Linux Lab

Linux Lab (LNG 103) 

The Linux Lab is located in Library North Ground room 103 (LNG 103).

When Linux Lab Login Fails

1. If you have not registered your PODS userid/password before (this is pretty unlikely unless you are a brand new transfer student), go to and click on the "Activate Password" link. Wait at least 10 minutes, and then try logging on to one of the Linux PODS machines again. The password database is rebuild "On the 0's" ... :00, :10, :20, :30, :40, :50. It takes thirty to ninety seconds to rebuild.

2. If you have been using your PODS account on Windows or Mac machines, log on a Windows or Mac machine, open a Web Browser, and clear your browser cache. With different browsers and browser versions these will differ as well. Google it!

  • Chrome: if you click on the three-dash tools icon, go to "More tools"/"Clear Browsing Data".
  • Firefox: Find the three horizontal parallel bars to the right. Older versions of Firefox will have a Preferences Icon before ... Click Privacy, then clear your recent history. Next select Time range to clear: drop-down menu, select the desired range... To clear your entire cache, select Everything. Finally select Details, Choose which elements of the history to clear. To clear your entire cache, select all items.
  • SeaMonkey: Click Edit on the File menu then click Preferences. In the dialog box that appears find Advanced in the left panel, click that and select Cache. New entries will appear in the right panel, click the Clear Cache button.
  • That should free up significant space and may enable your Linux log on to work.The quota that windows indicates you have is not accurate.

3. If you have been using your PODS account on Windows or Mac machines, and have accumulated some big files (like MATLAB files), log on to windows and delete those files (or move them to a thumb drive if you want to save them.) Your Google Drive is another good place to save files. Then try logging on to the Linux PODs account again.

4. Try resetting your password at Once you do so, wait at least 10 minutes... the UNIX password database is updated every 10 minutes... then try to log on to the Linux PODS account again. 

5. If all else fails, send an e-mail to Craig Houck ( or call him: 777-6827. He will need your PODS userid and password to figure out what has happened, He should be able to fix the problem. Many thanks to Tom Bartenstein who created 95% of the content.


There is more than one way to logout, given the desktop you are running.

Look for a sprocket icon and click on it.

Look for a green running man icon and click on it.

The application menu will usually have a log out selection.

Over Quota Effects

1. If you are over quota you can't login via a Linux machine. A screen with white text on black will appear too quickly to read and the login screen will reappear. This will also happen if you previously selected a desktop that is no working or has been removed.

2. If you are close to quota you can login but starting some programs will put you over quota and the program will lock. Watch out for these in particular, but others will lock as well:

  • Netbeans
  • Eclipse

To Check your current quota:

  • Open a terminal (the little monitor icon on the top bar/panel.
  • ssh
  • Login.
  • You quota stats will appear when you login.
  • Check anytime by typing quota -v
  • Usage is the space used; Quota is what your max space is.
  • The difference is what you have left.

Program Hang Ups

1. Use Force Quit (if available) to stop the hung program from your desktop

2. Open a terminal (the little monitor icon on the top bar/panel).

  • ps -ef |grep <YOUR USER ID> | more
  • Look for the name of the application that is hung.
  • EG ...

      ps -ef | grep student3
      student3    1950   1948   0   08:22 ?     00:00:00


    kill -9 1950 1948

X-Windows Usage

1. On Linux pod machine.

  • Open terminal window (you will be in your Bingsuns account).
  • ssh -X #You must use SSH

2. In Bingsuns Account.

  • Run the X-application.
  • When finished quit the application but what ever means it provides.
  • logout Ctrl-d

    X WIndows is an architecture independent, graphical windowing system which forms the basis of a graphical user interface (GUI). Xorg is the public, open-source implementation of the X Window System (X11). 

Saving Files

1. Notice that opening a terminal window puts you into your Bingsuns account AKA H-Drive.
Save to this account.

2. Saving should be disabled to the local HDD, but like the Windows PC's, the local HDD will be deleted at logoout.

3. Linux lab machines are now hotpluggable!

  • Most, but not all, USB devices will work with Linux.
  • Use the USB port on the front of the machine that is under the light grey plastic flap.
  • Be sure to stop, eject or unmount the device before removing it.


1. To print from a webpage Firefox will likely work the best.
2. Open Office will print documents, spreadsheets, etc.
3. For text files GEdit should be used. (Usually labled as "Text Editor")
Applications >>Debian Menu >>Apps >>Editors >>GEdit

For detailed information about printing see Linux Printing at BU - a Primer -update link.


For detailed information about getting your Linux box on the network see the document Linux Networking.

CD-DVD Burner S/W

Usage - Also see the manual at the home page:
Applications >> Accessories >> XCDRoast
The first time X-CD-Roast is used a config file will need to be saved.
Click [Setup] button.
Click [Save configuration].
Click [OK] in dialog box.
Click [OK] on main menu.

To Make a Data CD.
Click [Create CD] button.
Click [Master Tracks] button.
Under the |Master Source| TAB.
Make sure the <Display directories only> checkbox is unchecked.
Select files in the Files/Directory View window by clicking on a file or directory name (unselect by clicking a second time).
Click the [Add] button when all files and directories are selected.
A dialog box appears offering path prefix options for the files and directories selected.

While many users prefer X-CD-Roast
Xfburn is a bit more intuitive for most.
Brassero Disc Burner is also available.

Under the |Create Session/Image| TAB
* see CD-R notes below when using a CD-R.
To make the CD-RW clean and empty click the [Blank CD-RW] button
.You do not need to do this and should not if adding to a set of files pre existing on the CD-RW. The default settings should work for a CD-RW.
Click the [Master and write on-the-fly] button when ready to burn.
Click [OK] in the dialog box.
A progress dialog box appears.
To save the text output, from the burn, click the [Save Output] button.

Brasero or GnomeBaker will work with much less effort, but not nearly as much fun!
* CD-R Notes
If the CD-R was created multi-session with s/w other than X-CD-Roast multi-session may or may not work.
If you do not fixate after each multi-session you must after the last one to ?close? the CD.
If you do not fixate the CD and then go to use it on another computer it may or may not have all the files you added.
A CD-R cannot be Blanked

Applications >> Accessories >> XVMount
Click (MOUNT) mount CD-ROM.
Click {UNMOUNT) unmountCD-ROM (so it can be ejected).
Click (QUIT) end the XVMount session.

USB Auto-Mounting
Machines now have a 2.6.20 kernel.
Hot pluggable USB devices should appear.
Be sure to stop the device before removing it.