New in Fall 2012: We are now using Linux Mint on the computers in our labs. Click here for the essential information that you need to use it effectively!
The Computer Science department at Hobart and William Smith Colleges uses an operating system called Linux on most of its computers. If you take a computer science course, you will be given an account on the Linux system. You can use your account in the Math/CS computer lab in room Lansing 310. The computers in the public computer lab Gulick 208 are "dual-boot" machines that can run either Windows or Linux. The operating system can be selected when the computer is restarted. You can also access Linux from Windows or Mac OS with the VNC program, and you can use ssh to access your account from any Linux or Mac OS computer on campus. You can use SFTP to transfer files between your own computer and your account on the math/cs server. You can also consider installing Linux on your own computer.
Linux is a free operating system. Both it and most of the programs that run under it can be freely copied, without charge. There are various free programs including programs for web browsing, for for office applications such as word-processing, and for lots of other things.
When you log on to the Linux system, you will be using "Linux Mint" with the "Cinnamon Desktop." This is a fairly traditional user interface, and you should not have too much trouble finding your way around it.s Before you log on, though, it's a good idea to know how to handle the emergencies that can occur.
Your files on the computer science network are stored on AFS, a network file system that allows secure access from all the computers in public computer labs, as well as from the math/cs computer lab.