Linux-Unix

 

Linux/Unix how-to

Find out how to run common programs in Linux and Unix.

Capstone

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Initial webpage setup

To get a Capstone website location created, email cefnsithelp@nau.edu with the following information:

  • Group or project name
  • Discipline (i.e. ME, EE, etc.)
  • Instructor
  • Group members

The web directory will be created and access given to the group members.  You will receive confirmation that this has been set up along with the path to your Capstone website.

Webpage publishing

Once you have confirmation that your website has been set up and your groups web files have been created, you are ready to publish your site to the CEFNS web server.  Access to the web server is available via Secure Shell (SSH and SFTP) only.  Several applications exist for most operating systems and are available to download. On all CEFNS Windows computers, SSH Secure File Transfer is available. On Solaris, Linux and Mac OSX machines, sftp is available in a terminal on the command-line.

If you are familiar with using the command-line, you can perform the same tasks in a terminal to upload to the CEFNS servers. To do so, open a terminal and change directory to the location where you have placed your web files:

corellia ~]# cd capstone 

You can use scp to copy the contents of this directory up to the web server with a command something like the following:

corellia ~]# scp * sftp.cefns.nau.edu:/www/sites/cefns/Research/D4P/EGR486/<DISCIPLINE>/<YEAR>-Projects/<GROUP-NAME> 

Important information

Most Capstone projects are completed in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or other software.  The files generated by these programs are not "web" files and will not open automatically for those that visit your Capstone page.  To get a web browser to display a web page for your site, create an index.html file.  This file is a plain ASCII text file and can be created from programs such as Microsoft Word by clicking File, Save As and selecting Web Page (html) as the file type.  More information on creating web pages can be found on the web.

NAU – VPN

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Note that NAU does not officially support VPN connections with Linux. The following instructions assume a basic knowledge of Linux use and configuration and require superuser privileges. You are responsible for any changes you make to your system - even if that system becomes damaged during the attempt. 

NAU uses a Microsoft VPN (PPTP) server.  While tools are available for Linux to connect to these servers, there does seem to be an issue either with NAU's implementation or with the PPTP configuration in Linux.  Currently, the standard graphical connection managers do not work reliably as the connection from linux will time out too often for the GUI to deal with.

These instructions assume you have a working wireless configuration in Linux.  You will also need the PPTP Client software along with MPPE support in your kernel.  Debian Etch and later have this available as a module.  Check with your distro to see if MPPE is enabled and available by default.  All instructions here require a terminal with root access.

This also assumes you have no other VPN configurations set up on your system, as this will remove those configurations.Do not proceed if you use other VPN connections with your Linux system. 

You will need the pptp client software installed.  The source is available at http://pptpclient.sourceforge.net/.  For Debian/Ubuntu, use:

# apt-get install pptp-linux 

For gentoo, use:

# emerge -av pptpclient 

The PPTP Client install should create a /etc/ppp directory.  Move this out of the way

# mv /etc/ppp /etc/ppp.orig 

Download modified ppp files here and extract it with

# tar zxvf ppp.tgz -C /etc/     (Note that this is a capital 'C')

You now need to modify a couple of files in this directory to tell it who you are using your favorite text editor.

/etc/ppp/chap-secrets 

# Secrets for authentication using CHAP
# client server secret IP addresses
<DOMAIN>\\<username> nau <passwd> *

Replace <DOMAIN> with the domain you log into, generally NAU for faculty/staff and NAU-STUDENTS for students. 

Replace <username> with your NAU user id. 

Replace <passwd> with your current NAU password 

Note that your password is stored in plaintext here.  For security, ensure chap-secrets is mode 600 (readable only by root).

/etc/ppp/peers/nau 

On the line that starts with "name" replace <DOMAIN> with the domain you used above, along with your username for <username> 

You may need to edit /etc/ppp/ip-up if the interface you plan on running your connection through is anything other than wlan0.  If this is the case, replace wlan0 on the line that starts with 'PRIMARY' with the interface your system uses.

You are now ready to test your connection.  If you are connected to NAU's wireless, ensure you have launched a browser and clicked the Accept button.  From your terminal, type

# pon nau 

The connection can take up to 4 or 5 minutes to complete.  The connection attempt should create a ppp0 interface - keep watching that until it gets an IP address for NAU (134.114.x.x). If you want to disconnect from the VPN, you can run

# poff 

If you still have problems, you can get more detailed information on what is happening during the connection process by running

# pon nau dump debug logfd 2 nodetach 

While VPN connections through Linux are not officially supported by NAU, feel free to send mail to cefnsithelp@nau.edu or talk to Clint Baker in Engineering room 214 if you still can't get it working.

Remote desktop servers

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A “Remote Desktop Server” is a computer that allows multiple users to connect to at the same time. It can provide anything from the basic “Office Suite” to complex applications that may be available for students or staff to use. There are several of these servers on campus.

ITS provides a server with basic applications that is available for staff and faculty. Users can connect to: termsrv.ucc.nau.edu 

Academic Computing provides a similar server for students to use but this server provides more applications for class work: virtuallab.nau.edu

Here in the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences we have a cluster of Remote Desktop Servers that provide users with many applications. Staff, faculty and students can connect to windows.cefns.nau.edu from anywhere in the world and work on many of the applications that are available in classrooms.

Most modern versions of Linux or UNIX have an RDP client that can be used in exactly the same way to connect to a Windows machine.

However, we have increase the level of security that is required to connect to all our remote desktop servers. As a result of this increased security, the usual client for connecting to Windows from Linux will not work. Luckly, there has been a new client released that does support this type of connection - it is called FreeRDP; it can be downloaded here.

Once you have a compatible RDS client installed, you can follow the same instructions for connecting as you would from a Windows machine.

Connecting to Linux or UNIX from a client

There are various methods of connecting to a Linux or UNIX machine. Most involve connecting via the Secure Shell Host or SSH. Standard SSH connections can be made from any client to any server that runs an SSH server daemon. These servers are usually Linux or UNIX machines although Mac OSX and Windows can be set up to do this as well. To do this from a Windows Machine you need an SSH Client like SSH Workstation or Putty. These can be found on the web or downloaded from NAU software downloads site. Linux and UNIX client natively have this capability.

The servers that are available for this type of connection in CEFNS are: unix.cefns.nau.edu provides a login shell and sftp.cefns.nau.edu provides a connection for secure file transfers.

These connections by default typically provide a text only based console/terminal session. However it is possible to provide a full graphical connection as well.

Please see the specific notes on our web site to do this – Creating an XWindows Connection Session (this page will be available shortly).

CEFNS IT Remote Desktop Servers Available Applications Listing

h5>Engineering Applications:

AISC, Altera Quartus, Interactive Thermodynamics, National Instruments LabView, On Screen Takeoff, Westpoint Bridge Designer.

General applications: 

Adobe Acrobat Pro, Microsoft Office, NotePad++ and PSPad text editor.

GIS applications: 

Arc GIS

Graphics applications: 

IrfanView and Paint.Net

Internet applications: 

Adobe Contribute and XWindows Server software

Math applications: 

A variety of Calculators, JMP, Mathcad, Mathmatica, Matlab and R for Windows. SPSS and SAS are available on vlab.nau.edu

Programming applications: 

Alice, BlueJ, Dev-C++, Eclispe, NetBeans, Python, Racket, TortoiseSVN and Windows Powershell

CEFNS remote desktop servers use policy: 

  1. We do not allow disconnected sessions - users are logged off after 1 minute
  2. We have an idle limit of 1 hour - idle is defined as no mouse or keyboard activity. Users are logged off after 1 hour idle time

Printing

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If you do not use a Windows computer, you can still make connections to SERVICES. The simplest way would be to add a smb printer.

Specifying services.cefns.nau.edu as the server. The user would then see the shares to connect to. The main problem here is that the appropriate driver would need to be on the users computer - and there a known problems with "Account Track" for the Konica-Minolta's and non-Windows clients - sorry!

If a printer you need is not on the list please contact our help desk 3-8084 or cefnsithelp@nau.edu to check or get one created.

Video conferencing

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There is video conferencing equipment in 2 rooms in the engineering building 69. These are available to anyone in CEFNS. Bookings can be made by contacting the engineering building front desk 3-5251/2 or emailing: egrreception@nau.edu 

We use Polycom room cameras that can be accessed by any H.323 client, including Ekiga (http://ekiga.org/) for Windows and Linux or XMeeting (http://xmeeting.sourceforge.net/pages/xmeeting.php) for Mac.

Rooms 102 and 322J are set up similarly. The silver remote control is for the television. If the LCD on the remote shows anything other than "TV" as selected, press the "Mode" button to select "TV." The power button on this remote will now turn on the television. If not, it is possible someone turned off the main switch. This is a push button located underneath the television towards the left side. Please use the remote to turn the TV on and off, do not use this main switch.

The TV needs to be set to the "Video1" input. Use the "Input" button on the remote to select this input. If there is no video, press the "Home" button on the black remote to wake the camera.

To call a remote location, use the black remote to enter the address on the screen and press the green "Call" button.

To receive a call, an "Incoming Call" message will appear on the screen. Use the arrow buttons on the black remote to select "Yes" and press the center button. Multiple calling parties will result in a split-screen effect.

Remote parties can call the video conferencing systems by connecting to one of the following two addresses:

  • EGR Room 102: conf-69-102.egr.nau.edu
  • EGR Room 322J: conf-69-322j.egr.nau.edu

In a call, you can control the camera with the arrow buttons on the black remote. Use the buttons with magnifying glass symbols on them to zoom in and out. By default, the remote location will be full-screen and the local location will be presented in a small window, so you will always be able to tell what the remote party is seeing.

Depending on the remote hardware, the "Near" and "Far" buttons can be used to control the remote camera. Pressing "Near" controls your camera, pressing "Far" controls the remote camera.

To end a call, press the red "Hang Up" button.

When finished using the conference room, please turn the TV off with the silver remote and close the door. The video camera will stay on.

Both rooms can also be used for presentations from a laptop. The TV can act as a second monitor. For this, change the input to "RGB_PC" using the Input button on the silver remote. Room 102 has a VGA cable on the conference table. Room 322J has the VGA cable on the small table. The VGA cables have audio connections that can be plugged into the headphone jack on a laptop. Once plugged in, most laptops require that the external VGA port be activated (Fn-F8 on Dell laptops - other manufacturers use different methods). The TV can support up to 1024x768 resolutions - you may need to adjust the resolution on your laptop to match this.

Both our video conferencing rooms use a single LCD TV monitor for the conference. If a user needs to present work from a laptop at the same time, then this must be provided. Also in this case a separate projector and screen needs to be set up. 

Working from home

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This page describes how you can connect to your office computer from off campus.

The explained process is for computers with:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7

Setting up your Windows office computer to accept connections - this must be done first

For this whole process to work your office computer must always be on and not go into sleep or hibernate mode

1 While you are in your office log on to your desktop computer.

2) Find the name of your computer > Either right-click the "My Computer" icon on the desktop or "My Computer" in the Start Menu choose Properties. In the dialog that opens click the Computer Name tab. You need to know the full computer name. It will look something like BIO234-01.bio.nau.edu. Write down this name as you will need to know it later.

3) Next, open "Computer Management" again, Either right-click the "My Computer" icon on the desktop or "My Computer" in the Start Menu but this time choose Manage. 

This opens the Computer Management utility:

In the left hand pane expand Local Users and Groups and then click on Groups. In the right hand pane double click on Administrators.

a) If your user ID is listed in the dialog your computer is already setup ready for you to connect.
b) If your user ID is not in this group please contact our help desk 3-8084 or cefnsithelp@nau.edu asking for your user ID to be added to the Remote Desktop Users group on your desktop computer - PROVIDE THE COMPUTER NAME you recorded in step 2.

We will contact you when this is done.

Making a connection from your home or off-campus computer

Most modern versions of Linux or UNIX have an RDP client that can be used in exactly the same way to connect to a Windows machine.

Connecting to Linux or UNIX from a client

There are various methods of connecting to a Linux or UNIX machine. Most involve connecting via the Secure Shell Host or SSH. Standard SSH connections can be made from any client to any server that runs an SSH server daemon. These servers are usually Linux or UNIX machines although Mac OSX and Windows can be set up to do this as well. To do this from a Windows Machine you need an SSH Client like SSH Workstation or Putty. These can be found on the web or downloaded from NAU software downloads site. Linux and UNIX client natively have this capability.

The servers that are available for this type of connection in CEFNS are: unix.cefns.nau.edu provides a login shell and sftp.cefns.nau.edu provides a connection for secure file transfers.
These connections by default typically provide a text only based console/terminal session. However it is possible to provide a full graphical connection as well.
Please see the specific notes on our web site to do this – Creating an XWindows Connection Session (this page will be available shortly).