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. 14.04 LTS is currently installed in the instructional labs, TA workstations, and most other Ubuntu computers in the department. 16.04 LTS is the new default Ubuntu release for all new installs. The instructional labs and TA workstations will ugprade to 16.04 LTS during winter break 2016-17.

Primary users of desktop Ubuntu configurations can install software using standard Ubuntu tools, or request software by sending email to

Redhat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)

RHEL 6 was the default Linux distribution in the department for a long time, and is still the OS on many linux workstations. It will be phased out during 2017. RHEL 7 is not a recommended distribution for desktop use, but is available for desktops and servers as needed.

/nobackup and /scratch

CSL Ubuntu and RHEL7 configurations have a /nobackup partition available for local caching and storage.

CSL RHEL6 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.