MC Computer Account

A personal Unix account is required to log in to the Macromolecular Crystallography (MC) beamline computers, data processing computers and web applications on-site or remotely.

Fill out the MC Computer Account Request form to receive an MC computer account. Make sure to read SLAC Account Policies before submitting the form.

The account will be initially set up with a temporary password that will be sent by text or phone call;  The temporary password will expire one day after you receive the notification of the account creation.

Once logged in, change the password using this link:

Account Maintenance

As per SLAC policy, the password will expire every six months. An e-mail notifications is sent to the account prior to expiration. This notification can be forwarded to another e-mail address:

  1. Log in to your SMB Unix account. In your home directory (/home/"your_id"), create a file called .forward
  2. Use an editor to add an e-mail address to the .forward file and save it. If you have more than one e-mail address or you want other people in your group to receive the notification, add one address per line.

Use the Change Password form to change the password before it expires.

If the password expires or if the account remains inactive for a long time, it will be locked. If the account is locked or if you forget your password, contact your user support staff.

Beamline Computers

All computers are on the domain

The full name of the hosts below are

Data Collection Computers

  • bl92: Data collection, backup and graphics (Linux Workstation).
  • bl92hutch: A terminal located inside the hutch for running the beamline control software.

The naming convention of computers described above are for BL9-2. The pattern is the same for all crystallography beam lines. Replace '92' with '71', '91', '111', '122', 121 and '141' for BL7-1, BL9-1, BL11-1, BL12-2, BL12-1 and BL14-1, respectively.

Data Processing Computers

  • pxproc: Intel Xeon X5550 with 8 cores/16 threads, 24 GB of memory (CentOS 6.8, x86_64).
  • pxproc: Intel Xeon E5-2670 v3 with 24 cores/48 threads, 128 GB of memory (CentOS 6.8, x86_64).

Important: Do not initiate data processing on any other computer as It will adversely affect data collection or data transfer.

File Transfer Computer

  • smbcopy: dedicated host for file transfers.

Important: Do not initiate data transfers on any other computer as It will adversely affect data collection or data processing.

To learn more about data backup options, see the Data Backup Manual.

Remote Access Servers

  •  Gateway machine for remote access using the NXClient software.
  • Second Gateway machine.

For more information on how to set up and configure the NXClient, see the Remote Access Manual.



  • This directory is used for files that need to be stored over long time periods. There are daily snapshots and it is backed up to tape weekly. This is a small, relatively fast file system. It does not have the capacity to store diffraction images or the endless amount of output from automatic build processes.

Warning: Diffraction images should not be stored on the /home disk as it is not designed to hold that much data. Images may be deleted without notice.


  • Diffraction images and data processing should be stored in these directories.
  • This is a large file system that is not backed up. However, we make every effort to keep data as longs as possible, however if the file system is filling up, we will start to purge older data.

Important: You are responsible for backing up your data. We do not keep backups.

To learn more about backup options, see the Data Backup Manual.


  • Copies of the default data processing template files are stored in the 'templates' subdirectory.

File Permissions

  • The default file permissions restrict everyone but the owner to access directories and files.
  • Files located in your 'www' directory are readable by everyone

Command Line Login

  • ssh connections from offsite are allowed only to the computer.
  • There are no restrictions for outgoing connections.


A printer is available near each beamline (see Table below). The beamline computers print to the closest printer by default.

Beamline Printer Name Location
BLDG 120 120-217-c5255 Mail room in BLDG 120, corridor behind user administration
BL14-1 hpbl14 Rolling table between BL14-1 and BL14-2
BL7-1 hpbl71 On rolling table in front of BL7-2/2-1
BL9-2 hpbl9 Second floor, next to the elevator at BL9-2
BL12-2 hpbl122 On desk next to BL12-2 computer bl122a


The pxprocNN computers print by default to a printer in Building 120 mailroom (just behind the user administration offices). To set a private default printer, find the name of your preferred printer in Table 1, then use the command:

lpoptions -d printer_name

Alternatively, you can set the environment variable LPDEST to one of the printer names, and the lp command will use that as the default printer destination.

Print to default printer:

lp filename

Print to a named printer:

lp -dprinter_name filename

Connecting a Laptop to the Local Network

The SLAC Visitor Network is available at all SSRL macromolecular crystallography beamlines. The SLAC visitor network is a SLAC owned network which is outside the SLAC network firewall. Access to SSRL computers through the SLAC visitor network are treated as external connections.

Access to the SLAC visitor network at the beamlines is available via a Wireless LAN or through a wired cable. Red network cables at the beamlines indicate that they are configured for the visitor network. Both wireless and cable connections require configuring the network interface on laptop computers to use Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) to obtain a valid network address. DHCP is the only way that laptops and computers can connect to the visitor network. Users are responsible for all network configurations and other equipment required for access (i.e. network card or wireless network card).