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School of Physics and Astronomy – computing
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Unix teaching machines (brutha)

This is distinct from the support for Windows teaching machines.

At present (September 2019) there is one server machine, brutha, and a lab of Linux machines in room 220a.

Brutha is a CentOS 7 box, which is intended to be beefy enough to support multiple SSH logins from a class of undergraduates. The 220a machines are also CentOS.

Each of these machines can be logged in to using your single signon ID.

Norman Gray manages this machine. If you are a lecturer for a class using this machine, it may be useful to give you some privileged access to the machine – talk to Norman if so.

Connecting to brutha §

The machine is intended to be accessible from off-campus.

You can log in to the machine via ssh. See that page for software recommendations.

Alternatively, you can connect to the machine, getting a virtual desktop, using x2go. This is one of the applications which uses the NX protocol. Note, however, that the x2go server on this machine is compatible only with the x2go client application, and will not work with the OpenNX client.

To log in using x2go, create a new session, and select Xfce as your window manager (x2go won't work with the default KDE manager).

One of the in-principle advantages of using a virtual desktop such as x2go is that it is possible to suspend a session and come back to it later. There have been reports of people having problems with this, and with sessions freezing when one tries to re-connect. As of 2016 January, the root cause of these has not been established. If you need to leave a program running unattended, then nohup(1) is your friend (though this won't work with programs which require a graphical output). If this is causing you trouble, talk to Norman.