Accessing/Using CS Department Services

CS E-Mail

CS e-mail has addresses of the form <username> Addresses using any other form (like are not managed by us and do not use these accounts.

All CS LDAP accounts have access to e-mail, either using a remote mail program (such as Mozilla Thunderbird or MUTT), or via webmail.

To setup a remote program to access our e-mail servers, use the following information (the installed versions of mutt and pine on our networks should be setup correctly for you by default):

To use webmail, go here:

You can also redirect your e-mail from here to any other account, or automatically retrieve mail from other accounts (currently only the computer center accounts) using the online forwarding and reverse-forwarding setup interfaces. These are linked from the Account Services section of the CS LDAP Account Access page on this site.

Note that by default, new accounts automatically forward their mail to the e-mail address originally used to request this account. You will have to disable this forwarding first (again, using the interface on this website) if you want to read your mail here.

Spam and E-Mail "Virus" Protection

Our anti-spam and anti-virus system blocks the vast majority of e-mails sent to our sites at this point. It has generally been good about avoiding false positives. However, should a legitmate message be sent from a site which is incorrectly setup, or has been compromised by a virus or spammer, it is likely our system may reject it. In that case, though, the sender will be notified.

If you want to forward me a message in question (either a message which clearly should have been blocked, but was not, or one which should have gotten through, but was rejected), you should save the entire message (including all headers) to a file, and attach that file to a new e-mail to, including an appropriate subject line and a description of the complaint. Do NOT forward or bounce it to me, as this will not get me the information I will need to address the problem.

CS Web Pages

CS web pages are accessed via a URL of the form<username>/. It is also possible for our web server to handle special site names for you, as several of our research groups do.

To create your CS web page, you need an account on the linux network. Then, on this account, create a public_html directory in your home directory and put your pages there. If you find a feature you need in the web server (we currently run Apache2) is not present, contact

We also run a mysql database. If your site requires a mysql account and database(s), contact to get access to this.

Note that these sites are for legal, non-commercial use only. Any major use of bandwidth must be academic in nature and supported by the department or your account may be (temporarily or permanently) disabled.


All CS LDAP accounts can access subversion repositories. If you want a repository of your own, you must have that service added to your account. If you do have this, then you already have read/write access to a repository with the same name as your account. Requests for custom repository names will not be honored. If you really do have a project which requires its own repository, you should get a new CS LDAP "Project" type account with that name, and add Subversion access to that account.


If your CS LDAP account has been granted MySQL access, you will be given a separate password for this access in the private text file ".mysql_access" in your home directory. You may delete this file if you wish, it is not required by the system, and changes to it will not affect anything. It is there only to inform you of your access password, and will be recreated (with your new password) if your access is ever removed and then restored.

Note that you can not change this password, and it is independent of your CS LDAP password itself (which you must change, and you must NOT change it to be the same as this MySQL password).

The username for MySQL access is the same as for your CS LDAP account. You have full permission to create your own databases with a name based on your username, followed by an underscore, followed by whatever you want (for example: "jsmith_wiki", for use "jsmith").

Also note that the server "" is the main mysql server, and must be used for all db writes. However, the web servers ("localhost" in all web scripts) all mirror this data in a read-only local copy - so for read-only components, connecting to localhost instead should be faster and more stable in performance.


For most linux network machines, there is no printing support, as we do not have a public printer. However, if you are in a lab which has a printer, the printer in that room is the default.

Note that if you are printing via XPrint (like in Mozilla or derivatives), it is your X-server that defines the printers, not the client (eg: if you are sitting in R-311E and printing on rommel, it will still come out in R-311E by default). This is not the case for command-line lpr and any other app that does not use xprint.

The linux network also has the printers N2, Copier, and Pub for the printer in N2, the Copier and the Publications room (in addition to being able to print to R311 and R311E). The default for all the general linux network machines is the publications room printer - (the faculty linux network machines reflect individual default preferences).

The old print quota system as been removed in favor of the honor system (and logs!). Note that all printing is logged, and abuses will not be looked kindly upon.

Also note that I am not responsible for paper nor toner. If it's out of paper or low on toner, don't bug me about it. If it has another problem, then e-mail me at as usual.

Shared Filespace

This is only available on the Linux network, as the other networks (Solaris) and individual machines are considered less secure.

On any of these machines, you can, for example, cd to the a directory in the form of /remote/<network>/<username> to access the files from your account on another network. For example, on the linux network, I could access my current solaris network files in /remote/solaris/stea.

Note that this external access is read-only. For example, if you want to copy a file from your linux network account to your solaris network account, you must do it from a solaris network machine.


The backups for all networks are available in /backup/<username> on the Linux network. In there you will find directories for each of the backups that are available for your account, sorted in subdirectories by network, then date. You may also be able to access another account's files that were readable to you at the time, in the same way. You can recover or reference these old files at your convenience.

These backups are, of course, read-only. If you find something there that needs to be removed, such as sensitive or private data that was accidentally readable to others, let me know and I can re-permission or remove them.

Backups are generally done every morning (though not always, these are not considered critical). These daily backups are usually kept for at least 2 weeks. Backups done Sunday morning (which are considered critical and are rarely skipped) are kept forever.

Certain directory names are excluded from these backups (names including "cache", "tmp", "temp" "trash", "mp3" or "music"). If you want to be sure an item is being backed up, avoid using names like this and check the daily backups to be sure the files you want archived are showing up.

Certain systems are backed up as well, but these backups are not publically available. Contact if you need to recover data from one of these backups.


All shared department machines have GCC installed and configured. The default version will always be the version the current kernel was compiled with, but other versions may be present (as, for example, gcc-2.96 or gcc-3.3) if needed.

Virtual File-System Boots

To use a virtual system, you will also need CS LDAP account with Classroom access. Details of which machines can be used by classroom accounts are on the Networks Page. Machines listed under the headings "Local-Use-Only Classroom Machines" can only be accessed when physically present within the G-7 lab. Machines listed under "Remote-Use-Only Classroom Machines" can used for remote login from off-campus sites.

If your CS LDAP account has been granted a virtual system for use in our classroom (used by certain courses for kernel work), you will be given a separate initial password for root access to that virtual system in the private text file ".virtual_access" in your home directory. If you ever need to reset this password, you can just delete this file and a new password will be set and placed this file again.

Note that you can (and should!) change this password in your virtual system normally (with the "passwd" command), and that will NOT change the password shown in this .virtual_access file. Do not delete this file, however, unless you want your password to be reset.


Matlab (a widely-used proprietary math processing system) is available on the linux network. If you need to use it for a project, you will need an account with access to that network, and must have /opt/bin in your execution path (it is not included by default).

Octave (a free alternative to matlab with a great degree of compatibility with it) is also installed on the linux network, in the standard binary path.


Cadence (a widely-used legacy CAD system) is available on the linux network. If you need to use it for a project, you will need an account with access to that network.

Something Else?

If you need access to another service that is not listed here and doesn't seem to be available to your account, send e-mail to asking for assistance.