Infrastructures & Services

Using our Services

Our Users

Access to our resources is free of charge if you are a student or a researcher of a Canadian academic institution, and are eligible to apply for funding from a federal or provincial granting agency. You can also get support from our team of technical experts and be informed of upcoming training events.

Calcul Quebec a regional partner of the Digital Research Alliance of Canada. Therefore, its users also have access to the resources of the national platform that are managed by the other regional partners.

What You Have to Do

1- To be a Calcul Quebec user, you need an account with the Alliance. If you are a student, the Principal Investigator acting as your research director must have an active account. With your account, you instantly have the basic allocation of resources, you can get to know the environment and start working right away. 

2- The basic allocation will probably be enough resources you need, but if you require more, you can apply to the Resource Allocation Competitions where applications submitted by all researchers are evaluated for both technical feasibility and scientific excellence.

How to acknowledge Calcul Québec in your publications

We suggest you use this text: Computations were made on the supercomputer name-of-the-server, managed by Calcul Québec and the Digital Research Alliance of Canada. The operation of this supercomputer is funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du Québec (MEI) and le Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ).

Our services

Compute Servers

Our compute servers are supercomputers shared by thousands of researchers from all over Canada, but mostly from Quebec. These servers are used to conduct research in physics, astronomy, genomics, health as well as some emerging domaines like digital humanities.

No user is too small or too big. On average, 97% of our users only need the equivalent of a portable computer, which corresponds to approximately 6 cores and 1 TB of disk capacity. Certain research groups however work with hundreds of servers simultaneously and can manipulate petabytes of data.     

Read about the technical specifications of our servers on the Alliance Wiki.

Portable Software Environment

Using our resources is made easy with our standardized software environment that can be installed on your personal computer. Working with our software stack on your own computer, you can make tests and configure tasks as if you were working on our compute servers.

More information on installing our software stack.


Calcul Quebec users have access to storage options adapted to different requirements. 

Storage Types 

(personal directory)
The /home space is a user’s personal directory. It is relatively small, offers limited performance, and is typically used for source code, small parameter files and job submission scripts.
/project  The /project space is much larger than the /home space and is the best option for sharing relatively static data within a group.
/scratch  The /scratch space is the best option for intensive read/write operations on large temporary files (> 100 MB per file).
$SLURM_TMPDIR This local /scratch space is the best location to temporarily store large collections of small files (< 1 MB per file). 

(archiving platform)

This tape-based storage option is offered under certain conditions. For more information, see the wiki page on nearline storage


Details on the different storage types and tips on how to use them are found on the Compute Canada Federation wiki

If you have any questions, please write to SUPPORT@COMPUTECANADA.CA.

Data Transfer

In addition to the common UNIX tools, Globus is a service for quickly, reliably and securely moving large quantities of data. Its features surpass (s)ftp servers and Dropbox-like services. It can be used for sharing data with your collaborators, whether or not they are members of the Compute Canada Federation.

Cloud Services

Cloud services (Infrastructure as a Service) are available for projects requiring :

  • a customized software environment,
  • a permanent interface (to share research data, for example).

This service is intended for groups with the knowledge required to manage their own virtual environment.

More information


Read about the applications and training opportunities suggested for data visualization.

For more information