CS155: Introduction to Unix

Fall 2017


Connecting to C.S. Department Computers

What’s my username and password?

You have a unique “username”, or “login name”, which identifies you to the computer. You don’t get to make one up—somebody created one for you. It’s the same as your eID.

Your default password is your CSU ID - a nine-digit number starting with 8, with no dashes or other punctuation. You should change the default password after you login the first time. Once you log in, you can change your password using the passwd command. Open a terminal window, then change your password like this:


If you’ve taken a Computer Science class recently, you may still have a login left over from that class. If so, your password will still be whatever it was from that class. If you’ve forgotten your password, let me know, and we’ll get it reset to your CSU ID.

When you log in, both the username and the password have to be right. If you get the username wrong, it doesn’t tell you “bad username”—it still asks you for a password. Honest! This is a security thing, so a bad guy can’t easily find out what usernames are valid.

How do I use the computers in the Linux Lab?

The Linux Lab is located on the first floor of the Computer Science building. It’s a room full of computers — you can use any of them. Your files are available on all of the CS Department computers at once. You don’t need to use the same computer every time. You need your RamCard keycard to get into this room. Let me know if your RamCard does not give you access so we can correct that.

To login to a computer in the Linux Lab:

  • Walk up to an unused computer, and wiggle the mouse.
  • In the upper-right corner a drop-down menu has a list of sixteen or so window managers, starting with “Cinnamon”, and ending with “Xfce session”. Select “Xfce session”.
  • In the box in the center, click on “Enter your username”.
  • Type your username, all small letters, followed by the enter key.
  • Type your password, followed by the enter key.
  • If a box appears that says “Welcome to the first start of the panel”, select “use default config”.
  • You should be logged in, with your name in the upper-right corner.

To log out from a computer when you are done:

  • Click on your name in the upper-right corner.
  • Click on “Log Out”.
  • A box will appear in the center of screen. Click on “Log Out” again.

To create a shell (terminal) window so you can enter Linux commands:

  • Click the terminal icon (a black box with $_ in it) in the panel at the bottom of the screen or use the Application Menu in the upper-left corner.

To create a browser window:

  • Click the globe icon icon in the panel at the bottom of the screen or use the Application Menu in the upper-left corner.

To get rid of a window:

  • Type exit or click the × in the upper-right corner of the window.

If you have trouble using one of the computers in the lab you can get some help from the TAs that staff the lab during normal hours M-F.

Connecting from your personal computer:

You may connect to one of the CS Department Linux computers from your home computer, and do your work from home. However, it is your responsibility to get your homework done. If your internet connection fails, or if your home computer breaks, that’s your problem—you have to visit the Linux Lab in the Computer Science building to complete your assignment, as described above.

You must do your homework on one of the Linux Lab computers. Don’t pick the first computer in the list, because everybody is going to pick that one. Pick one whose name has some meaning to you.

When you refer to a computer from that list, you must use its full name. For example, if the computer’s name is salem, you must refer to it as salem.cs.colostate.edu.

To create a terminal window on your personal computer that is connected to one of the computers in the Linux Lab:

Modified: 2017-08-03T15:45

User: Guest

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