Computer Resources

Computer Resources

Computing Support

  • General Support, Contacts, Policies & Reminders
  • ♦   General Computing Support: ece-support@ucdavis.edu
    ♦   Website Support: support-web@ece.ucdavis.edu or use our online form
    ♦   For walk-in support discussions, please initiate requests by sending an email to the appropriate support queue


    The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering supports and abides by the UC Davis Acceptable Use Policy for Computing, as well as locally developed policies regarding resource usage. As a user of campus and ECE computing resources, you are responsible for reading and understanding the Acceptable Use Policy, as well as the Electronic Communications Policy:
    ♦   UC Davis Acceptable Use Policy
    ♦   UC Davis Electronic Communications Policy
     

    This policy will be enforced by the ECE Computing Support staff. Questions may be electronically mailed to ece-support@ucdavis.edu. If your account is being used inappropriately, we will issue a warning about your use of the system or stop your job. ECE Computer Support representatives and Computer Support Assistants have the authority to require individuals to leave computer rooms and/or report persons for violating any of the above policies. Campus Police will be called in the event of refusal to comply. Disciplinary measures include loss of computer privileges, including disabling one’s computer account, and/or referral to Student Judicial Affairs for further disciplinary action. Reinstatement of an account will be granted after student meets with ECE Computer Support and agrees to comply with the Acceptable Use Policy. Be aware that system administrators may access user files as required to protect the integrity of computer systems. For further information, look at the Rights and Responsibilities section of the Davis Acceptable Use Policy for Computing.

  • General Usage Rules
  • ♦   Scheduled classes have priority over all other users.
    ♦   No food, drinks or smoking allowed in the computer rooms.
    ♦   Leave all hardware and furniture in its original place.
    ♦   Modification of hardware and software configurations in the labs is prohibited. This includes modification of the settings and configuration of printers and modification of system software.
    ♦   Abide by the account setup and printing policy.
    ♦   Do not power off the machines or physically disturb the workstations.
    ♦   No soliciting is allowed.
    ♦   No disruptive behavior allowed.
    ♦   No loud group conversations or music (you must wear headphones).
    ♦   Study groups may utilize computers as long the conversation and noise level does not disrupt the work environment of other users.
    ♦   Abusive language directed toward any staff or patron using the computer rooms is prohibited.
    ♦   Physical contact with or sexual harassment of any staff or patron using the computer rooms is prohibited.
    ♦   Appropriate dress is required (shoes and shirt required).
    ♦   No animals, except service animals, allowed in the computer rooms.
    ♦   Do not let another person use your ECE computer account.
    ♦   No displaying of obscene or lewd images or text.
    ♦   Logout before you leave.
  • Accounts
  • ♦   Eligibility -- Faculty, staff and graduate students in the department are eligible for accounts on many department machines. Other individuals, such as undergraduate students or visiting scholars, may obtain an account under the sponsorship of a department faculty member.
    ♦   Authorized Usage -- Work from your own account and do not allow anyone else to use your account.
    ♦   Expired Accounts -- ECE faculty, staff and graduate student computer accounts will expire after one quarter of inactivity or one quarter after the user leaves the department. Accounts will be checked for expiration at the beginning of the fall, winter and spring quarters. ECE undergraduate student and visitor computer accounts will expire at the end of each quarter and must be renewed by the user. This can be done by having your faculty sponsor send e-mail to support requesting the account be renewed.

  • Computer Process Limits
  • Since general purpose machines are used for many functions including mail, it is inappropriate to overload them with compute-bound tasks or to start background tasks that will add significantly to the workload.

    Applications -- Many commercial applications, such as Matlab, have restrictive licenses and may be used by no more than a specific number of users at one time. You may run no more than one copy of Matlab or any other commercial application that has a limited number of licenses at a time across department machines.

    Resource Intensive Jobs:

    ♦   No CPU-intensive processes are allowed on teaching lab workstations between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m., including weekends.
    ♦   Between the hours of 11 p.m. and 8 a.m., a maximum of one CPU intensive process per computer total for all users is allowed. Up to five CPU intensive processes per user is allowed, providing each of the processes is run on a different computer and does not cause any one computer to have more than one job running. If one job is already running on a CPU, no additional jobs may be started on that CPU.
    ♦   The user must set the scheduling priority for any such processes to the lowest possible (using “nice +19”).
    ♦   All CPU-intensive processes are subject to interruption for routine workstation maintenance. Advance warning for workstation maintenance is not provided. Users should periodically checkpoint their process data.
    ♦   Users that do not abide by these rules will be notified via e-mail that they are not in compliance, and asked to comply. The user’s faculty research advisor will also be notified. Continued non-compliance will result in loss of teaching lab workstation privileges.

    Long Jobs -- If you anticipate running a long job, send intermediate results to a file. This periodic checkpointing will protect you in case of system failure.

  • Daemons and Unattended Port Listeners
  • Unauthorized daemons and unattended port listeners are not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to, IRC bots, IRC servers, muds, ftp and web servers.
  • File Storage
  • ♦   Using /tmp2 and /free -- Files may temporarily be stored in the system's /tmp2 and /free directories. You should remove them as soon as you can. Both directories are not backed up. Files will automatically be removed upon a system reboot or when then they have not been accessed for one week.
    ♦   File Storage -- Do not store non-academic files. If you have a need for more file space please consider using the /tmp2 or /free directories.

  • Printing
  • You will need your AggieCard to print documents.  Print quotas have been removed.
  • Workstation Lab Policies/Screen Locking
  • ♦   Using Screen Lock Utilities -- Do not xlock your workstation for more than fifteen minutes. If you leave a workstation unattended for more than fifteen minutes, the site attendants and TAs have been authorized to unlock the screen, and exit your session.
    ♦   Scheduled Use of Workstation Labs -- Classes can be assigned exclusive access times for workstations in these labs. If you are using a workstation during scheduled instructional use hours, you may be asked to leave.
    ♦   Hardware Problems -- If a workstation is not working properly, notify the programmers via electronic mail to ‘support’. Do not physically disturb the workstations. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: do not cycle the power, do not unplug or move the mouse and do not unplug any cables. This includes research lab workstations maintained by ECE computing support.

Computer Labs

  • Facility & Equipment Descriptions
  • ♦   Kemper 2107/Computer Engineering Teaching Lab -- Kemper 2107 houses 35 workstations in support of the computer engineering curriculum at the undergrad level. All lab workstations are Dell Precision Optiplex 5050 with Intel Core i7-6700 processors 8M Cache and 3.40GHz CPU and 32 GB RAM attached to 24″ LCD displays running the RedHat Enterprise Linux 7 (64-bit) operating system. Each workstation has an NVIDIA Quadro K620 with 2GB of DDR3 GPU memory.  The computer support group works to maintain all Unix instructional software on these workstations. Room 2107 also houses a printer/copier/scanner unit. The Linux workstations in this room are remotely accessible (see services and resources/remote connection tutorial below).
    ♦   Kemper 2110/Undergraduate Lab (Reserved Labs Only) -- Kemper 2110 has 21 work areas with a computer workstation & test equipment in support of undergraduate and graduate laboratory instruction. All workstations are Dell Optiplex 5050 with Intel Core i7-6700 processors 8M Cache and 3.40GHz CPU and 16GB RAM connected to 24″ LCD displays. The workstations are running Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit) operating system and offer only software requested for the courses that reserve this room. ECE course enrollment is required for authentication into computer workstations. Each work area also includes one HP 54600B oscilloscope, one HP 6237B triple output power supply and one HP 3312A function generator. Room 2110 also houses a printer/copier/scanner unit.
    ♦   Kemper 2112/Undergraduate Lab (Reserved Labs Only) -- Kemper 2112 houses 12 work areas with a computer workstation which include test equipment in support of undergraduate and graduate laboratory instruction. All workstations are Dell Optiplex 5050 with Intel Core i7-6700 processors 8M Cache and 3.40GHz CPU and 16GB RAM connected to 24″ LCD displays. All workstations run the Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit) operating system and offer only software requested for the courses that reserve this room. Physical access is restricted & a TA or instructor must be present when students are working in this lab except in special circumstances & with prior approval from the computer support group supervisor. ECE course enrollment is required for authentication into computer workstations.  Ten of the work areas also have one HP 54600B oscilloscope, one HP E3630A triple output DC power supply, one HP 33120A function/arbitrary waveform generator, and one HP 34401A multimeter.
    ♦   Kemper 2147/Undergraduate Lab (Reserved Labs Only) -- Kemper 2147 has eleven 11 workstations including computers and laboratory equipment in support of undergraduate and graduate-level laboratory instruction.All workstations are Dell Optiplex 5050 with Intel Core i7-6700 processors 8M Cache and 3.40GHz CPU and 16GB RAM connected to 24″ LCD displays. All workstations run 64-bit Microsoft Windows 10 operating system and offer software requested for courses that reserve this room. Physical access is restricted to key access or prior approval. ECE course enrollment is required for authentication into computer workstations. All work areas have one TDS 1001B oscilloscope, one GPC-1850D power supply and one BK Precision 4040A function generator.
    ♦   Kemper 2155/Undergraduate Lab (Reserved Labs Only) -- Kemper 2155 has 10 workstations, including computers and laboratory equipment in support of undergraduate and graduate-level laboratory instruction. All workstations are Dell Optiplex 5050 with Intel Core i7-6700 processors 8M Cache and 3.40GHz CPU and 16GB RAM connected to 24″ LCD displays. All workstations run 64-bit Microsoft Windows 10 operating system and offer software requested for courses that reserve this room. Physical access is restricted to key access or prior approval. ECE course enrollment is required for authentication into computer workstations. All workstations have one HP E3630A power supply, one HP 8112A pulse generator, one HP 56410B oscilloscope, one Fluke 45 multimeter, and one HP 33120A function generator. Additional various laboratory equipment including magnifying glasses and soldering stations lay across a large workbench spanning the width of 2155.
    ♦   Kemper 2157/2161/Undergraduate Lab (Reserved Labs Only) -- Kemper 2157/2161 has 22 workstations, including computers and laboratory equipment in support of undergraduate and graduate-level laboratory instruction spread across both rooms. All workstations are Dell Optiplex 5050 with Intel Core i7-6700 processors 8M Cache and 3.40GHz CPU and 16GB RAM connected to 24″ LCD displays. All workstations run 64-bit Microsoft Windows 10 operating system and offer software requested for courses that reserve this room. Physical access is restricted to key access or prior approval. ECE course enrollment is required for authentication into computer workstations.

Services and Resources

  • Request Network Access
  • If you are affiliated with the ECE department and would like access to the wired or wireless network, please complete the Network Access Request form. You will be asked to agree to the usage and security policies set forth by the University and the ECE department. Please read the policies below before completing the Network Access Request form:

    ♦   ECE department acceptable computer usage policy (please see above under Computing Support/General Support)
    ♦   UC Davis Cyber-Safety Program (UC Davis Policy & Procedure Manual Section 310-22)

    Before registering a system you must ensure it meets the UC Davis Cyber-Safety Level 1 practices as described in the "UC Davis Cyber-Safety Program: Standards, Information and Tools" link above. You also agree to take full responsibility for the security of the system you are registering. Therefore, you should only register systems for which you are the primary administrator. Registered systems that do not meet security standards may have their network access revoked at any time.

  • Your Account 
  • The standard environment initially given to users and maintained by the support staff includes tcsh as the command shell, and a standard setup for graphical interfaces on the Linux workstations. Experienced users can change or customize these environments to suit their preferences using the information included here
  • Snapshot File Recovery
  • Approximately four times per 24 hour period, the NetApp home directory server will look at files that may have been changed or modified since the last scheduled time. If a file has been changed or modified, a copy of it is created and placed in a special directory called “.snapshot”. These files are not held for very long, and it can often be as short as two days. The benefit is that if you inadvertently delete a file or if you quickly realize that you really need a file that you recently deleted, you can get it back. While most people’s accounts are hosted on the NetApp, there are a few accounts that exist on other servers in ECE.

    How can I use the Snapshots to restore my data?
    ♦   Connect to an ECE Unix host.
    ♦   Use the “cd” command to navigate to the .snapshot directory that contains the backed up files. Note that this is a hidden directory and normally does not show up in a typical directory listing. The period in front of the snapshot name is important.
    Example: cd .snapshot
    ♦   If you view the contents of the .snapshot directory using ls, you will see several subdirectories:
    hourly.0/ hourly.2/ hourly.4/ nightly.0/
    hourly.1/ hourly.3/ hourly.5/ nightly.1/

    ♦   As the .snapshot names imply, snapshots are taken hourly and nightly. The “hourly.0” snapshot is the most recent snapshot, “hourly.1” is from the snapshot preceding “hourly.0” and so forth. The “nightly.0” snapshot reflects the state of your data as of the previous night.
    Cd to the directory from which you would like to restore your data from.
    Example: cd hourly.0
    Use the “ls -la” command to see the contents of the directory. The files are as they were when the .snapshot was made.
    Example:
    cd hourly.0
    ls -la
    -rw------- 1 joebloe eceugrad 954512 Dec 12 09:12 example.txt
    -rw------- 1 joebloe eceugrad 758600 Dec 11 08:54 mailJunk

    ♦   Use the cp command to copy individual files from the .snapshot directory to the directory at which you would like the files to be placed. You will need to specify the file name and the target directory path.
    Example (assuming you are in in a .snapshot directory): cp example.txt ~username/labs/
    In the example we are copying example.htm from the .snapshot directory to the “labs” directory inside your home directory. make sure to replace “username” with your ECE login name.
    ♦   NOTE: You cannot copy a file from the .snapshot directory to the target directory if the a file with the same name exists in the target directory. You will need to first rename or delete the file in the target directory before copying the file over.
    You can also use the cp -r command to copy whole directories recursively from the .snapshot directories to the target directory.
    Example (assuming you are in in a .snapshot dir): cp -r labs/ ~username/
    ♦   Why do I get the error “cp: ‘filename’ and ‘/path/to/filename’ are the same file”?
    Copying a file from the .snapshot directory to the target location will fail if there is a file in the target directory that has the same name as the file you are copying over. You will need to first rename or delete the file in the target directory before copying the file over.

  • Remote Connection Tutorial 
  • See tips and information for remote connections.
  • Host Names
  • Undergraduate Instructional Labs
    Note: The software you wish to use may not be available on a system in a different lab room than the room(s) assigned to your course.
    ♦   To connect to a grouped machine in 2107 use: snake.ece.ucdavis.edu

    Faculty
    Faculty have a hostname aliased to a linux system which they can connect to.
    ♦   To connect to the faculty machine use: fac-linux.ece.ucdavis.edu
    Note: this is not grouped. If you receive a host key mismatch when connecting, please send an email to ece-support@ucdavis.edu.
  • Software
  • Here is a partial list of the software for RedHat Linux with links to documentation on how to get started with, use, and solve problems related to the various software packages. NOTE: The ECE Undergraduate Instructional Computing Lab (2107 Kemper Hall) is running RHEL7 64-bit. Should you have any problems that the documentation does not answer, or believe a problem exists with the software or its installation, mail a note to ece-support@ucdavis.edu and an ECE computer support staff member will help you with your question or problem.

    ♦   UC Davis LIcensed Software for Self-Maintained Workstations -- Many commonly-used software applications are available for free or at a significant discount through the MyUCDavis Software website. This is the best place to start if you’re looking for something as most applications are available for immediate download.
    ♦   ECE Departmental Purchases -- The ECE department is a member of the campus MCCA (Microsoft Consolidated Campus Agreement) contract. If you wish to obtain Microsoft application titles for your university-owned system, please contact ece-support@ucdavis.edu.
    ♦   Software House International (SHI) -- SHI is a designated software reseller for the UC system-wide Adobe, FileMaker, McAfee, Microsoft and Symantec software agreements.
    ♦   UC Davis Bookstore -- The bookstore also has software available for purchase.
    ♦   DreamSpark -- The ECE department is a member of the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance. Through this program ECE students, faculty and staff can obtain a license for many Microsoft products for their personal workstation. To access your account, use your official campus email address as your user name and perform the “Sign In” ⇒ ”Forgot Password” feature of the website to set your password for the first time. All college faculty, students and staff have been preloaded into the system. Access DreamSpark.

  • ECE Printers
  • Print quotas are not used in the ECE instructional computing facility. 

    ♦   Undergraduate Instructional Lab 2107 Kemper -- Canon ImageRunner 4025/Black and White/Spooled by https://campusprinting.ucdavis.edu
    ♦   Undergraduate Instructional Lab 2110 Kemper -- Canon ImageRunner 4225/Black and White/Spooled by https://campusprinting.ucdavis.edu
    ♦   Graduate Study Room 1107 Kemper
  • SSHFS
  • Instead of using ssh or sftp to access the files in your home directory, you can mount your home directory as a drive or volume over an ssh connection. While this method is relatively stable and straight-forward on Linux systems, it should be noted that getting this to work on Mac and Windows systems can be tricky. Use these tutorials to get started.

  • Configuring the 'Soft' Environment
  • Soft is a system for generating path and other shell variables based on user selected software packages. The soft system generates only those paths and variables that are required, which is important due to the large number of packages available on the ECE system. Specifying all paths would lead to “ridiculously long path” shell error messages. Furthermore, soft facilitates system maintenance by organizing packages according to architecture/operating system.

    A set of architecture/operating system specific databases describes the software packages that are available for each architecture/operating system. For each package, a database gives the package’s executables’ path, and specifies the required shell variables and their definitions. The support staff updates these databases as new softwares are installed.

    The set of software packages selected by the user is kept in a file called .software under his home directory. Generally, a user should not edit .software directly. Instead, he should run the appropriate setup script in /usr/local/setup. The setup script adds the name of the package to .software.

    On the start of a new shell, soft consults the appropriate database and generates the paths and shell variables needed for each package in .software. The result is a shell script that is then source’d (read in) by the shell. Because an ECE account may span multiple machine architectures and operating systems, the script generated by soft is architecture/operating system specific. Soft generates a new script only when the .software file or the database has changed since the last time soft has run. If there are no changes, the old script is sourced, saving computer time.

FAQs

  • Printing
  • How do I print in the Linux lab?
    Open your browser and go to:  https://campusprinting.ucdavis.edu
    Select: Campus Black and White Printers
    Upload your file or insert your URL.
    Type in your KerberosID  in the Username field.
    Slide your AggieCard into the card reader to retrieve printout.

    I went to File –> Print.  Where is my document?
    Please use the method above to print documents from the Linux lab.

    What is my printing quota?
    Print quotas in the ECE instructional computing labs have been removed.

    How much does it cost to print?
    Each page printed is $0.10/page.  A duplex page will cost $0.20.

    Why are you now charging for prints?
    As operational costs rise, to encourage responsible printing and reduce costs/waste, the ECE Department has implemented a new printing system in the ECE instructional computing labs. Students will be billed by campus for their usage at the end of each quarter as a student fee.

    Can I print duplex in the computer labs?
    At this time, using https://campusprinting.ucdavis.edu does not appear to offer the duplex option.

    Can I use my laptop to print to the printer units in the ECE instructional computer labs?
    Yes.  You can print documents/webpages from your laptop at https://campusprinting.ucdavis.edu

    Do you have a scanner?
    Yes.  The printer devices in the ECE instructional computer labs have scanning capabilities.  You can scan documents and have the PDF emailed to you.  The cost is free.  You will need to register your email address on the printer device’s address book.

    Do you have a copier?
    Yes.  The printer is also a copier.  You will need to use your AggieCard to initiate the copy mode.  Each page copied is $0.10.

  • Wireless
  • Can I add my laptop to the wireless network?
    Yes, use the campus wireless network: Eduroam.

    Can I add my mobile device to the wireless network?
    Yes, use the campus wireless network: Eduroam.

  • ECE Account
  • My account doesn’t work in 2110 or 2112 Kemper Hall.
    Accounts for our Windows labs are created only for specific courses, e.g. EEC180A/B accounts are created for 2110 Kemper.

    My account doesn’t work in 2107 Kemper Hall.
    If you are enrolled in an ECE, then an ECE computing account was created for you prior to the start of the academic quarter. Please use your UCD kerberos login credentials.  If you are still unable to login, and you believe that your account is active, please visit the ECE computer support office, 2156 Kemper Hall, with your photo ID.

  • Miscellaneous 
  • How can I get Microsoft Office?
    The low-cost option to obtain MS Office as a student is to purchase the application from Software House International. https://www.ece.ucdavis.edu/support/software/self/

    Can I borrow your stapler?
    A stapler is provided for your use in 2107 Kemper Hall

    Firefox says I already have an open session. Can you help?
    You will need to delete two files. The two commands are below:

    cd ~/.mozilla/firefox/*.default
    rm -rf .parentlock lock


    I appear to be exceeding my disk quota.  How can I fix this?
    Student accounts have a 1.0GB disk quota.  The Firefox cache can often be purged to reduce disk usage.  The command below will remove the Firefox cache directory:

    cd ~
    rm -rf .cache