Help Desk Guide

This is here to be used as a basic guide for help desk personnel.
More guides can be found on the CSCF website at:


The primary role of the CSCF Help Desk is to provide a consistently available person to handle incoming requests - in-person, by phone (x31100), via email (, accounts@cs, cs-webmaster@cs, cs-abuse@cs, etc.). The Help Desk will create a Request Tracker (RT) item (if appropriate, check for existing items), determine as best as possible which CSCF staff person to assign the request to (if not handling it themselves. Having assigned the item, the Help Desk will periodically (daily) review those requests and ensure that they are being handled by the staff person assigned. If the item appears urgent and is not seeing progress, visiting the staff in-person to remind them of the item is appropriate.

General Approach

  • Record every detail possible in RT: original client emails, userids, machine names, room numbers, etc.

  • Track loaned equipment and make sure it is returned at the return date set from the "Check out" section at the time the equipment was loaned.

  • All new tickets should be set to "Current" priority.

  • Use the Summary field: "Done: ..." ... "Next: ..."

  • Update Clients regularly and make sure items are progressing to closure (use the "Last worked on" column to quickly see items that seem to be forgotten about).

  • be sure to process any Nagios alerts, email to generic addresses such as printers@cs, webmaster@cs, accounts@cs and abuse.cs as soon as possible and then reply all to let the sender and the rest of the people on that list know that it is being handled

  • if still unsure of how to support a given person, try a "Search all" in the Run On sentence to look for other RT items and how they were assigned. It will also often help when you see subject lines like "Fall 2015 Grad student" or "New sessionals for Spring 2015" top get a sense of who they are. Then check whether it is typically a Research, Teaching or Administration job and who did the work. If in doubt, you can also assign to Omar or myself to help with the assignment, but the above process should help with that. The following is a set of steps to use with the Run-On sentence:

    • fill in the "something" in the text box called "that match"
    • click "Search All"
    • click "Display it"
    • scroll to the bottom of the results (it's in reverse chronological order) and look up for something that looks relevant

CSCF Help Desk New Hire - First Day

CSCF Help Desk New Hire - Last Day

Points of Contact

CSCF Works on the Point-of-Contact (PoC) model. Clients are assigned points of contact for Administrative, Research and Teaching support.

Quick Point of Contact References:

Here is a list of all CSCF personnel and their user IDs for to be used for emailing and RT purposes: CSCF Personnel

How to see who is away: Who's (not) here

Help Desk Phone

Help Desk has a phone, with extension 31100. To access the voicemail, you will need to login to the phone. To do that follow step 1 to 3 from Announcement Voice Mail Password

After logging in, enter the following numbers to:

  • Listen to messages: 2
  • Delete message: 76
  • Exit Voicemail: 83

To set a temporary message, follow the guidelines at SharingCriticalInformation For any major issues, you should inform the individuals below:

Being away from the desk

If you're going to be away from the desk at an unexpected time (between 9-1, 2-4:30), be sure to put a note on the door ("back in 15 minutes", "away for the morning", etc.). If away for a longer time (1/2 day or more), set your voice mail using the temporary greeting as described in Announcement Voice Mail Password. You should also set your email away message.

@cscfhelp)"> CSCFHelp Twitter (@cscfhelp)

Email Organization

Emails sent to (and emails forwarded from accounts, printers and cs-webmaster) should not be deleted. It is suggested that within the cscfhelp inbox, folders are created with the following names:

  • RT Created
  • Completed
This way, there is a record of when emails were received in case of any mistakes or discrepancies.

If any Emails are deleted by accident (from inbox and the trash folder), Right click on the Deleted items folder and select recover deleted items to select and recover the desired Emails.

Remote Support with Bomgar

Bomgar can be used to connect to another computer and utilize screen sharing to remotely troubleshoot computer problems. Please see the TWiki page BomgarRemoteSupport. The Help Desk person is encouraged to remain at the desk during advertised hours, and sometimes it is more convenient to provide remote support for a client. Using Bomgar is ideal for these situations.

Laptop Loaner Program

CSCF has a laptop loaner program. Help Desk is responsible for loaning out and receiving/returning loaned out laptops. For procedures and more information, see LaptopLendingProgramGuide.

Responding to Emails and Help Requests

For general updates on the anything related to the everyone in CS, email For updates related to the cscf technicians, email

Help Desk is responsible for emails sent to abuse-cs@cs, accounts@cs, cs-webmaster@cs,, dns-cs-contact@cs and printers@cs. Emails sent to these addresses (excluding are received by other users, not just Help Desk. When creating an ST for the above emails, make sure to reply to all the addresses (and CC's), so that everybody will know a ticket has been created.

When responding to an email, create an Request Ticket (RT) and CC "" or "", where ##### is the ST number. Also include the appropriate PoC, and anyone else included in the original email, in the CC. For example, when replying to an email sent to accounts@cs, make sure to CC accounts@cs in the email so everyone who received the email sent to accounts@cs knows you have replied. Sending the email to "" ensures the ST is updated with any relevant emails.

After you have assigned an ST item to the appropriate individual, add "cscfhelp" to the right of the assigned individual's userid, in the 'Owner' field. After the assigned user acknowledges the request, you can remove your name.

To create/edit/view STs, visit the following webpage: or

STs need not be created for simple requests (ex. asking for instructions or resetting a password).

You may also receive emails regarding software licensing / purchasing. If the email requires you to confirm software purchase or activate an account, confirm with the person who purchased the software (through searching for this issue in the ST) and proceed to activate account / confirm software purchase. If you receive an email about an expired / expiring software license, create an ST about this item, and notify the individual who purchased the software that is has / is about to expire so they may take appropriate action.

Ensure that when sending out links to ST work items, the URL does not contain "_debug" by removing it from the link.

Please note that in the case that the person responsible is one of the Administrative team (i.e. for adding someone to a mailing list), do not create an ST Item as an email will suffice

Nagios Alerts

Along with the emails listed above, Help Desk will also receive emails from or; these are alerts regarding systems which are experiencing outages or other problems, updates regarding these issues, and confirmation when the system comes back up.

When these emails are received, first find the latest status update for the system. If the latest email update has "**PROBLEM Service/Host Alert " in the subject line:

  1. Search the ST to determine if there is an existing item for this problem.
  2. If not, create an ST with the information provided in the Nagios update
  3. Determine the appropriate person to assist with the issue and assign to them
  4. Go to the Nagios Monitoring web interface, select 'Nagios Core 3 CGI Interface.', select 'Hosts' from the menu on the left (under the 'Current Status' heading), find the host with the problem, and click on the hostname.
  5. Select 'Acknowledge this host problem' from the 'Host Commands' menu on the right.
Monitoring can be configured through inventory or the CGI interface mentioned above.

For more information, see NagiosSystemsMonitoring. Contact (dkbellin) or (ccalzone) if you are having problems with Nagios.

To acknowledge Nagios Alerts from MFCF goto,

If you receive multiple alerts, check to see if the servers are in the same room, if they are the same, CALL LAWRENCE.

ST Email Bounces

Email failures caused by an invalid address in any of the "owner", "responsible", or "admin CC" fields are mailed to a list, which (as of 2015-08) is:,

While the email can be ignored, on the assumption that the record owner will eventually fix the faulty address, feel free to fix the address if it's obvious what it should be.

Creating Tickets

  • Be very sure that you fill in the requester's name before you create the ticket
  • Be sure to fill in the machine name (if there is one involved)
  • For IST requests, please fill in the IST#, ie: [UW-RT #XXXXXX] in the "Other IDs" field
  • If you think it is Research, set "Activity" to "Research". As a bonus, if it is set to Research, it will fill in the Subscription Code, which will help you know who it should be assigned to.
  • When responding back to the requester be sure to CC the ticket ( in your emails so the ticket gets updated (XXXXX is the ST number)

Tips for Dealing with in person requests

  • Ensure that you record the person’s name and ID or UWaterloo email
  • Find out if they are faculty, a graduate student, undergraduate student, TA or otherwise
  • If possible, record the name of the user’s computer
  • Record as much information as possible regarding the problem experienced
  • Attempt to locate the correct PoC for the user
  • Search the RT for similar issues
  • Establish the priority of the issue in order to estimate a timeline for fixing the issue

Handling Accounts Requests

Help Desk personnel will triage emails. This involves:

  1. Reviewing the email
  2. Determining whether there is an existing relevant RT item
  3. If not, creating an RT work item
  4. Assigning that job to the appropriate person
  5. Communicating with the requestor via email, to verify that the request has been received, is in the process of being addressed, and by whom.
Certain emails may safely be ignored, such as emails sent between accounts people (Ray, Robyn, Adrian) in which action is not required by the CSCF HelpDesk.

More details here:

Connect/Email accounts

If someone requires a, send an email to

Email Lists

For a list of the mailing lists maintained by CSCF, as well as who is responsible for them, see here SCSMailing Lists.

Handling Printer Requests

Email sent to printers@cs will be handling by our CSCF Help Desk staff. As noted above, check for an existing ST item, create a new one if necessary, and Reply All to the request. Include a CC to the Point of Contact.

Out of toner or toner low

Contact Wendy Rush to inform her of this issue. If possible, consult the procedures in PrinterMaintenance and perform the toner replacement.

Out of paper

Replace paper supply, or if more paper has to be ordered, contact Wendy Rush.

Out of Staples

The Campus Xerox printers can staple (at least some of them can). Consult the procedures in PrinterMaintenance to fill the staple tray.

Maintenance kit required

Create an ST item assigned to Phil Beldowski, or consult the procedures in PrinterMaintenance

Print job didn't come out

If you receive an email such as below:

> From: []
> Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 9:13 PM
> To:
> Subject: * PROBLEM Service Alert: Print Server is CRITICAL *
> * Nagios *****
> Notification Type: PROBLEM
> Service: CUPS Print Server
> Host:
> Address:
> Date/Time: Wed Apr 13 21:13:16 EDT 2016
> Additional Info:

> (Return code of 255 is out of bounds)

Check,, for the jobs that appear stuck and delete them. Use the cscfhelp, username and password to login (the password used to log into the computer) to CUPS. Create an RT item assigned to Fraser Gunn.

Printing gibberish

Create an RT item assigned to Fraser Gunn.

Printer Look-up

Go to,

SCS Appointments (To Do Each Time)

Add this to Summary of the RT:

To Do list for ST summary field:

 - create WatIam account
 - create subscription code / assign Point of Contact
 - request Connect account
 - provide information about new Connect account and how to access, setup redirect
 - contact regarding equipment
 - create CS core accounts
 - provide information email about how to access CS core services
 - meet to introduce PoC
 - meet to discuss Research Support model

And then follow the steps for the respective appointment here:

Handling Visitor/Appointment Lists

The Computer Science Assistant will send out an Appointment List Excel Spreadsheet at the end of each month, which includes information about visitors who will be working with Research groups as well as sessionals and new faculty. This spreadsheet includes the following information:

  • Visitor's name
  • Start date
  • End date
  • Person hosting this visitor
In order to have equipment ready for each visitor, CSCF Help will use this list to create RT Item for each visitor listed. These items should contain the information stated above (Visitor's name, start date, end date, host), and CSCF Help will assign these to the appropriate Research Point of Contact with a reasonable due date (preferable one week before the visitor's arrival).

  • Note from Lawrence - we need to have a section for handling visitors and a separate section for handing new faculty - there are a number of special processes required for new faculty including adding to Faculty Recruiting System (assign to Daniel), etc. Check if there is an RT already made for the incoming faculty. If there is no record of an RT been made, create an RT and assign it to Lawrence Folland (lfolland).

Notes about dates: *Please use the form: YYYY-MM-DD when specifying Start and End dates. Dates in the form of 03-11-2015 are confusing - that could be March 11 or November 3 (Canadian vs American date standards). This has caused numerous problems in the past. *Set the Due date (Preferably one week before the arrival of the visitor)in the 'Dates' section

The Help Desk should create a Master RT item to record this appointment list, review each one and determine what new RT items (if any) need to be created and update existing ones with any new information. An example Master Visitor item can be found here:

All of the dependant RTs should be created immediately. Set a due date of one week before the arrival of the visitor (check to avoid Sundays and holidays - especially the Christmas break for people starting Jan 1). Do a search for each name to look for existing RT items to avoid duplicates. If they've been a visitor previously note that as a See Also to help with userid i nformation. Note that you can create multiple dependencies using the Dependency "Create" button and putting multiple lines - one for each visitor.

An example of an RT with acceptable information can be found here:

Here is a sample email that can be sent by the Help Desk in preparation for the visitor's arrival. These should be sent out at least a month in advance of the visitor's arrival. If desired, set the due date for one month in advance for sending out the message. Then reset the due date to a few days before the arrival, once the email is sent.

Date: Fri, 16 May 2014 16:52:19 +0000
From: CSCF Help Desk <>
To: Raouf Boutaba <>
Cc:  (##### is the relevant RT#)
Subject: Your visitor John Smith

Dear Professor Boutaba,

We understand that you have a visitor, John Smith, arriving for June 1st and staying until August 31st, 2016.

We would like to make sure we have everything ready for JOHN.  Do you know if JOHN has been here before and has an existing UW userid?  If not, we can set one up.  For that, it would be helpful to have JOHN'S current email address so that we can forward UW email to that address.  JOHN can also have a UW Connect account, if desired.

Will JOHN need a loaner PC or use his own laptop or some other equipment you will provide?


Handling Webmaster Requests

Email sent to cs-webmaster will be handled by our CSCF Help Desk staff.

Web related requests

Most web related requests can be handled by Daniel Allen (drallen). STs regarding the cs.uwaterloo website, as well as web-related requests sent through the "Contact Us" response page can be assigned to him. Requests that are not web-related but still were sent to the webmaster should be handled according to other sections of this document - eg., accounts-related, or course point-of-contact related.

Sessional related requests

Requests related to sessionals will be handled by Adrian Pepper (arpepper).

Handling Security Reports

These typically come from IST Security Operations Centre and should be treated as a high priority. They will typically have a subject heading such as: "[UW-RT #123456] IRC bot at"


  1. search ST for an existing related item
  2. if one doesn't exist, create one
    • Subject: use theirs, ie: "[UW-RT #123456] IRC bot at"
    • requester: whoever sent the email, eg: mpatters
    • Responsible/Owner: try to determine who is the appropriate Point of Contact using "the usual methods", add cscfhelp to the end of the list of owners
    • Priority: Urgent and Current
  3. Reply All to the original email and let them know that a CSCF ticket has been created, ST#12345 (provide a link), assigned to [whoever's name]
  4. If possible, and/or clear what to do, perhaps send an email to the owner of the machine, forwarding the entire original email, as per the procedures listed here: SecurityAlerts

To check if there are any IST tickets assigned to cscfhelp, logon to (UW's ticket system)

Handling Software Requests

Requests for Software will often come in the form of an email, generally with the requestor inquiring about borrowing a hard copy of the software (via the collection of DVDs contained in DC 2606).

When these requests are received, there are two options available in order to proceed.

Note that installing via Asimov is preferred

Installing via Asimov VLAN network (preferred)

  1. Obtain basic information regarding what software is needed for the requestor, provide them with a time frame for how long the installation will take
  2. Connect to the Asimov VLAN 420 network
  3. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to: \\
  4. In the Username field enter: \asimov\cscf-op
  5. Enter the cscf-op account password
  6. Navigate to: \\\iso
  7. Browse through folders and open folder which corresponds to the required software
  8. Within this level, again select the folder with the name of the required software; copy this folder to Desktop
  9. Run as normal from Desktop
  10. After installation has completed, navigate to: \\\IMAGES\SITE_LICENSES
  11. Open the: “licenses”.txt file
  12. Search for the correct program you are installing and use one of the product keys to complete installation on the requestors computer
  • In Microsoft programs (i.e. Office suite), the product key will need to be entered under File > Help

Installing via hard copy DVDs

  1. Locate correct disk in DC 2606
  2. Give to requestor and allow them to complete installation
  3. Inform the requestor that they will need to return the disk, as well as return with their laptop to enter the Product Key
  4. Connect to the Asimov VLAN 420 network
  5. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to: \\
  6. In the Username field enter: \asimov\cscf-op
  7. Enter the cscf-op account password
  8. Navigate to: \\\IMAGES\SITE_LICENSES
  9. Open the: “licenses”.txt file
  10. Search for the correct program you are installing and use one of the product keys to complete installation on the requestors computer
  • In Microsoft programs (i.e. Office suite), the product key will need to be entered under File > Help
The Who Does What List

A list of who does what can be found at the following URL:

Refer to this list if you are unsure of who to assign a ticket to. In cases where the request is not urgent, it is acceptable to provide a response to the requester withing 1-2 hours after finding the appropriate resource to assign the ticket to.

Handling Disk Quota Requests

Visiting the link above will display the diskquota of the person logged in via CAS.

Handling WatIAM Account Expiring Emails will receive email when an account is about to expire. And that means that someone in CSCF will then need to determine if the account should remain, and then cause that to happen if needed. Documentation suggests that a WatIAM "UW Help Desk Administrator" can't "renew" a user. However a "Delegated IdM Administrator" (or higher) can. We have: snickers L2 Global User Administrator arpepper Delegated IdM Administrator lfolland Delegated IdM Administrator omnafees Delegated IdM Administrator gboerke UW Help Desk Administrator magore UW Help Desk Administrator rgarcia UW Help Desk Administrator cscfhelp UW Help Desk Administrator so Omar is one choice for dealing with this.

CGI - Internal Server Error on Personal Webpages

If a requester is having issues with setting up, for example, a python script to run via CGI on their personal webpage but are getting the 500 Internal Server Error; provide the following instructions:

1) You can visit - this is a web tool to review your own ~user error logs.

2) If your CGI fails with a '500 server error' there likely won't be a user-specific log entry. You can review for general debugging advice or contact us for assistance.

3) For diagnosing root causes of errors, particularly if there is a '500 server error' you can also try running it from the command-line to see the default output from the script. For example, yourid@linux.cs% python

4) Feel free to contact for further assistance.

Checking Disk Quota

If a request has been sent out by someone stating that they're getting the Disk Quota Exceeded error then the following URL should help to determine what the usage is of the student:

Just replace the userid field in the URL with the person's userID, for example cscfhelp

If the student requires to see what the disk usage looks like in their account, they can run the command:

 du -sh * .[^.]* | sort -h 

Office 365 Help

Instructions for downloading and accessing Office 365 can be found here. Sign in to using their WatIAm userid and password, with the email as "". They will then need to download Office 365 2016. If they have Office 2013 installed they may be required to uninstall it, and if they have Office 2010 installed they will need to install the same version (32-bit or 64-bit) of Office 2016.

You can access Office applications either from the downloaded version or online in the Office 365 Portal ( Clients will now also be able to access their emails through the portal, by clicking on the Mail app and selecting their preferred language and time zone.

If clients wish to use Outlook for their emails, they can open Outlook and select Next when the "Auto Account Wizard" launches. On their Email Accounts page then select "Add Account", and then enter their name, for email, and WatIam password. If this doesn't work, go to and follow the Manual setup instructions. If they want to download it to their phones go here:

To set forwarding preferences, students must go to, login with their WatIam info, and go to "Update Profile" > "Email Configuration", and they can set their preferred forwarding address there. It can take UP TO 90 minutes to take affect.

The message size limit is 50MB, unless the student attaches the file from their OneDrive (accessible through

To check if a student has an Office 365 account, go to and have them login. go to "Update Profile" > "Email Configuration". If there is an entry with "" then they have an Office 365 account.

Password Help

These are instructions for helping a user reset their password when needed, on various services.

Note: Since there are various systems used at UW, (eg: cs-general, watiam, local user accounts), it is always a good idea to double check which accounts the requester can log into. For example, get the requester to SSH to linux.cs and login with the username/password they know, too see if that works. It's possible the password they think needs changing might not be the right one.

UW Account Passwords (Watiam © Nexus)

The password for WatIAM and Nexus Accounts, used for various purposes.

Note: Campus services are transitioning to using Nexus passwords for logins.
If a user hasn't set or reset their password on WatIAM in the last 18 months, on September 19th, 2012, access may be lost to certain services.

  • This is because Nexus is not synchronised with the (soon to be) deprecated ADS server
Resetting a user's password should sync WatIAM with ADS and Nexus, fixing this problem.
More info on this can be found here:

Reset WatIam password

If the student has forgotten his/her password, they can reset it themselves if they know the answers to the three security questions.

  1. Direct the user to the WatIAM's .
  2. Have them enter their user ID and press the "Forgot Password?" button
  3. They will need to answer three security questions before resetting their password
  4. If the user does not remember his/her security question answers, follow the instructions below
To reset a password,

  1. Login to the for WatIAM.
  2. Under the Passwords tab, select 'Reset User Password'
  3. Find the user using the search tool provided, and perform a reset
  4. A temporary password will be displayed for the user, write this down
  5. The user can then log in using this password and set a new password from the user login page:
Users can't use Quest or Nexus and ADS authenticated services before setting a new password in WatIAM

Note: WatIam Password rules

Your Password will need to:

    be at least 8 characters long
    be less than 32 characters long
    have at least one numeric character
    have at least one lower case character
    have at least one upper case character
    have at least one 'special' (i.e. @,%,^, etc.) character
    NOT include all or parts of your firstname or lastname
    NOT contain accountId
    NOT contain email address

Note: Changing your password here will change the password on your ADS account as well as your Nexus account, if you have one. 

Locked Out Accounts (IST)

Contact the person with the affected account (they should have a non-UW email available, check with Omar) and tell them to go to an IST Service Desk, or, or to come to the CSCF Help Desk if Lawrence will be available to unlock their account.

CS Active Directory(Windows/Linux) Passwords

CS Active Directory passwords can be changed 2 ways:

SSH"> Reset with SSH

  1. SSH into a Linux server(linux.cs, ubuntu-1204.cs) as a privileged user
  2. Run passwd userid as root, replacing userid with the account name of the person who needs their password changed.
Note: The command can be run as root by using sudo: =sudo passwd userid=

Reset with RDP (Remote Desktop Connection)

  • Connect with RDP to windows.cscf, using rdesktop windows.cscf on UNIX or the Remote Desktop Connection client on Windows
    • The RDP client in Windows is found in Start > Programs > Accessories > Remote Desktop Connection
      • The Windows client will always request a session in the same resolution as the connecting computer
    • Screen resolution can be specified in UNIX, by using the flag -g, i.e. rdesktop -g 1024x768 windows.cscf

  • After logging in, open Active Directory Users and Computers from the start menu
    • It is found at Start > Programs > Administrative Tools > Active Directory Users and Computers

  • Find the user's username in the User list, and right click their entry to select 'Reset Password'
    • Resetting a user's password this way doesn't enforce the password rules, it will use any password given.

CS-GENERAL Account Passwords

There is a WWW app to change cs-general passwords. In practice, that means someone's password for linux.cs. It requires both the client's userid and password, and your userid and password to authorize the change.

CS Student Passwords

These accounts are for people who need to access student resources.
Student passwords can be changed at:

To check if the student has an account in the TEACHING environment, ssh into

> getent passwd USER_NAME

Set password for RSG loaner machines

When loaning out a PC/Laptop, it is required to set up a local account for the user. This will require a password to be set. Go to PuTTy and SSH into linux.cs using the cscfhelp username and CS-GENERAL password. Once logged in, type "pwgen" (with no quotes) and hit enter. This will generate a long list of passwords from which either one can be picked.

Network Printer Help

An account has been set up for cscfhelp on cups1.cs (also known as print.cs, cups.cs) in order to assist with managing the status of the CSCF printers.

Utilization of this account on the cups1.cs system is very useful when problems are reported with the printers, namely:

  • Print jobs not coming out
  • Printer queue not moving
  • Connection errors
As well, this system is useful for determining the name of the problem printer, the location and information regarding the connection.

The system provides the following information, sorted by printer:

  • Description
  • Location
  • Driver
  • Connection
  • Defaults
  • Active Jobs
  • Completed Jobs
To cancel a print job
  1. Open a web browser
  2. Navigate to the main page
  3. Click on the “Printers” tab
  4. Locate the correct printer (by name, or location)
  5. Click on leftmost column under “Queue Name”
  6. Under the “Maintenance” menu you will be able to select “Cancel All Jobs”

Installing a CS Printer on Ubuntu

NOTE: The procedure below is dependent upon your local system to be able to browse print queues on a SAMBA or other SMB print server. Which is why you NEED TO INSTALL python3-smbc package if it is not installed on your local Ubuntu device which may be the case for some systems.
NOTE: Unlike for Windows clients, does not provide drivers for Linux (Ubuntu) systems. You will have to specify printer the make and model during the install process below. For most SCS queue names, the make and model information may be found at this link:

This is perhaps the most straight forward means to setup an SCS print queue on a local Ubuntu device. Especially for a laptop computer on wireless. Also, not all SCS printers may be accessed through direct connection or via CUPS and must be reached through a CSCF managed server with access controls. You will require CS-GENERAL domain credentials to access it queues.

  1. On you Ubuntu desktop open the Settings application.
  2. Select Devices -> Printers
  3. Click on the Additional Printer Settings... button.


  4. Click on the Add button in the pop-up.
  5. For Device, select Network Printer -> Windows Printer via SAMBA.
  6. In the SMB Printer field enter
    • NOTE: The forward slash ' / ' is very important for the Browse button to work. Make sure to have the / character there


  7. Click on the Browse... button.
    • If you are on a laptop/wireless computer or any non CS-GENERAL domain device you will be prompted for your the Authentication service.
    • You will have to provide your CS-GENERAL domain credentials.
      • The Domain field should be entered as CS-GENERAL. Either in upper or lowercase.

  8. Select the printer queue name you wish to install. (For example, lj_csgrad for the CS Grad Mailroom printer)
  9. Select whether you want to be prompted for your CS-GENERAL credential each time you print with the new queue (default) or whether you wish to set your credentials to the queue.
    • NOTE: When setting your credentials with the queue, the password field comes before the username field. Counterintuitive
    • NOTE: When setting your credentials with the queue, the username field should be CS-GENERAL\<username>


  10. Click on the Forward button.
  11. Select a printer manufacture - Make. (NOTE: if you are unsure of this step, go and look at the printer's make and model HERE: )
    • For most SCS printers this is either HP or Xerox.
  12. Click on the Forward button.
  13. Select a printer Model
  14. Click on the Forward button.
  15. Edit (if desired) the printer description fields.
  16. Click on the Apply button.

Note: there is a MAJOR change in the way browsepoll works after 13.04!!!!
BrowsePoll directives now go in the file /etc/cups/cups-browsed.conf

  1. Edit vi /etc/cups/cups-browsed.conf and add these lines:
            Browsing On
            BrowseInterval 3600
            BrowseTimeout 7200
  1. service cups-browsed restart

Note: If CUPS is installed on another distribution of Linux, the file may be named differently, and in another location.
Make sure network browsing is *enabled
in the CUPS config file, /etc/cups/cups.conf
Make sure the two lines, written here in red, are present in the config file as well.
The Browse Poll options tell the computer where to look for our printers.

# From /etc/cups/cupsd.conf
# Shows shared printers on the cs network.
Browsing On
BrowseOrder allow,deny
BrowseAllow all
BrowseRemoteProtocols CUPS
BrowseInterval 3600
BrowseTimeout 7200
DefaultAuthType Basic

Installing a CS Printer on Windows

A printer on Windows will not be added without proper drivers.

To add a printer on Windows:

  1. Open "Devices and Printers" from the Start Menu or Control Panel
  2. Select "Add a Printer" from the options shown, followed by "Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer"
  3. The wizard will start searching for a printer, ignore this and select "The printer that I want isn't listed"
  4. Choose to "Select a shared printer by name", and enter the URL of the printer in the field provided
  5. For a Database researcher, "" might be a valid URL
  6. Check the list of CS printers at
    > The listings will also show the printers' makes and model numbers
  7. Select the correct manufacturer for the printer chosen, along with the driver for the given printer
  8. A driver for a similar printer may be used if a driver can't be found, i.e. using Xerox Phaser 8560 instead of 8550

Alternatively a network printer can be added using its Ip Address or Host name.

  • In step 4, instead choose "add a printer using TCP/IP address or hostname" and press Next.
  • Enter the printer or ip address under "Hostname or ip address" and click "Next"
  • The computer should then try to connect and install the correct driver

Installing a CS Printer on Mac OS X

To add a printer in OS X:

  1. Open "System Preferences"> "Print and Fax"
  2. Click the lock and authenticate to allow changing settings
  3. Click on the "+" button to add a printer.
  4. Fill in the fields as follows:
    > Address: "
    > Protocol: "Internet Printing Protocol - IPP"
    > Queue: "printers/ printerid ", check the printer listings for the correct printerid to use, replace bolded text with printerId
    > Print Using: Generic Postscript Printer, or a specific driver if available
    > The Generic Postscript driver supports duplexing
  5. The name of the printer is different from the address and can be changed to fit the users needs, also adding the room number is recommended.
  6. Click the "Add" button to finish.

Printers from other Faculties

Instructions for installing other printers can be found on the IST website at:
The website will detect a computer's operating system, and gives instructions for the specific OS and printer.

A note on Xerox printers

There are Xerox WorkCentre printers which students, faculty and staff can use for scanning and photocopying (and some provide colour printing). Scanning on these machines does not require authentication. However, tasks such as photocopying will require logging into the printer (using the display on the printer itself). These printers can be accessed using your WatIAM credentials, with '' appended to your userid. The Xerox WorkCentre printer in the grad mail room (DC 2583) will require a login code from the receptionist (currently Helen Jardine) in the CS main office to use.

Microsoft Imagine

Check here for Microsoft Imagine related questions:

Additional software for students

Wireless Connection Help

Housing has a variety of guides for different devices, found here:

  • Where the guide states to click on 'XpressConnect', you must click on the link 'Eduroam'
IST has another guide for computers only, it is found here:
More specific problems may be added under here as time goes on.

Setting up an authenticated port

Authenticated ports can be set up for people requiring a wired internet connection.

If someone needs an authenticated port, it is useful to find out the following information from them prior to following the setup steps:

  • MAC address
  • Port number
Instructions for finding the MAC address of a computer can be found below and sent to anyone who needs this information.

Finding the MAC address

Before setting up the authenticated port through ONA, it is important to know the port number which needs to be set up, as well as the MAC address of the computer.

To find the MAC address through Windows:

  1. Go into System Preferences> Network> Advanced
  2. The Mac address will be the string of digits listed as the Ethernet ID
To find the MAC address through Windows:
  1. Open a command line
  2. Type: ipconfig all
  3. Look for the line with “Ethernet”
To find the MAC address through Linux:
  1. Open Terminal
  2. Type: ipconfig
  3. Look for the line with eth1
  4. Use the address listed after hwaddr

Setting up the port

  1. Create an ST item for the request assigned to cscfhelp
  2. Find out the port number and switch name for the connection from labelling on wall jack.
  3. Login to ONA here
  4. Find correct port # and click on it
  5. Setup 802.1x to: ENABLED
  6. Set 802.1x Unauth Vlan to: 439
  7. Set Tagging to: None
  8. Set Tagged Vlans to: <None>
  9. Set Untagged Vlan to: 438
  10. Include link to ONA in ST

Using EduRoam

EduRoam is an international service where members from one university can authenticate using their home credentials while visiting another university. This is particularly helpful for visitors. When members of UW visit another campus, they would connect to the local EduRoam wireless service and then login with: and their WatIAM password.

Eduroam Configuration Assistant Tool

The eduroam Configuration Assistant Tool is recommended to configure most popular devices for the eduroam wireless network (Windows 8.1, 7, Vista, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS). Android and Blackberry devices should follow the device specific connection guides in order to connect.

To download the eduroam configuration file for your device:

  • Visit:
  • Click "download your eduroam installer" at the bottom of the page.
  • Select "University of Waterloo" from the home institution list. If the University of Waterloo is not automatically listed, please search for it.
  • Select the operating system of the device you wish to connect to eduroam and download and run the configuration file.
  • Follow the on screen instructions and enter your WatIAM or Net ID credentials. Upon entering your credentials, please attempt connecting to eduroam.

For a map of member universities, see:

Check the instructions created by IST here.

Network Access for Visitors (UW Sponsored Net-IDs)

If a visitor has a notebook and an Eduroam account, he/she will be able to connect to our wireless network following instructions at this webpage:

If a visitor does not have a WatIam account, we can use the UW Sponsored Net-IDs provided by IST.

Instructions for setting these IDs up can be found here:
The TWiki page containing the announcement email can be found here:
ID Creation page can be found here:

Simplified instructions on how to create a Net-ID:

  • Go to
  • Click Authenticate via CAS
  • Go back to the original page and click Manage my Net-IDs
  • Click on the group NI-group14622044775 (Visitor CS users Spring 2016)
  • Click on the icon for adding a new user
  • Select the number of IDs needed (note activation dates pre-set for Spring 2016 term)
  • Go back to the page containing the groups and click the icon "Userid Export" for cs_user1-00x (most recently created)
  • An excel file will be downloaded which includes the user ID, the passwords and the activation dates
  • Note that the user IDs that are created using this have to be entered like "" in order to work, not just Also, the passwords are case sensitive

Apple Certificate Problems

These problems are addressed in the IST manual, found here:
The manual only addresses how to fix these problems when running Mac OS X.

AppleCare Protection Plan & AppleID

Linux Driver Problems

These problems are not always fixable, and successes are on a completely individual basis.
In the best case scenario, a kernel or system update may fix all wireless problems entirely.
In other cases, no solution will ever come about, or it may takes months, or even years before the real problem is solved.

Instructions on how to locate and install kernel modules(drivers), or how to use NDISwrapper, are beyond the scope of this guide.
Performing these tasks varies greatly between different distributions of Linux, and individual hardware configurations.

Network issues

DNS Configuration

  • CS DNS Servers: 172.19.xxxx; (32.5, 32.6 and 47.6)
  • DNS Domains:,

Computer Imaging

For instructions on reimaging computers, see Image Deployment. (Use CloneZilla as of 2017)

For any images containing a partition for Ubuntu, after completing reimage as instructed on the page be sure to follow instructions for running the proper Ubuntu configuration scripts located here.

To understand the Image Names (eg: w81u1404-sabertooth-2TB-s15-v3- ) you should read up on the Naming Rules. PLease Note whenever you image a machine, be sure to put an image name sticker on the machine, replacing the existing one, if any.

If you have time, please let the computer update (takes a long time). Login in to CSCF-OP and open "check updates" to keep track of progress.


Various pieces of equipment including, but not exclusive to:

  • Mice
  • Keyboards
  • Cables
  • Label makers
  • Computer parts
  • Tools
Can be found in the CSCF utility room, DC 2560.

Computers which have been reimaged as well as computers with available parts for use in repairs can be found in DC 2606.

Requests for Computers (Laptops or Desktops)

Generally, CSCF Help will not receive requests for computers. If requests are received, they should be sent to Phil Beldowski.

Barcodes for Laptops

You may be asked for a barcode from a laptop user, or through an ST request. In order to ensure the accuracy of information when giving out barcodes, follow these steps.

  1. Get the user’s name and ID
  2. If it is a grad student, find out who their supervisor is
  3. Find out the model of the machine
  4. Get the serial number of the machine
  5. Ensure that you have taken note of the number on the barcode
  6. Look for the person’s receipt in the box in DC 2606 and have them sign it, they should keep the yellow copy
If this request has occurred in person and you have recorded the above information, the user may now take their laptop.

This information now needs to be transferred into our Inventory system. The Inventory system is used by the ST system to pull information automatically, so it is important to keep it up to date with new purchases and new PC users.

  1. Click on New Record
  2. Enter the appropriate information gathered above
  3. Ensure that any ST #s related to this Inventory entry (i.e. ST regarding the original purchase of the machine) are added to the “Comments:” section.

Mobile Phone Security

Heres a link to a guide on how to keep your smart phone safe. Has guides for most phones:

Handling Move Requests

During a move of any sort of equipment, make sure that the equipment going into its new location has its network set up and is ready to be plugged in to the port. This is very important and needs to be done before the move. It is also very important to note the wall jack that the cable is coming from and the exact port in the computer that you plug the cable into.

Cool Links

Adrian Pepper made a small guide at

The following are links to see and change mailing lists

(replace "LIST_NAME" with the name of the list)

LAMP Setup Resources

Links useful for installing and configuring LAMP Software Bundle on Ubuntu.

As well ST 88453 contains links useful for this setup.

VMware License and Users

Location of our license keys Note: At the bottom of the VMwareLicenses page is a list of users and the version of VMare they are using. That should be updated whenever a key is given to a user. The latest keys are at the bottom of the page and are good for one year.

Useful Resources

CSCF Frequently Asked Questions --FAQ, information regarding the cs.uwaterloo/~username pages

Lawrence's CSCF Home Page -- Links to the ST, ST search, and much more

International Plugs & Sockets -- For new foreign Grad students or for Travellers

Accounts Requests

Printer Requests

Webmaster Requests -- Needs to be updated with more information

Inventory System

WatIAM Search

CF Twiki

Who's (Not) Here List

Points of Contact

Research PoC

Staff Poc

Teaching PoC

Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
Microsoft Word filedocx Creating_UW_Sponsored_Net_IDs.docx r1 manage 971.8 K 2013-11-12 - 10:07 CscfHelp  
PNGpng Screenshot_from_2020-02-20_16-16-21.png r1 manage 18.5 K 2020-02-20 - 16:17 HarshRoghelia  
Microsoft Word filedocx Welcome_to_the_David_R_Cheriton_School_of_Computer_Science.docx r1 manage 14.2 K 2013-07-19 - 15:32 CscfHelp  
PNGpng additionalsettings.png r1 manage 63.6 K 2020-02-20 - 16:09 HarshRoghelia  
PNGpng smb-server2.png r1 manage 62.2 K 2020-02-20 - 16:20 HarshRoghelia  
PNGpng smb_server.png r1 manage 64.7 K 2020-02-20 - 16:15 HarshRoghelia  
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Topic revision: r151 - 2020-08-28 - ClaytonTucker
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