Linux Lab (LNG 103)

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

General Suggestions

  1. All Pod Linux machines generally are running an Ubuntu Desktop that is one rev down from the current revision
  2. Send Ideas, Observations and Comments to
  3. For common usage GNOME is the recommended desktop.
  4. All help and hints will use GNOME as the example.
  5. Do not lock the machine.
  6. Do not suspend the machines.
  7. Do not engage the screen saver.
    1. The previous three will lock you out of the machine you are one AND may stop you from logging in to any other Linux Lab computer as well
  8. Several dialog boxes may appear reporting applications or hardware is missing.
      ... xscreensaver is disabled
      ... Given the current set of hardware the sound card may be missing or disabled.
            Either way no speakers are attached.
    1. Check the "Do not show this again" (or similar message) box.
    2. Close the dialog box.

    Doing this will stop the dialog box from reappearing, which it will do every time you login until the previous steps are followed.
  9. Click on the top bar of the screen and right button the mouse. Applications can be added to this panel.
    1. Add Force Quit. This will function similar to Ctrl-Alt-Del >> Task Manager in Windows.
    2. Add Log Out. Faster then going from the menu.
    3. There are other useful and amusing apps you can add.
    4. When you log out remember to checkbox the Save Current Setup.
  10. Click on Applications on the file bar.
    then Accessories
    slide down to terminal -- right button this and add to panel and desktop.
    That can get you out of hangups and other situations that will block access to menus.

Sluggish Logouts

At logout time, after selecting System >> Quit - it can take several minutes for the dialog box to appear to select and click an icon.

Once the logout icon is clicked it can take several minutes more for the machine to disconnect and the login screen to appear.

Over Quota Effects

  1. If you are over quota you can't login via a Linux machine.
    You will know this as all you will get is an empty beigh screen, about the background colour of this page!!
  2. If you are close to quota you can login but starting some programs will put you over quota and the program will lock.
    1. Watch out for these in particular, but others will lock as well.
      1. Netbeans
      2. Eclipse
  3. To Check your current quota.
    1. Open a terminal (the little monitor icon on the top bar/panel.
    2. ssh
    3. Login.
    4. You quota stats will appear when you login.
      Check anytime by typing quota -v
    5. Usage is the space used; Quota is what your max space is.
    6. The difference is what you have left.

Program Hang Ups

  1. Use Force Quit to stop the hung program from your desktop
  2. Open a terminal (the little monitor icon on the top bar/panel.
    1. ps -ef |grep <YOUR USER ID> | more
    2. Look for the name of the application that is hung.
    4. EG ...
        ps -ef | grep student3
        student3  1950  1948  0 08:22 ?        00:00:00 /usr/bin/gnome-app
        kill -9 1950 1948

X-Windows Usage

  1. On Linux pod machine.
    1. Open terminal window (you will be in your Bingsuns account).
    2. ssh -X #You must use SSH
  2. In Bingsuns Account.
    1. Run the X-application.
    2. When finished quit the application but what ever means it provides.
    3. 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). More information can be found on our Linux Xorg page.

Saving Files

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


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


  1. 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.
      1. Click [Setup] button.
      2. Click [Save configuration].
      3. Click [OK] in dialog box.
      4. Click [OK] on main menu.
  2. To Make a Data CD.
    1. Click [Create CD] button.
    2. Click [Master Tracks] button.
    3. Under the |Master Source| TAB.
      1. Make sure the <Display directories only> checkbox is unchecked.
      2. Select files in the Files/Directory View window by clicking on a file or directory name (unselect by clicking a second time).
      3. Click the [Add] button when all files and directories are selected.
      4. A dialog box appears offering path prefix options for the files and directories selected.
  3. Under the |Create Session/Image| TAB
    * see CD-R notes below when using a CD-R.
    1. 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.
    2. The default settings should work for a CD-RW.
    3. Click the [Master and write on-the-fly] button when ready to burn.
    4. Click [OK] in the dialog box.
    5. A progress dialog box appears.
      1. To save the text output, from the burn, click the [Save Output] button.
  4. Brasero or GnomeBaker will work with much less effort, but not nearly as much fun!
  1. * 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

  1. Machines now have a 2.6.20 kernel.
  2. Hot pluggable USB devices should appear.
  3. Be sure to stop the device before removing it.

Last Updated: 8/26/14