Lab Policies

Disk Quotas

Undergraduate students are given a disk space quota on the lab machines. This quota consists of a soft limit, a hard limit, and a timeout. Users are never allowed to use more than their hard limit. Users should normally remain under their soft limit, however, users may use amounts of space between their hard limit and soft limit for periods less that the timeout.

  • Users should respect their disk quota, and not attempt to keep more than their soft limit on the system. Users are given a high hard quota limit so that a user may work with something large, but after a day the user should remove those files from the system (Not remove and rewrite them everyday to restart the quota timeout). Users who consistently abuse this will have their hard limit reduced to be what the soft limit is.
  • Users should keep file space only on the file system containing their home directory.Users are given a disk quota on all file systems so that shared projects may be accomplished, but NOT to allow everyone to store a full quota on all file systems. Users should NEVER allow other users to write files into their directories to extend their quotas.
  • A note about mail and disk quotas: Now that incoming mail is placed in the file Mailbox in each user's home directory it is important to consider the effect disk quotas have on incoming mail. If a user is over quota and the timeout has expired, incoming mail will not be placed in the user's Mailbox. The mail server will continue to attempt to deliver the mail for seven days. If the user reduces their disk usage to below their soft limit within those seven days the mail will be delivered to their Mailbox. If the seven days pass without a successful delivery the mail will be bounced. Users should also check their mail regularly to ensure that large messages or large quantities of messages do not put them over quota.

Printing Quotas

Undergraduate users are given limits on how many pages may be printed on the laser printers in the labs. The laser printers are intended for Final Formatted Copy only. This means that they should really be used only for formatted text you are handing in as a report, and only for one final copy. All proofing and drafting should be done using a previewing tool.

These limits have been setup simply as a reflection of the high cost per page of laser printers.

The printers are intended for you to print your own stuff related to your course work. They are NOT intended as a means for you to print your course notes. If your instructor has on-line course notes DO NOT print them out here. Ask your instructor for a paper copy to be made available that you can photocopy, or better yet, just print them out on the lionheart printer.

Screen locking

Screenlock utilities are to be used for short breaks, less than 15 minutes.

We ask that students use the screen-locking utilities that have been pre-installed on the lab machines. Compiling and running your own version of xlock or other screen-locking utility to circumvent the 15 minute logout button is not considerate of the other lab users and will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

If you are leaving your computer temporarily (for less than 15 minutes) we ask that you lock your screen using xlock (on UNIX) or the Lock Workstation menu option (on Windows). This prevents others from using your account while you are logged in. If you are leaving for more than 15 minutes, please save your work and log out. Leaving your account unattended is unacceptable. You run the risk of a malicious user taking control of your account and your files, with very little recourse. Repeated offenses of the screen-locking policy may result in account suspension or removal.

We encourage anyone witness to someone locking a workstation for more than 15 minutes to send a message to the Help Desk. The system administrators would like the opportunity to deal with those that abuse these utilities.

We will appreciate any information that will help us deal with such abuse. Please include the name of the machine which was affected, the time at which the abuse occurred and, on a UNIX machine, a listing from the command ps -aux or ps -ef on the affected machine (this can be done by using ssh to connect to the affected machine).

In the event that you find an unoccupied terminal with an active session, please be courteous to the user and lock their screen. Please report to the Help Desk the time, date, and the user whose account was left unattended (this can be discovered by typing "whoami" in a new xterm). Unattended accounts not only unnecessarily use up lab resources, but are potential security threats.


Many, many students love to play games on the lab machines, many like to hack/port/support games on the same.

Nevertheless the machines in the labs must be used by people to get their work done. therefore we have the following policy to deal with gaming:

  1. Use your common sense, never allow your game playing to hinder in any way others doing work.
  2. Game playing may be considered if the lab is not full. If the lab ever gets full, all game playing should cease immediately, and all game players must log out to make the machine available for someone doing work. Nobody should ever have to ask a person playing a game to give up a workstation in a full lab, the person playing the game should responsibly quit the game and make their workstation available. Games should never be seen on a screen in a full lab.

    Stopping play and starting to work when the lab becomes full is NOT acceptable. This means that anyone coming in is still denied a seat. If you are playing a game, then you must treat your workstation as an empty seat, and if the lab starts to get full you must LEAVE your workstation, not iconize the game and work until the lab is not full again, not quit playing and start working, you must LEAVE. If you have work to do, DON'T GAME, WORK. You can only game if you are prepared to leave you machine instantly.

  3. ANY suspicion of violating rule two will result in game suspensions. The alternative is no games at all if people can not behave responsibly.
  4. Avoid, and give up when asked any machine with special hardware that might be needed by someone doing work. I.E. one of a few machines in a lab with a different monitor/camera/scanner, etc.
  5. No noise at all! If the game has sound, turn it off or use headphones at a low volume. Don't make noise yourself, shouts of victory and groans of defeat annoy other users. Be quiet in the lab, and don't talk to other players.
  6. Don't waste system resources. Pick one person who administers the game and everyone uses that. Don't keep 50 copies lying aroung.
  7. For all other situations not covered here, use common sense, courtesy, and apply Rule 1.

Anytime system administrators receive a complaint about a game where players are violating the above and in any way hindering work in the labs, the offending game will be removed for a period of a week or more (possibly indefinitely). Therefore, please be mature and use common sense if you are gaming, and like anything good, do it in moderation and don't let it affect your studies.


Do not eat and drink in the labs.