Freia for Observers

Freia is a standalone IRTF linux workstation with limited guest user accounts. Observers can request a temporary guest account to reduce their SpeX or iSHELL data using Spextool. This could be useful for those without access to IDL at their home institution, for example.

Freia guest user accounts are good for 3 months. Accounts are then offered to others waiting. They could also be renewed on request for 2 months. Otherwise, guest user files are wiped at the end of the access period.


  • is a Rocky Linux8 PC, with xfce desktop, and IDL 7.x, with Spextool for Spex, and iSHELL.

  • does not share any other IRTF resources (observing account, raw data on /scrs1).

  • disk space is local, and users must ftp their data on or off.

  • provides a shared 4TB disk for storage (shared among all guests).

How do I request an account?

Send an email to a n u b h a v < a t > h a w a i i . e d u

Password change on first login

New users will be asked to set a new password that is at least 12 characters long. Please have it ready before logging in.

After changing your login password, you are highly encouraged to change your VNC password via vncpasswd command.

Generating a new password

Refer to your favorite password manager.

As an example, KeePassXC (GUI) is available at least for MS Windows, Apple macOS, Linux, & FreeBSD systems.

On Linux, apg package provides the command of same name. To generate a password between 12-24 characters, run in a terminal ...

   apg -n 1 -m 12 -x 24

An example session of change of login password for fictitious user "fguest33" would be ('Current password' is the password provided to you initially) ...

   ssh's password:
   You are required to change your password immediately (administrator enforced)

   Last login: <date> from <IP address>
   WARNING: Your password has expired.
   You must change your password now and login again!
   Changing password for user fguest33.
   Current password:
   New password:
   Retype new password:
   passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.

How do I VNC into my Freia desktop?

The Freia computer is behind a firewall. To VNC to the desktop, you will need to create a VNC tunnel (on your computer) to (VNC Server). See Freia VNC for Linux, MacOS, or Unix users, or Freia VNC for Windows users as applicable.

How do I get my data to Freia?

You should be able to sftp you data to Freia. Example:

   sftp    # replace 'fguestN' with your login account

How do I start Spextool or IDL in the VNC session?

Once on the VNC desktop, open a terminal. This terminal will print a ~/README.txt file to the screen with instructions on how to start Spextool for SpeX or iSHELL, and how to run IDL on its own.

Where is the IRTF staff documentation?

The Freia Staff Page is for IRTF staff only.