Local System Information
This page offers pointers to detail of how to use lab systems, how to get help, and so on.
Getting help and introductory documents
- Getting help: The main contact address is email@example.com. You should always send email to that address rather than to a specific member of the support team as your request can then be dealt with by the most appropriate person. Emails to that address are fed into out job-ticketing system - it is important not to reply to old tickets with new issues nor to alter the subject line in the replies you recieve back via the ticketing system. Requests sent to to that address are processed by the person currently on the help-desk. So expect to have interactions with more than one person to resolve a fault - especially if it is a specialist issue or a complex one. During term time the help-desk runs in both the mornings and afternoons (see schedule). Outside of term we aim to cover at least one of the morning or afternoon sessions each day.
- An introduction to computing facilities is an on-line copy of the booklet new users are given.
- The Frequently Asked Questions list.
- The local system administration pages A to Z list.
- Web server information including how to export personal web pages files to the WWW and restrict access to them using .htaccess files and Raven passwords.
- Information for, and about, new arrivals at the Computer Lab. A selection of information, both technical and general, for new arrivals at the Computer Laboratory. This information is intended for everyone, visitors and longer-term residents. There is also information for the host of a visitor.
- Information for people leaving the Computer Lab, or moving into the Writing up/Hot Desk area.
- Equipment allocation, replacement and support
- Choice of Operating System on Lab managed machines
- For users of Unix systems. Redhat (Fedora and CentOS) and Ubuntu Linux. General information, software installation, configuration, applications.
- For users of Microsoft Windows systems. General information, access, applications.
- For users of private Macintosh OS/X systems Local configuration and integration information.
- Applications software, including MATLAB and Unix tools.
- Printing from Unix or Windows systems.
- Mail in the Computer Laboratory gives broad coverage of the facilities available.
Communications and the network
- Request a network connection.
- The Computer Lab network. An overview of the lab networks, both physical and wireless.
- The means of access to Computer Lab Systems, and other security related issues.
- Using the secure shell ssh to connect to the Laboratory.
- The one-time password system, that allows safe connection to lab unix systems in an insecure environment.
- Information about the Time Sharing Systems.
- Information about the File server and other file spaces.
- Disc usage and quota report (requires Raven).
- Users can boot a machine if it's off.
- For users of the Publicly-accessible scanners.
- For users of the Public CD/DVD writing machines.
- Specialist services such as SPSS, Adobe CS5 running under Windows.
- Public Windows Terminal Server machines.
- Video Conferencing Facilities
- Condor is a specialized batch system for managing compute-intensive jobs. We have a local Condor Pool running on the processor bank machines. In addition large memory multi-CPU virtual machines can be made available for those with specific computational needs that are not met by Condor. To request access to those contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements.
If you spot things missing from this page and its sub-pages, please notify email@example.com.
- Sys-admin news
16 Sep 2014
5 Sep 2014
A misconfiguration in the networking kit caused an outage yesterday afternoon. This caused many Linux Xen VMs to loose access to their root filesystems, so they mounted them read-only. After rebooting some of them, one of the Xen Servers lost the ability to reboot VMs, so itself had to be rebooted, causing all its VMs to crash. Many of the filesystems were deemed “unfixable” by fsck, so fsck had to be manually run before the systems rebooted.
Please let sys-admin know of any remaining problems.
8 Aug 2014
mgk25 has just released version 1.5 of OTPW which does not need to use $HOME for the pad. This allows per-host local pads, removing the problems on NFS sec=krb5 systems. The DNS name
slogin-otpwnow points at the testing slogin server.
Any users need to generate a new pad by logging in and running
6 Aug 2014
A libc bug involving nscd may cause some Ubuntu 10.04 systems to fail in various ways. The quick fix is to run “cl-asuser service nscd stop” and “cl-update-system” to install a fixed libc. Ubuntu 10.04 is getting a bit old now, and 14.04 LTS is stable – it is straightforward to install a fresh Ubuntu 14.04 onto a Lab system while it is in use, and the reboot into the new system – email sys-admin if you would like your machine upgraded.
18 Jul 2014
The report I have received from the UIS about today’s wireless outage is slightly inconclusive. It seems that there was a malfunction of the central controller that looks after our access points, causing them to reboot and go into a default unconfigured state. They were initially rescued by moving them to another controller, but have now been put back as they should be without further problems. (more...)