Accounts and registration



In this page we cover initial information about obtaining necessary accounts to start work with VLSI lab and INFN computing resources.

Getting a VLSI account

Before you can start work with any licensed design tool you must obtain a VLSI computing account.

To get the account, please ask your master thesis or PhD supervisor to request such an account for you. The request must be addressed to the VLSI lab system administrator ( remove NOSPAM in the address) and must contain valid credentials and the design project you should be involved in.

A new UNIX account will be created on a machine part of the VLSI computing cluster. Then a login username and a temporary password will be provided by the system administrator, along with a fresh home directory, the machine hostname and some login instructions. Furthermore, you might be asked in the near future to personally sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) contract with a manufacturer (foundry) or a third party IC fabrication service.
Once you have obtained a VLSI account you can start work almost immediately. Things to do the first time you login in your VLSI machine will be described in Setting up the computing environment.

Technology permissions

At present various CMOS technologies are used in the different VLSI lab research activities. Depending on which design project you are involved in, your account is tied to specific technology-related UNIX permissions defined by the system administrator that limit the number of technologies you are allowed to work with. By default each VLSI user can work with AMS and IBM technologies. The access to other technologies is restricted and it depends on the user membership to a specific technology group.

Available technologies

At the time of writing available CMOS technologies are:

  • AMS 0.35 µm
  • IBM 130 nm, 90 nm
  • UMC 130nm, 110 nm
  • TowerJazz 180 nm
  • TSMC 65 nm

Be aware that all technology information and documentation are very confidential and restricted. Technologies can be mentioned, but no technology-related information can be disseminated to a third party or published on the Web. Each VLSI user is bound to specific non-disclosure agreement (NDA) contracts, please don't disclose foundry secrets! According to these policies, all the proposed WorkBook tutorials are technology-independent.

For more details about any technology-related issue, please refer to the documentation contained in the VLSI protected area.

INFN UNIX account

Besides a VLSI account, each user should obtain a further INFN UNIX account, often called zoroastro or phoinix account. Such an account is required to access your VLSI machine from outside the INFN and university computing networks. Moreover, with an INFN UNIX account comes an email address in the form ad a mail box, accessible through An INFN UNIX account is also required to perform the request for a VLSI Wiki account.

To get an INFN UNIX account, follow the instructions provided by the Computing and Networking Service (Centro di Calcolo) here. The account request must be presented by a research group referent or by an authorized member of the technician and administrative staff.

A list of authorized people can be found here. For more details, help and support please contact Giorgio Cotto or Lorenzo Zamprotta (remove NOSPAM in the address).

After the account has been created, the login username and a temporary password will be communicated you by the responsible for your request. With these credentials you can then access a remote machine of the INFN central computing cluster by using the Secure Shell (SSH) connection protocol.

Available machines for public login are:

  • (alias for

To connect to a remote machine, open a terminal and use the ssh command,

ssh [-X] username@hostname

where hostname is the name of the remote machine (e.g. The first time you connected you should retrive a warning message in the form:

The authenticity of host <hostname (IP address)> can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is <key>.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?

This is required by the ssh client to add the machine to the list of known hosts. Simply enter yes and press the Return key.

Use the -X option to enable X forwarding if you want to open graphical windows remotely. If you are using a Mac computer use ssh -Y indeed, because Mac's operating systems are stricter about X forwarding compared to Linux. The -Y option enables a trusted X forwarding and will allow you to work without any problem. If you are working on a Windows system and for more details about remote working, refer to the documentation provided in Accessing computing resources remotely.

Once you have successfully logged in, you are in front of a standard UNIX environment and you can start interacting with the system entering shell commands at the prompt:


Please, the first time you log in don't forget to change your temporary password using the passwd command:> passwd
Changing password for user <username>
Changing password for <username>
(current) UNIX password: ********
New UNIX password: ********

passwd: password changed.

By default you have 2 GB of disk quota. Programming software, compilers and data analysis applications such as ROOT are installed on bennu and phoinix machines, whereas zoroastro offers a standard GNU environment.

For more information about the INFN central computing cluster and how to use its software resources see

Wiki account

A username and an authentication password are required both for editing Wiki pages and accessing the private area. All VLSI users should obtain a Wiki account, at least for reading and contributing to protected pages. Once the account has been created, the authentication uses the same INFN UNIX account login credentials.

If you don't have an INFN UNIX account yet, please read here how to get it.

If you already have an INFN UNIX account indeed, just send an email to Marco Fenoglio (remove NOSPAM in the address) and ask for a VLSI Wiki account. In your request you must specify the username of your INFN UNIX account and the vlsi Wiki group (namespace) that you would to join. You will receive a confirmation email from the INFN Computing Services.

CERN accounts

VLSI lab users working with ALICE/CMS collaborations or other projects supported by CERN should also obtain a CERN computing account (called lxplus or afs account) and a CERN email account (nice account). These accounts are a must for every ALICE or CMS member.
As a matter of fact, a CERN UNIX account is required to read and download for free restricted papers (available after paying subscribers only otherwise) as described in Accessing computing resources remotely.

To get the account, please contact your ALICE or CMS reference person.

Swip card request (badge)

The access to the VLSI lab and to the offices in the old building is public. A swipe card (badge) is required to access both new building offices and the Electronics Laboratory (with further restrictions) instead. Each new VLSI user (in particular new master thesis and Ph.D. students) can make a request for such card if required.

The badge is provided by the administrative services of the Experimental Department of Physics (Segreteria Amministrativa Dipartimento di Fisica Sperimentale) at the University of Turin. To get the card, go personally to the office (new building, 4th floor, room 17 - tel. +39.011.6707392).

For more information, please contact Daniela Ciuffreda (remove NOSPAM in the address).

Review status

Reviewer/Editor and Date Comments
Luca Pacher - Dec 14, 2014 External links to lxplus
Luca Pacher - Nov 21, 2014 Added Review Status table

Last update: Luca Pacher - Dec 14, 2014