Getting Started

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Welcome to the Mathematics and Computer Science Division. We hope you will have a pleasant and productive visit. This document will give you a quick introduction to the computing resources available in the division, login instructions, and ways to find more information. In an effort to conserve trees and energy, other documents containing more details about our computing environment have been placed online.

Computing Resources

The MCS Division has three sets of general computing resources:

   * A network of workstations (mostly Linux and Windows machines), which are the day-to-day desktop computing resources used for editing, electronic mail, text processing, symbolic math programs, and so on. We recommend you use the machine named (Linux) for general purpose logins.
   * The Argonne Scalable Cluster (Chiba City), primarily running Linux and intended for large-scale computer science.
   * The Laboratory Computing Resource Center cluster (Jazz), a 350-node computing cluster for the use of the entire ANL research community. 

Getting Started

You should have received a packet that contains your login name and password. Please read it thoroughly before attempting to login. If you did not get this information, please contact La Joyce Bullock in room 221-A241, phone 2-1842. Logging In to UNIX Workstations If you are using a Linux (or other UNIX) workstation, X-Windows should already be running. If there is a login window on the display, enter your login name and password in the spaces provided. (If there is just a login: prompt, please check with Systems about the configuration of that machine.)

You can also log in from off-site over the net or from a dialup account via modem, as described in the information you received along with your login name and password. Please see the offsite access FAQ at for a list of machines that are accessible outside our firewall.

Once you've logged in, use the yppasswd command to change your password. Please make your password eight characters long, and include at least one capital latter, number and special character in it. Make it something you'll remember, but not any name or any word that would be found in a dictionary. There are more rules than this for a good password; please see for more information.

The login names and passwords are valid for sets of machines or individual machines, depending on how the account was set up. Please check with your sponsor if you find you don't have access to a machine you think you need. Logging In to Windows Workstations or the VPN You may be sitting at a machine that runs Windows (for example, the public workstations in 221-B256). Your MCS Windows domain password can be found in your welcome packet. Please ensure you change your password the first time you login.

To change your Windows Networking password, press Ctrl-Alt-Delete (when logged on to the Windows network) and click the "Change Password" button. Your password should be at least eight characters long and follow the same guidelines set forth for UNIX passwords.

Your Windows password is the same one you'll use to access the VPN. You only need the VPN if you need to login from offsite or the wireless network. See for details on the VPN. Receiving Email By default, your email may be forwarded to the address provided to Systems on your account request form. To remove this forwarding, remove the file /mcs/mail/config/[username]/.forward.

Getting Help

There are several ways to obtain help:

   * You can access web-based information about MCS projects, commonly-used utilities, and MCS-developed software at From a UNIX command line, you can start a web browser by typing netscape.
   * Information about various aspects of computing at MCS can be found by following the "Resources" then "Divisional Computing Resources" links from the MCS home page, or go to the address
   * Contact your sponsor as to which machine(s) you are expected to use. If you have problems, ask your sponsor for help first. The Systems Group is also available to assist you, though the expectation is that your sponsor or others you are working with should be able to assist you first.
   * If you have a question or problem that your sponsor can't help you with, please send email to 

If you have a problem that prevents you from sending email to Systems, you can reach the Help Desk at 2-6813 or by coming to room 221-B256. Help Desk hours at Monday through Friday, 8:30AM - 11:00AM and 1:00PM - 4:00PM.

The most recent version of this document can be found at