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NERSC Help and Support

NERSC strives to be the most user friendly supercomputing center in the world.


Help Desk

The online help desk is the preferred method for contacting NERSC.


NERSC Consultants handle thousands of support requests per year. In order to ensure efficient timely resolution of issues include as much of the following as possible when making a request:

  • error messages
  • jobids
  • location of relevant files
    • input/output
    • job scripts
    • source code
    • executables
  • output of module list
  • any steps you have tried
  • steps to reproduce


You can make code snippets, shell outputs, etc in your ticket much more readable by inserting a line with:


before the snippet, and another line with:


after it. While these are the most useful, other options to improve formatting can be found in the full list of formatting options.

Access to the online help system requires logging in with your NERSC username, password, and one-time password. If you are an existing user unable to log in, you can send an email to for support.

If you are not a NERSC user, you can reach NERSC with your queries at or

Appointments with NERSC User-Support Staff

NERSC provides 25-minute appoinments with NERSC expert staff. Before you schedule your appointment consult the list of available topics described below.


To make the most use of an appointment, we strongly encourage you to try some things on your own and share them with NERSC staff ahead of time using the appointment intake form.


Appointments use Google Hangouts for video conferencing. If you are using Google Chrome, please make sure that the “enable screen share” Security setting is enabled.


This category is good for basic questions, and you could not find the answer in our documentation. Or when you just don't know where to start.

KNL Optimization

Advice on how to optimize code and compilers to make use of the KNL compute nodes on Cori. Possible discussion topics include:

  1. Compiling code
  2. Thread affinity
  3. Batch script setup
  4. Profiling your code
  5. Refactoring your code

Containers at NERSC

Advice on deploying containerized workflows at NERSC using Shifter. We recommend that you share your Dockerfile, the image name (after downloading it to Cori using shifterimg) before the appointment if possible.

NERSC Filesystems

Advice on I/O optimization and Filesystems at NERSC. Possible discussion topics include:

  1. Optimal file system choices
  2. Quota and file-permission issues
  3. I/O profiling
  4. Refactoring your code

GPU Basics

Advice on programming GPUs for users that are new to the topic. This category is good for when you have started developing your GPU code, but are encountering problems.

Using GPUs in Python

Advice on how to use GPUs from Python, eg. CuPy, RAPIDS, or PyCUDA.

Checkpoint/Restart using MANA

Advice on how to use MANA to enable automatic checkpoint/restart in MPI applications.

Phone support

Consulting and account-support phone services have been suspended.

To report an urgent system issue, you may call NERSC at 1-800-66-NERSC (USA) or 510-486-8600 (local and international).