Team how-to page

This page lists the most common needs for daily work in the team, and the solutions. Speak up (inform the Web master) if something is missing or wrong, e.g. outdated!

Getting started

  • Getting an INRIA computer system account: Contact Inria team assistant (Maeva Jeannot). You will need this to log in the INRIA intranet (
  • Getting your publications listed on the publications page: when depositing into HAL, add the CEDAR affiliation to each author that is a team member; in case of trouble, send a mail to the site admin (Ioana or Michaël).
  • Getting your home page listed on the CEDAR Web site

    1. You need to have a page somewhere, for instance on the INRIA Web server:

    You can find directives in French here but basically you have to log on (only reachable from the Inria network) and put your website in ~/public_html/ with enough rights for apache to read it. If something goes wrong contact

    2. Get it listed from the page: write to Ioana or Duc, or update that page yourself (carefully, of course).

  • Getting on the right CEDAR mailing lists: ask Ioana, upon arrival


Research routine

    • How to connect to the Inria network remotely
    • Several things will only work if you are in the Inria network
    • To obtain that when you are not on site, use the VPN (virtual private network) as explained here:
  • How to access online publications requiring a subscription

1. If your machine is in the Inria physical network, then when you go to the page of a paper that is in paying access, e.g.:

the page should recognize you as being “Inria Saclay” (as you can see on this image) and you should get access to papers for which Inria paid the subscription.

2. If you are not in the Inria physical network, then go through the Web portal:

Once logged in with your Inria credentials, go to:,,SSL+Acceder-aux-abonnements

You will see a link to SPRINGER, one to ACM, and one to IEEE, and when searching within those publication portals, you should be recognized as Inria and again get access to the paper.


3. Of course if nothing else works, look the paper up on Google or write to the authors and possibly CC a permanent person in the lab that the authors know. Authors are happy when their papers are read! 🙂

Where to find frequently used datasets

There are two main places: in the CEDAR cluster and on another older machine.

The CEDAR cluster consists of 11 nodes:

    • cedarfront used as a bridge to connect to the other nodes (it’s the main entry point)
      • NFS server (12TB) : used to copy files from local desktops (laptops) to nodes on the cluster
      • The data repository is physically located on the head node (cedarfront) and mounted in the cluster through NFS
        • On cedarfront, the data is under /export
        • On the cedar0xx nodes, it’s mounted under /data
    • cedar0xx (xx in {01, 02, …, 10})
      • PostgreSQL server
      • Hadoop
      • Spark

Users’ home directories in the cluster are under /home/cedar/$user (or /home/lix/$user).


Authentication is done via a private, public key pair. If you need to know more about SSH key authentication, you can read this page (

Once you have your private, public key pair, you can open a ticket and give an agent your public key so it gets activated through the Helpdesk (

If your machine is not in the INRIA physical network, you will have to first SSH into and from there to More information can be found here (

Uploading data to the cluster

You can copy data from your computer to the cluster:

scp your_file

Running Maven at the cluster

By default, Maven is installed in version 3.0.5. If you need to use more recent one (3.5), you need to run the following command:

scl enable rh-maven35 bash

You may consider adding the line below to your .bashrc file to enable maven 3.5 on login:

source scl_source enable rh-maven35

Best practices

  1. Never run jobs on the head node, it’s used as a gateway/bridge for the cluster.
  2. Do not copy datasets to your home directory, it’s not meant to store datasets.
  3. If you want to download files to your home directory or to the data repository, do it on the head node since the disks forming the NFS partition are physically located there.
  4. If you need to copy your data to a DBMS or HDFS, leave a copy of it in the data repository as backup.
  5. Don’t run your experiments on data inside the data repository directory, copy your data to the local scratch volume and run your experiments there.
  6. The scratch spaces are a temporary storage partitions, do not keep your data there forever.
  7. If you need to copy data between nodes, use the very high speed network instead of the default one.
    Example:     scp –R /path/to/source/directory cedar001-10g:/path/to/destination/directory instead of   scp –R /path/to/source/directory cedar001:/path/to/destination/directory
  8. All user accounts belonging to the ‘cedar’ group have passwordless sudo privilege (except on the head node). Be careful when running commands with elevated privileges. With great power comes great responsibility!

More information about CEDAR cluster


It may happen (quite often actually) that your paper doesn’t fit into the page limit. Here are some squeezing tips which you may use to gain some space. Use with care: check your editor’s policy beforehand!
Sometimes, there are problems with compiling sources into PDF in tools like Springer’s Editorial Manager. You can try these scripts to flatten your .tex file sources into one file (latexpand Perl script was used in practice and worked well as of Jan 2020).

Coffee and canteen

      • Ecole Polytechnique canteen card: you can have a canteen card from Ecole Polytechnique, this requires
        • to have the required forms from Inria
        • going to the card office next to the restaurant (closed between 11 and 12:45AM) to obtain your Ecole Polytechnique card
        • going to the caisse centrale, also next to the restaurant (opens at 11:30AM), where you can add your canteen rights to your card and add money. A visa recharge spot is also available.
      • Safran: a small sandwich/salad/desert office is open at noon at the floor of the Turing building, you can register your Inria account there (with the proper form) to get a discout. It is not possible to pay with a credit card.


      • After sending a job to the printer, you can pick it up in any printer of the center using  your badge. The documentation is available here (fr). Note that on Ubuntu after installing the printer-sif driver you should modify /etc/cups/printers.conf to add your Inria LDAP user name in the deviceURI line: DeviceURI lpd://USER_NAME@

Poster printing

      • Option 1: write to to send them the PDF and specify what format (A0, A1 etc.) you want. It may take 1-2 days (more if holidays, week-ends etc.)
      • Option 2 (suggested by Yanlei):
        One can  just pick an agency (e.g., Tolbiac), send the poster per mail, specifying the format (A1, A2, …) and the paper type (120g mat,180g mat, brillant ou semi-brillant). Then you can pick it up an hour later. The price is 25 € for an A1 poster.
      • Option 3: You can write to : to request a quote (bon de commande) that someone should pay for. The printing process starts once the quote is approved by mail. 

        • Contact: Jean-Félix Le Rouzic : 01 69 33 36 47
        • Then you need to go pick it up. From the main building, go toward Amphi Cauchy but instead of going all the way through the last corridor, turn left toward FabCPM.
        • These people can print in basically any dimension one can think of. They printed a poster of 2.4m x 1.2m…
      • Option 4: print from your laptop and collect from the printer located at DSI. The link is Contact for DSI person is 01 69 33 44 44.

Office related

      • Books: there are some CEDAR books which are in the locked drawers in the corridor. The key is on the drawer. We can also order/buy books (ask the team assistant).
      • To book a meeting room:
        • go to
        • click on calendar
        • select the time of the meeting
        • click on location
        • look for rooms in “Saclay” (type Saclay in the “Site” box)
        • click on the room and click on select
        • click on ok
        • send the invitation — you should receive a confirmation by mail.

        For the special case when you book the Grace Hoper or Gilles Khan room you must also complete this form: (in French)

      • To book a phone line where several people can call in  for a meeting:
        • go to
        • click on calendar
        • select the time of the meeting
        • click on resources
        • in the search box, type “ligne”
        • you will see phone lines that are free and those that are busy, select a free one
        • save, send the meeting notification
          This information is taken from which at the time of this writing has no English version.


    Missions (business trips)

    Setting up a trip paid by INRIA (for all steps below, you need INRIA account credentials)

    1. Go find a suitable transport ticket in Pick your dates and time, go as far as you can and then click “continue”

    2. Go create your trip in Fill in the basic details (from where to where, dates, etc.) The rest can be filled in later by the assistant etc. Then submit it, this will send it for validation to Ioana.

    3. Once the trip is validated, send this to the assistant and tell her to actually buy the plane/train ticket you found in ORELI.

        • Booking an hotel in Metropolitan France for an Inria mission:

    You can either book directly and get refund up to 60€ per night or use the ORELI interface to get refund up to 120€ around Paris (French departement 75, 78, 91, 92 and 94) or up to 95€ anywhere else in Metropolitan France.

    Exceptionaly you can get refund up to the ORELI amounts when you book yourself when there the ORELi interface fail to find a suitable -in terms of accessibility and minimum comfort- hotel within 5 kilometers of your destination. (Details here in French)

    You can take holidays through “Gestion”. State periods when you want to be away; also if you have the choice, you need to say whether you take these holidays out of the “CA” (Congé Annuel), or out of your RTT (Réduction du temps de travail, some form of fixed holidays in France) etc.

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