Working environment at computer Labs

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Working environment and teaching support

Computers at Computer labs have different work environments: Linux, Windows and MacOS. In addition, there are three laboratories with a special environment for operating systems courses.

How to use

Disk space (quota)

The disk space available for each student is common to different environments. The account that you see from a PC will be the same for both Windows and Linux. This account corresponds to the disk space you have on the PC network server. Acces from Windows is done by accessing the drive F:/ ,   from Linux, you have it available at  $HOME/dades.

Currently available space for students is:

  • 600 MB at /dades or drive F:
  • 600 MB for Windows and Linux profile (where the configuration files are stored)

Depending on the courses taken, this space may be extended at the request of lecturers since some practices require more storage space.


Software installed on computers
All operating systems have browsers installed , editors, mail and software necessary for the realization of the courses. You will find all the software installed on each OS  at software installed on computers page.

At the images of the PC it is not allowed to make any installation that requires administrator rights / root (except in special operating systems labs).
Only lecturers can request (in the period established in spring) the installation of new software.



You have all the information on the printing service page.


Linux Virtual Images

You have virtual images available that will let you work at home with the same Linux environment you have in normal labs and Operating Systems labs.
These images can be obtained by accessing the where you will find all the necessary information.
You need to install in your computer, VMWare Player software in order to run the virtual image. You can get it for free at

Explained below in more detail the different working environments:



Linux environment

 /home and /dades directory

The home directory of the Linux session is where the usual Unix configuration files are created and saved (.login, .emacs…) When you open a new session you will be in this directory and you may access the rest of your account by moving upwards in the directory tree (cd ..). Do not remove this directory or you will have problemas accessing Linux!

At /dades directory is where you have to store your practices files of each semester. A backup is performed every night and it is advisable to keep only what is necessary for the current semester.

You can check the quota available at your Racó account. If you need temporary space you can use the /tmp directory during the current session, but its contents will be cleared when you restart the PC.

Linux window manager: kde
At the current Linux version,  kde window manager is available.


 Windows environment

There are three network drives:

  • F: drive is where your data is,  where you have to save any files you want to keep. Do not store anything at the desktop. Files are stored in the Windows profile (desktop) are not conserved between semester and also are likely to be removed in the same semester, if problems are detected. Linux folder contains the files on your account when you use Linux. You can view the available quota at Racó.
  • G: drive: network software is installed.
  • I: drive: Documentation, examples and software of different courses.


 MacOS  environment

The lab that has iMacs is C6S304.
When you start an iMac, you can select the operating system you want to start with. If you choose Linux or Windows environment it will be like is described in the previous sections.
If, however, you start the MacOS environment, as saith the window that appears before you put your username, you must consider a few details:

  • You can login with the same username and password you use to enter the PC and to the Racó.
  • Do not leave anything in the HOME directory, because it is not preserved between sessions.
  • In order to store files or projects there are several options:
    • Mount the remote DADES folder ($HOME/dades from Linux  and drive F: /  from Windows):
      •  open a command window and run:
      •  $ montar_dades
      •  Asks for your password and will be mounted on $HOME/dades
    • Remote access to data via WebDav folder. Application can be done using Cyberduck
    • Use any USB storage device.


Special Operating Systems Labs

Special laboratories for Operating Systems courses are: A5S103, A5S111 and A5S112.

Servers and related infrastructure
These computers are connected to the FIB network (and the rest of the Internet) through a firewall that filters the type of access allowed.
From the PC to the Internet is enabled only http and https access.
Please note that from the outside the UPC, there are not allowed access to any service or equipment in the operating systems labs for security reasons.


Use of Operating Systems Labs
The use of these labs is restricted,  it is only for students registered at any Operating Systems course. Labs have different distributions of Linux and a specific Windows for a particular course.
When you turn on a PC, you will see different boot options. If you choose any of the "Loading" specific , you get a clean system as if it were newly installed. Any changes made by a previous user is deleted. It is the best way to set up the equipment to ensure proper functioning. If you use any of the "internal boot disk" booting,  chosen partition  keeps data. This keeps any change has been made previously on the computer.



How does the Secure Shell (SSH) works to connect to other systems?

  • The basic syntax of SSH is:

    > ssh server -l username

As you would know, the text format is different between these two systems. You can change from one format to the other with the commands dos2unix, unix2dos, unix2win and win2unix.The Linux vi editor automatically distinguishes between these two formats.

The differences are:

  • Unix uses iso-latin-1 characters and separates the lines with the CR (carriage return) character.
  • Windows also uses iso-latin-1 but it separates the lines with a NL (new line) and a CR.
  • DOS uses the cp850 characters and the line break is NL/CR.

IT Support

Let us know incidences, doubts, recommendations or topics you think you hace a lack of information or more IT resources that could be made to facilitate to follow teaching at FIB.

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