "Download this certifcate". (keep a backup of this certificate Mac or other)
  • Install the certificate in your browser (instructions for this and other information at CMS VO Twiki)
  • Register with CMS VO

Installing grid certificate on lxplus

  • export the certificate from your browser as a .p12(possibly .pfx) file.
  • Login to lxplus and create a directory ~/.globus/
  1. mkdir ~/.globus/
  • Copy your certificate file to this directory. Example:
  1. scp YourCert.p12 cfreer@lxplus.cern.ch:~/.globus/YourCert.p12
  • Use the following commands replacing YourCert.p12 with the actual name (rm old files if you are renewing)
  1. cd ~/.globus
  2. rm -f usercert.pem
  3. rm -f userkey.pem
  4. openssl pkcs12 -in YourCert.p12 -clcerts -nokeys -out $HOME/.globus/usercert.pem
  5. openssl pkcs12 -in YourCert.p12 -nocerts -out $HOME/.globus/userkey.pem
  6. chmod 400 userkey.pem
  7. chmod 444 usercert.pem

AFS space and workspace on lxplus

  • Go to CERN resources --> List Services --> AFS Workspaces --> Settings
  • Increase home folder quota up to 10 GB, add workspace and increase quota up to 100 GB

Need to get EOS space to store NTuples and such

Grid computing - CRAB

Extra Coding resources

Frequent Bash Commands

  • scp [source path] [destination path]. Secure copy is a way of shuttling stuff between your personal file system and your lxplus file system, which is a thing you'll probably have to do at some point. Note that you can only call this on your personal computer, as that is the one that is doing the ssh-ing. Structure the lxplus path [username]@lxplus.cern.ch//path/to/thing, and your personal computer path ~/your/normal/path.

More on ROOT

More on Github

How to use Git?

* A simple guide

What to do if you accidentally delete files?


CERN Phonebook


  • Darien Wood, 32/4-C21, (darien@neu.edu)
  • Emanuela Barberis, 32/4-C21 (Emanuela.Barberis@cern.ch)
  • Toyoko Orimoto, 32/4-C17 (Toyoko.Orimoto@cern.ch)
  • David Morse, 32/4-C21 (david.michael.morse@cern.ch)
  • Andrea Massironi, 32/4-C17 (Andrea.Massironi@cern.ch)
  • Apichart Hortiangtham, 32/4-C21 (apichart.hortiangtham@cern.ch)
  • Chad Freer, 32/4-C17 (chad.freer@cern.ch)
  • Tanvi Wamorkar, 32/4-C17 (tanvi.wamorkar@cern.ch)
  • Andrew Wisecarver, 32/4-C21 (andrew.lloyd.wisecarver@cern.ch)
  • Bingran Wang, 32/4-C21 (bingran.wang@cern.ch)
  • Gabriel Madigan (gabemadigan@gmail.com)
  • Abraham Tishelman Charny, 32/4-C17 (abraham.tishelman.charny@cern.ch)
  • Megan Stark (walsh.me@husky.neu.edu)
  • Vivan Thi Nguyen, 32/4-C21 (vivan.nguyen@cern.ch)
  • Kelsey Yee, 32/4-C17 (kelsey.amber.yee@cern.ch)
Useful Contacts
  • Andrew Brinkerhoff, 32/4-B08 (andrew.wilson.brinkerhoff@cern.ch)
  • Alex Madorsky, 512/1-004 (alexander.madorsky@cern.ch)
  • Khristian Kotov, 42/2-034 (khristian.kotov@cern.ch)
  • Mikhail Matveev, 40/3-A02 (Mikhail.Matveev@cern.ch)
  • Darin Acosta, 32/4-B08 (Darin.Acosta@cern.ch)
  • Pierluigi Bortignon, 32/4-B08 (Pierluigi.Bortignon@cern.ch)
  • Armando Lanaro, 892/2-D19 (Armando.Lanaro@cern.ch)
  • Tim Cox, 40/3-A02 (Timothy.Cox@cern.ch)
  • Indara Suarez, 510/1-011 (indara.mayeli.suarez.silva@cern.ch)
  • Wei Shi, 32/4-A05 (weishi@rice.edu)
  • Mikhail Ignatenko, 40/R-A28 (mikhail.ignatenko@gmail.com)

Northeastern offices


Twiki pages


Operational knowledge


Mailing lists

Wi-fi access


  • To use the printer on our floor you need to use safari to connect to printer 32-4210-HP

Room keys

Room and building access

  • Access status and requests
    • 354-01-002 (CMS centre), for meetings.
    • P5 Control Room (CMS CR), for trigger operations
    • P5 USC55 Service cavern for track finder hardware (may as well also do UXC55 experimental cavern)
      • Need self-rescue mask training (and dosimeter for UXC55)
    • May first have to pass CERN safety course: 010 (Access to offices), 110 (LHC tunnels), 220 (CMS experiment)
    • ADaMS has a nice summary of your current access rights, and things blocking them

CERN car

Coop work

Various projects that coops have worked on

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Topic revision: r14 - 2021-03-16 - TanviWamorkar
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