More detailed information:

Table of Contents:

Lab administration
Lab accounts
Changing your temporary password
Available application software
File management

Lab administration:

Questions can be emailed to: opensorc at sbs dot umass dot edu

Lab technical manager: Doug Downham (ddownham at sadri dot umass dot edu).

Lab accounts :

Guests to the lab can simply log-in using the guest userids found on the stickers on individual machines. But for regular users, accounts can be set up which, among other things, allow you to print to the lab printer (note: printing is monitored and we ask people to keep printing to a minimum. This is expensive and abuse will force us to remove the printer).

For a lab account, please email one of the lab administrators listed above to create an account for you. You will be asked for your full name, and optionally, your OIT NetID as well. Once your account has been created, you will be provided a temporary password. Please change this password immediately, or your account may be disabled.

Changing your temporary password :

From the menu bar, click System -> Preferences -> About Me -> Contact -> Change Password

Or, alternatively, enter the command line interface and type “passwd”

Software :

At home in Windows you would use...

When using Linux here...



Internet Explorer

Mozilla Firefox

Microsoft Word

OpenOffice Writer

Microsoft PowerPoint

OpenOffice Impress

Microsoft Excel

OpenOffice Calc

Microsoft Access

OpenOffice Base

Microsoft Visio

OpenOffice Draw

Microsoft Outlook

Novell Evolution

Microsoft Outlook Express

Mozilla Thunderbird

AOL Instant Messenger

Gaim Instant Messenger

Adobe Reader (PDF)

Adobe Reader (PDF)

Adobe Photoshop

GIMP Image Editor

Adobe Illustrator

Inkscape SVG

Adobe InDesign


Roxio Easy Media Creator / Nero Burning ROM


RealPlayer / Windows Media Player

RealPlayer / Mplayer / Xine / VLC / Totem

Macromedia Dreamweaver


Winamp / iTunes

Xmms / Rhythmbox

Google Picasa

gThumb Image Viewer

Statistical software:
Stata (proprietary) or R (open source)

File Management in the lab :

You should save all documents in your /home/MYUSERNAME directory, where MYUSERNAME is the loginid of your current user. Linux does not use the same directory structure as Windows, and it is actually more like Apple's OS X if you are familiar with that Operating System. There is no C:\ , D:\ , etc – but there is a / directory, which is the “top-level” of the directory tree. Everything branches off below it, and you should only be concerned with /home and /tmp, which is where you will be working with files mostly. /tmp is a temporary directory used for working with files on the local computer, but please take note that all files will be deleted from this directory if the computer is reboot, even if it crashes by accident! Now that you know this, we encourage you to use /home/MYUSERNAME/Desktop for saving all your files permanently. You may also save your files on OIT's UDrive2 online storage system. We provide a link to on your Desktop for you already. We also store a link to , your UMass email. In Linux, everything you type is case-sensitive! Please remember that “PASSWORD” is not the same as “password”, and “myfile.TXT” is not the same as “myfile.txt”!