Skip to content

Setting up a LUMI project and accounts for accessing Helmi

This page goes through the steps required for setting up an account on LUMI for accessing the Helmi quantum computer. It is assumed that you have some knowledge of supercomputing systems. If not, you can start by looking at overview of CSC supercomputers.

Access to Helmi through LUMI

You first need to create a Helmi project according to the instructions here: Helmi Projects on LUMI.

After creation of a project, the PI/PM can invite additional standard users to the project:

Note the special restrictions on project members for projects with access to Helmi! During the pilot phase, access is, for example, limited to academic non-commercial use for users affiliated with a Finnish higher education institution or research organisation. The project PI is responsible for ensuring that the Helmi Terms of Use are followed.

Connecting to LUMI

Setting up SSH key pair

You can only log in to LUMI using SSH keys. There are no passwords. In order for this to work, you need to add your ssh keys in MyCSC portal.

Generate your SSH keys

After registering for a LUMI user account, you need to register a public key (Note! Key must be RSA 4096 bits or ed25519). For this, you need to generate an SSH key pair.

An SSH key pair can be generated in a Linux, macOS, Windows PowerShell, or MobaXterm terminal. You can use the following command to generate a 4096 bits RSA key:

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096

or alternatively, a ed25519 key:

ssh-keygen -t ed25519

You will be prompted for a file name and location where to save the key. Accept the defaults by pressing Enter. Alternatively, you can choose a custom name and location. For example /home/username/.ssh/id_rsa_lumi.

Next, you will be asked for a passphrase. Please choose a secure passphrase. It should be at least 16 characters long and should contain numbers, letters and special characters. Do not leave the passphrase empty.

Now, your SSH key pair is created. If you chose the name given as an example, you should have files named id_rsa_lumi and in your $HOME/.ssh directory.

An SSH key pair can be generated with the PuTTygen tool or with MobaXterm (Tools --> MobaKeyGen).

In order to generate your key pairs for LUMI, choose the option RSA and set the number of bits to 4096. The, press the Generate button.

Create SSH key pair with windows - step 1

You will be requested to move the mouse in the Key area to generate some entropy; do so until the green bar is completely filled.

Create SSH key pair with windows - step 2

After that, enter a comment in the Key comment field and a strong passphrase. Please choose a secure passphrase. It should be at least 16 characters long and should contain numbers, letters and special characters. Do not leave the passphrase empty.

Create SSH key pair with windows - step 3

The next step is to save your public and private key. Click on the Save public key button and save it to the desired location (for example, with as a name). Do the same with your private key by clicking on the Save private key button and save it to the desired location (for example, with id_rsa_lumi as a name).


The private key should never be shared with anyone, not even with LUMI staff! It should also be stored only on your local computer (the public key can be safely stored in cloud services).

Upload your public key

Now that you have generated your key pair, you need to set up your public key in your MyCSC user profile. From there, the public key will be automatically copied to LUMI (with some delay).

To register your key in MyCSC, click on the My Profile item of the menu on the left, as shown in the figure below. Then scroll to the end and in the SSH PUBLIC KEYS panel click the Modify button. From here, click the Add new button and paste your new public key in the text area and click Add.

Screenshot of user profile settings to setup ssh public key
MyCSC profile information to add ssh public key.

After registering the key, there can be a couple of hours delay until it is synchronized. You will receive your username via email once your account is created.

How to log in

Connecting to LUMI via the command line is possible from all major OS. Once you have generated your key pair and uploaded your public key to MyCSC, you can connect with

ssh -i<path-to-private-key> <username>

where you have to replace <path-to-private-key> and <username> with the appropriate values. You should have received your user name via email. There may be a 10-15 minute delay before your account is created on LUMI. If after this delay you cannot connect, please contact LUMI support.

You will be prompted for the passphrase of the SSH key which is the one you entered when you generated the key. When you connect for the first time, you will also be asked to check the host key fingerprint of the system and need to type yes in order to accept it. The fingerprint of the LUMI login nodes are listed in the table below.

Hash type Fingerprint
MD5 28:2a:38:71:b0:a6:6b:90:0e:1b:a1:9d:ca:ec:94:20
SHA256 hY4mnRCYb8bRchTnVcFo7SqoHHHEsUh9Ym38F4sHN1Y

Add your key to the SSH Agent

It may be cumbersome to enter the strong passphrase for every connection you make to LUMI. You can also use an SSH agent to remember the passphrase for you.

The first step in to ensure the SSH agent is running. For that run the command

eval "$(ssh-agent -s)"

The second step is to add your private key to your agent with the command

ssh-add <path-to-private-key>

You will then be asked for your passphrase and now, you should no longer have to enter your passphrase every time you connect to LUMI.

Add LUMI to your SSH configuration

You can also create an SSH configuration for LUMI on your machine that will act as a shortcut. This is achieved by editing the .ssh/config file and by adding the following lines

Host lumi
    User <username>
    IdentityFile <path-to-private-key>

Once you added this line to your SSH configuration file, you can connect simply with ssh lumi.

Support channels

Additional information can be found in the main LUMI documentation page.

The main channel for support for Helmi use through LUMI is the CSC Service Desk, reachable at

Last update: November 2, 2022