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Creating and Managing Support Request Tickets

Research Computing provides helpful email-based shortcuts for creating and managing support requests.

Creating a Support Request Ticket

Send an email to to create the ticket. Every email sent to this address will create a new ticket, so please do not include it in email conversations. Please include all relevant information that can help us work as quickly and efficiently as possible to ensure speedy resolution. More information is available at How to Get Support More Quickly.

If you want other users to be able to see and add comments to your ticket, please list their email addresses in the body of your request and state that you want them added to the watch list. If they are unfamiliar with the process of creating tickets feel free to send them the URL to this page.

Within a few minutes you should receive two emails. One email will come from with the subject line "Service Request Opened". This email is sent for all tickets created with UAB IT and is for your records. It contains a link to the ticket in our ServiceNow application with the form "RITM#######", or RITM followed by 7 digits.

The second email will come from on behalf of This email is only sent for tickets created by sending an email to The subject line of this ticket will include "Research Computing request opened --- RITM#######" and will also contain the link to the ticket. Replying to this email will add comments to the ticket and generate a new email sent to all emails on the watch list. Replying to those new emails will have the same effect.

IMPORTANT Please do not send multiple emails to nor add it to reply-all conversations. Every email will create a new ticket. This can increase the time it takes to resolve your request.

IMPORTANT When replying to emails, please delete the old contents of the email before composing your reply. Otherwise, the comment length will quickly grow out of control, which can increase the time it takes to resolve your request.

An Example Workflow

  1. You encounter an issue.
  2. You send an email to from, with "Please add to the watch list."
  3. Email sent to from
  4. Email with original request text sent to from
  5. We add to watch list.
  6. You reply to support-watch email to add comments, or click the RITM####### link to add comments via the ServiceNow portal.
  7. Email with new comments sent to and from
  8. XYZ replies to new support-watch email to add comments.
  9. Repeat...

How to Get Support More Quickly

Please remember that our mission is to facilitate your research. We want to help you as effectively and efficiently as possible. To best achieve this we may have to ask technical questions. Many of these questions are very common and will be asked for most support requests. To save you time, please answer the most common questions listed below, arranged by type of request.

General Issues

To have your request resolved as soon as possible, please answer the following questions:

  1. What do you want to achieve, at a high level?
  2. What steps were taken?
  3. What was expected?
  4. What actually happened?
  5. How were you accessing the cluster? Web Portal, SSH, VNC, etc.?
  6. What software were you using? Please be as specific as possible. The command `module list` can be helpful.

We also encourage including relevant error message text, using copy and paste, and any screenshots of the issue.


Outages can affect individual nodes or the entire cluster. Please do not hesitate to report outages and please don't assume other users have already reported an outage.

  1. What part of the cluster is affected? Please list any relevant affected nodes or other hardware that is not accessible. If you are unable to access the cluster please state that instead.
  2. What were you working on when you noticed the outage?
  3. How were you accessing the cluster? Web Portal, SSH, VNC, etc.?

Software Requests

We are happy to install new software or new versions of existing software on Cheaha. First please check if the software you need is available as a module on the system using the command below.

module spider <software name>

If you can't find the software as a module, or the version you need is not listed, please be aware that many free and open-source softwares (FOSS) are available through Anaconda, especially genomics software. Anaconda environments are shareable and reproducible, so please consider using one if possible. You can try searching for packages at [1].

If you are unable to find the software you need please make a request by answering the following questions:

  1. What is the name of the software you need?
  2. What version of the software do you need?
  3. Where can we find the software? If you aren't sure, we may have additional questions if the name turns out to be ambiguous.
  4. Does your software require a license?
  5. What is your overall goal? Sometimes we can help you find alternatives that may better suit your needs.

We are happy to install existing paid software on Cheaha. We are also happy to set up existing licenses to work with software on Cheaha.

Project Requests

Projects are virtual spaces with controlled access for storing project-specific code and data. Projects are useful for collaborating with students, staff and faculty on a shared goal or within a lab. All projects must have an owner and should be related to a legitimate research need.

The intended project owner should send requests relating to projects. If another user sends an email, we will require written approval from the project owner before making changes. Please be mindful that the overall storage space is limited.

New Projects

  1. What is the purpose of the project space?
  2. What should we name the project? Short, descriptive, memorable names work best. The name will be used as the project folder name in our file system, so alphanumeric, underscore and dash characters only please.
  3. Who should have access? Please provide a list of blazerids. The intended project owner will always have access.

Access Management

  1. What is the name of the project?
  2. Who should be given access?
  3. Who should no longer have access?


  1. What is the name of the project?
  2. How much additional or total space will be needed? Please be mindful of our limited shared storage when making this request.