CS course work should be done on CS hosts, preferably the standard environment Linux and Windows servers or the Mac lab workstations, unless otherwise indicated by the course instructor .

While CSCF tries to make the same versions of software and specific functionality available across all student computing servers and workstations, there are unavoidable differences among environments.

You can login directly to the teaching environment:

Linux Servers
using "ssh -Y linux.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca" from anywhere.
Apple Mac Labs
do not permit remote access.
Windows Terminal Service Servers
using RDP connection such as "rdesktop windows.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca" from machines on UW's main campus.

Hosts named with the "mef-" prefix were made possible with help from the Math Endowment Fund.

Current Computing Environments

The standard environment servers are recommended for general course work. Software on these servers is kept up to date between terms, with minimal changes between the first day of lectures and the last day of exams in any given term. (Patching for security reasons being the exception to this strong guideline.) Significant changes in this environment, such as an OS version/distribution change, tend to occur between the end of the Winter term and the beginning of the Spring term.

Linux Servers
linux.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca or ubuntu1804.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca are the generic names to select the current recommended Linux version. Currently this is:
 Hostname CPU Type # of CPUs Cores/CPU Threads/Core RAM (GB) Make Model
 ubuntu1804-002.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca   Intel(R) Xeon(R) Gold 6148 @ 2.40GHz 2 20 2 384 Supermicro SYS-1029U-E1CR25M
 ubuntu1804-004.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca   Intel(R) Xeon(R) Gold 6148 @ 2.40GHz 2 20 2 384 Supermicro SYS-6029P-WTRT
 ubuntu1804-008.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca   Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2697A v4 @ 2.60GHz 2 16 2 256 Dell Inc. PowerEdge R730

Table updated 2019-10-07.

Apple Mac Labs

These labs are available as long as the room is not booked (e.g. for a lab, a summer camp, or a conference). All Math faculty undergraduate students, whether they are registered in CS courses or not, are permitted to use the Mac labs.

Please observe the protocol in the Lab Bookings Section of CSCF Policy for Teaching Labs.

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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Windows 2008 Terminal Server systems:

windows.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca (also known as elegans.uwaterloo.ca)
Hostname CPU Type # of Cores RAM (GB) Make Model
windows08.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca AMD Opteron 4 8 Oracle Sun Fire x4200
windows10.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca AMD Opteron 4 8 Oracle Sun Fire x4200
Utility Computing

CSCF provides a reconfigurable computing cluster to augment course and student requirements. There are currently 30 nodes. They include 5 Dell R415s, 4GB RAM, AMD 4122, 4 core 2.2GHz 75watt, 250GB SATA drive.

The current nodes are named:

  • ugster01.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca - ugster30.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca

Past examples of use are as a Rocks compute cluster running CentOS (a derivative of Redhat Linux), and as ten pairs of performance analysis nodes running Ubuntu Linux. Use is specific to undergraduate courses requiring clustered computing (e.g. CS457). The "ugster" machines are not intended for general login.

Services Hosts

Service Hosts run as virtual machines within the SCS private cloud. They are dedicated for specific tasks such as ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest team practices and local events, Electronic assignment handling (marking), Course and student web services (HTTP and related protocols), Database servers, Other dedicated Course use, Printing, sftp, version control, CIFS.

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Previous Computing Environments

If your instructor gives permission or tells you to use them, the previous environment servers are available for course work . Software on these servers was supported by CSCF as the default up to the previous April; (other than for security reasons) software updates are generally unavailable for these servers.

ubuntu1604.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca is the load-balanced name to select one of the previous generation of Linux systems:
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windows-legacy.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca (also known as "elegans-legacy.uwaterloo.ca")

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Windows 2003 Terminal Server systems:

  • windows02.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca (Intel twin P4 2.6GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, SuperMicro)
  • windows04.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca (Intel P4 XEON 2.0GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, SuperMicro)
  • windows06.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca (AMD twin Opteron 2.2 GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, Sun Fire 2100)