When you sit down at a Linux computer in the computer science lab (room Lansing 310), you will see a log-in screen with a space for you to fill in your user name. Do so, press return, and there will be a space for your password. Enter your password, and press return again.
Your user name should be the same as the user name that you use on other campus systems such as the Windows network. A password for the Linux system was assigned to you when your account was created. It is probably not the same as your Windows password. You are free to change this password, if you want, as described below. If you forget your password, you will have to ask the system administrator to assign you a new one. Contact Professor David Eck (firstname.lastname@example.org).
It might take some time -- ten or fifteen seconds -- for the desktop to appear. Be patient.
You should always log out when you are finished with a computer in the Math/CS computer lab. In Gnome, there is a "Log out" commands in the "System" menu at the top of the screen. After selecting the command, you might have to click a button to confirm your choice.
Logging in from Gulick 208
The computers in Gulick 208 are "dual-boot" machines that can run either Windows or Linux. You choose the system that you want to use when the computer first boots up. If the computer is currently running Windows, you will have to restart the computer to access Linux. At one point during the restart, there is a screen where you can choose between Windows and Linux. When this screen appears, you have 10 seconds to select Linux before the computer boots automatically into Windows. To select Linux, hit the down arrow key, then press the Enter key. It will take a few minutes for the computer to start Linux. After it does, the computer is ready to be used in exactly the same way as the computers in the CS lab that were described above.
When you are finished using Linux on one of the computers in the Colleges' open labs, you should always remember to reboot the machine into Windows. When you log out of Linux, you will have the option of selecting "Restart Computer". When you do this, the computer will reboot and automatically start Windows (so after choosing "Restart", it is safe to walk away). If you are at the Linux log-in screen, you will see a menu near the bottom that contains a command for restarting the computer.
Changing Your Password
It's easy to change your password. Just log in as usual, open a command line window (konsole), and enter the kpasswd command. (Note the spelling: kpasswd not kpassword.) You will be asked for your old password, then for the new password. Finally, you will be asked to re-type the new password to verify it. The computer will reject your password if it is shorter than 5 characters. A good password should use a mixture of letters and symbols or of upper case and lower case letters.
Logging in from Other Computers
It is possible to access Linux over the network from a computer that is running Windows. The easiest way to do this is with VNC. With VNC, you can use the computers in the CS lab remotely, and you see the same log-in screen that you would see if you were sitting in front of the computer in the lab. See the VNC page for more information.
You can also use VNC in Mac OS, but you can also consider accessing your account using ssh, as described in the next section.
When connecting from Mac OS or Linux, you can also consider connecting using the ssh command, which is a standard command on those systems.