Nevis Student Linux Boxes

May-2021: This page is now obsolete. There are no desktop systems presently available in any of these rooms. They became unnecessary as students and researchers adopted the custom of bringing in their own laptops.

The "student boxes" at Nevis are the ones in rooms 117, 118, and 120. Here's how these boxes have been set up:

  • When no one is logged into the boxes, they are used as part of our batch computing farm. Therefore, please do not disconnect their ethernet cables or turn them off for long periods of time. (Laptop users, this means you!)

  • To use one of these systems, just login with your Nevis account name and password. Your home directory will be mounted on the system using automount; it is not located on any student box.

  • As a consequence of the above point, you can login to any one of the student boxes and you'll see the same thing; you don't have to make sure you're sitting in front of a particular box.

  • If you don't have an account at Nevis (e.g., you're visiting for just a day or two), there's a general "guest" account available. No, the name of the account is not guest! You can ask around at Nevis for the account name and password typically given to visiting students. You can also speak with WilliamSeligman at x2823, or visit room 116.

  • For the guest account, the home directory is directly stored on the box. If you sit at and login using the guest account, you'll probably want to continue to use that particular box for the rest of your stay (e.g., to preserve your program settings).

  • If you need some transient disk space, you can save files to these boxes in their /data directories using automount; e.g.:
mkdir /a/data/eeyore/$USER cp myTemporaryFile.txt /a/data/eeyore/$USER

  • The /home directories on the student boxes are backed up, and the /data directories are not, in accordance with our standard backup policy.

  • Any files on these systems (whether in the /home or /data directories) will be automatically deleted after 10 weeks; no exceptions. Do not use these boxes for long-term storage.

  • Access to the student boxes is blocked by the Nevis firewall. For example, you cannot ssh to these boxes from outside Nevis. Again, there are no exceptions to this policy.

  • You can ask for special software to be installed on these systems, but please don't be surprised if the answer is "no." The systems are meant for guests to check their mail, run a web browser, and run standard physics software such as ROOT. For anything else, we'll have to consider ease of maintenance and system security before anything new is installed.

  • It's OK to restart one of the student boxes if you have to (e.g., if the box gets into a funny state) but please don't completely shut one down without informing a systems administrator.
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Topic revision: r3 - 2021-07-05 - WilliamSeligman
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