The Linux Operating SystemThe majority of the computers in the department run the Linux operating system. Linux, a Unix-like operating system, is a secure multi-user, multi-tasking system that is ideally suited for large networks. While in the past Unix was known for its arcane commandline interface, much like the old MSDOS operating system, it has matured to the point of providing a mature Graphical User Interface (GUI) that allows for greater ease of use and more complex programs. There are several different interfaces available, but the most popular are KDE and Gnome (our default). Today, there are open source alternatives for virtually all major software packages that are typically used on other operating systems such as Mac OSX and Windows. Please contact email@example.com for assistance in finding the right software to do your work.
Public Computing ResourcesThe Mathematics Department provides computer labs for users with math accounts. No NetID Login access is provided. There are three main computer labs in the Physics building. With the exception of room 102, these labs are available whenever a class is not meeting in them. Room 102 has no classes but is only unlocked between 8AM and 5PM Monday - Friday. All lab machines currently have Quad Core Intel i5 CPUs running at 2.8Ghz, 4GB of RAM, and 24" LCD Monitors with a reesolution of 1920x1080.
Grid Compute ClusterWe have a cluster of machines running Sun's Grid Engine software to manage jobs. The machine grid1.math.duke.edu through grid16.math.duke.eduare available for running long computational jobs, but it is preferable to submit these jobs through the Sun Grid Engine (SGE) interface on grid.math.duke.edu so that resources are utilized with maximum efficiency. Read the documentation for submitting and monitoring jobs at http://www.math.duke.edu/computing/sge_howto.html. All grid machines currently have Quad Core Intel i5 CPUs running at 3.3Ghz and 8GB of RAM.
Desktop ComputingThe department currently provides Linux Workstations for faculty, staff, and postdocs on their office desks. Computers for graduate students will be provided, upon request, if they are available, however there is no guarantee. The computers will be managed and maintained by department IT staff and should all be identitically configured.
Centralized StorageThe department provides centralized home directories for all systems with 20GB quotas per user. Snapshots of the filesystem are made regularly to permit easy file restoration and backup are made nightly. In addition, a global directory, /gtmp, is available for storing large temporary data for use on multiple systems and is commonly used in conjunction with the Grid Compute Cluster. Local disk storage is also available on all systems in two directories, /xtmp which is backed up nightly, and /ytmp which is not backed up. Local storage is only accessible from the machine on which is resides.
BackupsUnix home directories and mail are backed up nightly. Daily archives are kept for 2 months, Monthly Archives for 6 months, and Yearly Archives are permanent. Note that backups are only done once a day at approximately 1:30 AM, so if you lose a file at 12:30 AM, you'll have to take the previous day's backup. To request the restoration of a file, please send the name of the file (with complete path) and the date from which you would like it restored to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will notify you when the files are restored.
PrintingThe mathematics department provides 4 printers for public use. All public printers are duplex capable, meaning they can print on both sides of the paper. To use the duplex feature, append a 'd' to the printer name. For example, if lw0 is the name of the printer, lw0d is the name of the printer to print on both sides of the page. The public printers are :
Scanning from the Photo CopierThe simplest way to scan documents into your account is via the photo copier. This process is very quick and simple, but will only produce greyscale scans, no color. Full instructions are available in the copy room and here as well.
Brother 9045 Network Attached ScannerThere is a Hewlett Packard Scanjet II color scanner attached to the Windows XP machine in Room 136. This scanner is capable of converting full color images from paper, photos, or books, into computer images that can be used on web pages. Instructions on using the scanner are available here.
Duplex PrintersThe HP Laserjet 4250 Duplex Printer is the main departmental printer. It is capable of 25 pages per minutes and of printing jobs on both sides of the paper. Please try to use the duplex feature whenever possible to save paper. On average, this printer will produce 12000-14000 pages per month, several of which go straight to the recycle bin under the printer. The duplex option was purchased to provide a mechanism to save paper by printing on both sides. This printer actually has two separate name. Printing to lw0 will print a single sided job while printing to lw0d will print a double sided job.