Computer Systems Lab
Connecting & Supporting the Computer Sciences Department


The CSL currently supports the following version of Linux for general use, and can support other configurations as needed for research projects:

Ubuntu LTS

Ubuntu is a popular desktop distribution of Linux that tracks both kernel and application updates. Ubuntu is the CSL recommended desktop Linux distribution. 18.04 LTS is currently installed in the instructional labs, TA workstations, and most other Ubuntu computers in the department.

Primary users of desktop Ubuntu configurations can install software using standard Ubuntu tools, or request software by sending email to You do not have permission to upgrade versions of default software. If an Ubuntu Linux computer becomes unusable do to installation or removal of system software, the CSL will reinstall the computer with the default configuration.

CentOS 7

CentOS 7 is available on servers and special-case workstations. CentOS 6 support is being phased out, to be replaced by Ubuntu for desktops.

/nobackup and /scratch

CSL Ubuntu and CentOS configurations have a /nobackup partition available for local caching and storage.
CSL CentOS 6 configurations have a /scratch partition for the same purpose.

As signified by the name, the data in /nobackup and /scratch is not included in any system backups, and is not preserved during OS upgrades, reinstalls, workstation transfers or in the case of disk failure. Please only put data in /nobackup if you can reproduce the data or do not care if it is lost without warning.

Privileged Linux Access (sudo or ksu)