Our computing infrastructure and services support all aspects of the university’s mission. Given the breadth of computing needs from our Computer Science, Information Systems, and Computational Biology degree programs, we offer a wide variety of computing systems for faculty, staff, and student use.
Office and Personal Computers
The faculty and staff are provided laptops for office, home, and travel use. The laptop, usually running Windows, is used in the office with a docking station that connects to monitor, keyboard, mouse, and the network. The same laptop can be un-docked and taken by the faculty or staff for use at home or while traveling. Faculty can choose between Windows and Mac laptops. Learn more about Office and personal computers.
Supported Operating Systems
We use Windows as our primary computing platform. Nearly all of our software and support is available on the Windows computers. However, a university teaching computing cannot limit its student exposure to just one computing environment. Therefore, IT also supports Mac and Linux computers for specialized tasks in support of the teaching activities. In addition, while we do not provide Andriod or iOS devices, we try our best to make our services (e.g., email, file access) accessible from mobile devices running Android and iOS operating systems. More details about support available on the computing policies page.
Faculty can request Mac laptops as their primary personal system. Macs have their own software environment that is distinct from Windows. Using a Mac means choosing to compute with it strengths and weaknesses. We support the Mac with these constraints and within the ability of our online services (like email and printing) to support the Mac. Staff may request a Mac for their work if Windows cannot meet the staff members work needs. CIO approval is required for such requests. More information about Mac support is available.
Clusters (Computer Labs) and Virtual.Qatar
We have several computer labs to support teaching activities. Most labs are equipped with a Windows computer with all the software requested by faculty for teaching their respective courses. The Clusters are used for holding classes and also by students at non-class time for work assignments. The list of installed software is in Clusters is available.
In addition to Clusters, we also offer access to “virtual desktop” computers configured identically to the Clusters (i.e., with same software selection) over the internet. That is, faculty and students can connect to https://virtual.qatar.cmu.edu, usually called Virtual.Qatar, and use this virtual desktop computer from home. The virtual desktop computers are running in our datacenter and when needed, we connect faculty and students to these system for use from remote location. More information is available about Virtual.Qatar.
Library and Open Areas
The library, student lounge, and a few other campus locations also have computers for general use. These systems are configured identically to the Cluster systems (that is they have the same configuration and software).
Linux systems are available in our datacenter that you can remotely access and use. The systems are named linux.qatar.cmu.edu and are accessible via the SSH connection from your system. These systems have typical Linux software. Home directories are stored in the Andrew Filesystem. You can publish your personal web pages by publishing the content from your Linux home directory on Andrew Filesystem. More information is available about Linux systems.
We also support faculty and research staff’s desktop Linux systems. We can install and manage Linux on your desktop system and also help with software installation and general troubleshooting of software.
At times faculty need access to “raw” machines for some of their classes or research projects. For example, a distributed computing class may need 5 machines for each student for certain homework assignment. We can provision virtual machines, install Linux on them, and create accounts for your teaching or research use. More information is available about virtual machines.