Department of Engineering

IT Services

Access to CUED Computing Facilities from Colleges

Contents

1 - Introduction

This document is intended to provide those responsible for college computing with a specification of a college computing environment which will allow members of the Department, including engineering students, to access departmental facilities from college. It is expected that the readership will typically be Engineering Fellows, College Computer Officers and others responsible for college computing. Parts of this document and another more user-oriented one may also be useful to people wanting the access the Department's systems from college and elsewhere.

All the facilities described follow the University guidelines drawn up to ensure compatibility between departmental and college computing. The Department, by having where possible a server-based computing system, has tried to ensure that little if any specialised software is required by colleges to support its requirements. In each case, all that is needed is some mechanism for client computers in the college to access a service provided by the Department. The simplest and probably most widely known is conventional character based remote login of the style provided by ssh/slogin. Other services include: the Department's Worldwide Web server; file transfer using scp/sftp; and X Windows, which provides access to the full environment used for teaching in the Department.

If you need any additional assistance accessing Engineering Department systems after reading this page and the user-oriented one, please contact our Computer Operators (operators) in the first instance; they will either be able to help directly or to pass the problem on to one of the Department's Computer Officers.

The following sections describe the factors which affect the range of services which can be accessed from a college.

2 - Principal Services Available

This section outlines some of the services that may be accessed over University Data Network. The limiting factor in terms of which services can be accessed is the software available on the computers in college. It is assumed that in general these will be PCs and Macs. Most Unix systems (including PCs running Linux) will have suitable software for all the following applications as part of their standard setup.

2.1 - Character Based Login

This is the most basic form of access which can be provided on a networked computer. Any IP software installed on a PC or Mac should provide this via a ssh/slogin client. Linux PCs and Macs have this as standard, the putty suite is a good implementation for Windows.

2.2 - File Transfer

File transfer using scp/sftp is also a basic service provided by default on Macs and Linux and by putty or WinSCP on Windows.

2.3 - X windows

If only one form of access to the Department's systems is to be provided, this is by far the most useful. X server software running on a PC or Mac can provide the same environment as that on the terminals in the DPO. It should be set up to initiate a login session to one of our external access servers (gate.eng.cam.ac.uk). From here users can login using slogin to one of the DPO cluster servers (tw100 - tw600) and any of the applications which can be run on the terminals in the DPO in Linux mode can then be run in an identical fashion in college.

Linux and Macs have X server software as standard; there are a number of X server products available for PCs. Ideally one wants PC hardware and X server software which supports a resolution of at least 1024x768 pixels with 8 bits per pixel. A further useful feature, which not all PC products support, is for the X Server to be able to access remotely served fonts. Whilst most applications will run adequately with the fonts supplied with a server, a few require special fonts which can only easily be obtained over the network from the font servers in the Department. Amongst the X servers for Windows of which we have experience are: Xming (free); and X-Win32 (commercial but bulk deals can be obtained). Some further info on setup etc can be found on our Windows help page.

2.3 - World-Wide Web

The Engineering server contains most of our published material, e.g. (syllabus information, research information, directories of people, etc). Additionally there are a number of teaching and administrative applications available.

3 - Other Useful References

The following is some of the information provided to Engineering Department users which may have direct relevance to College Computing: