Instructions to access your virtual file-system boot.

Virtual file-system boots are usable only in the G-7 lab

The G-7 lab (or "Classroom") is located in the Engineering Building. You need swipe-card access to enter the lab from the lab door near the vending machines. Your card access should be already enabled. Try accessing the lab as soon as you can. If you cannot get into G-7, please let your instructor know right away, so they can request access for you again.

  1. You should have received an email from CS system administrators giving you your initial access information for your CS LDAP account with "Classroom" access (or adding such access to your existing CS LDAP account). This is required to access your virtual system.
  2. To boot into your virtual system, use any of the machines in the G7 and LNG210 Labs.
  3. First you need to Reboot the machine into your virtual system. DO NOT SIMPLY PRESS THE POWEROFF BUTTON. If the screen displays a graphics screen, press Ctrl-Alt-F1 (all at once) to switch to a text screen. Then press Ctrl-Alt-Del to reboot the machine.
  4. During the boot sequence, watch the screen till you see the Debian splash screen. When you do you'll also see a space towards the bottom with a "boot:" prompt asking you to type the name of your virtual system.
  5. Here enter the name of your virtual image "yourid" or "". This is the name of your virtual system image (which is the same as your CS LDAP Account username) -- it is NOT an account login. You will log in later.
  6. Assuming you are booted into your experimental image "yourid", you will see a graphical screen.
  7. You can't log in using root account via the graphical interface. Instead switch to text mode using Ctrl-Alt-F1 (by pressing all the keys at the same time).
  8. Log in as root. The initial root password should be located in a file called ".virtual_access" in your home directory in your regular Computer Science login account (your regular CS account which is different from the virtual system you are accessing here).
  9. If you ever need to reset this password, you can just delete this .virtual_access file and a new password will be set within 5 minutes, and placed in 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.
  10. Set yourself up a user account under a name of your choice, using the command "adduser". If you want the default setup for a new user you can just do the following: adduser type_userid_of_your_choice_here. You will be prompted for a password as well as additional info, fill the fields appropriately.
  11. It is recommended that you only do as root those things that require root access, to reduce the risk of corrupting your system if you make a mistake. In general, it is wise to log in first as a normal user, and then use the "su" command to log into root temporarily when necessary, or to use one of the Linux "virtual consoles" for a separate root login that you use just for the commands that require it. Or better yet, add your regular id to sudoers list under "/etc/sudoers" and the use the "sudo" command to execute privileged instructions. This forces you to be aware that you are doing something as root.
  12. If you are working from the normal console of the machine, you can select any of six virtual consoles using the function keys F1-F6. F1 is the initial virtual console. F7 is reserved for the X-windows display. To switch between consoles, use the Ctrl-Alt-F(N) keys combination where N = the virtual console number. For example, if you are running X-windows, you can switch over to virtual console #2 using the F2 key to log in as root and do something, then switch back to the X-windows display using F7.
  13. In case you are not able to access your virtual image, let your instructor know right away.