Support Tips for Informatics

This page documents top tips for Support Staff. Support Procedures documents support procedures.
  1. Account Management
  2. Linux
  3. Web
  4. Software
  5. Misc
  6. Printing
  7. MDP Machines
  8. Windows Machines

Account Management

Legacy uids.

New accounts now get uids from the EUCS uidlookup program and if returning staff or students need new account they should get the new uid and any existing files changed to new uid.

Some Quota Info

Some things to check if, after altering the quota, nothing happens.
On achilles check /var/lcfg/conf/quotas/list and on the homedirectory server check
These should be the same.
If they are not try running repquota or quotacheck.

Exact syntax to follow.

Try om quotas restart full

Some Useful Commands

Matlab licences

The toolboxes are only available under the full matlab research licence. By default taught students (hence including MSc students) have a shell variable set when they log in which directs them to the matlab teaching licence server instead of the matlab research licence server; for taught students MLM_LICENSE_FILE=/opt/matlab-all/etc/teaching-license.dat whereas for everyone else MLM_LICENSE_FILE=/opt/matlab-all/etc/research-license.dat
Should a student ask to use one of the toolboxes, then they need to set the MLM_LICENSE_FILE accordingly. The student should only be advised of this once their supervisor confirms the need for them to use the toolbox requested.


Memory Sticks

Put your memory stick in a usb port.
type mount /mnt/flash
If it says "only root can do this" you need to reboot your machine.
After reboot,
If it is not recognised mail us back with the contents of
and we will get it added to our list of known sticks. (by Iain)

If you create a file called .mtoolsrc with the following content:

drive d: file="/dev/sda1" exclusive
then you can access the stick directly as the d: drive using mtools.
e.g. mcopy d:myfile myfile
To copy myfile from the mem stick to your homedir (and keep the filename as myfile)

e.g. mcopy myfile d:
To copy myfile onto the mem stick.

The stick still needs to be one that we know about.

How to find out where an lcfg resource comes from.

A readable copy of the machines profile can be found in
/var/lcfg/conf/profile/xml a file something like
-rw-------    1 root     lcfg       846044 Jul 14 15:11 ardent.xml
you can grep for resources like this
[ardent]root: grep jbryant ardent.xml
~ <localusers>
/etc/lcfg/">lmb cc jbryant rwb carol
woodsar iainr @sysmans </localusers>
and the xml should tell you exactly where to look for the resource definition
e.g. above the values are set in /etc/lcfg/ line 205

Setting up a Laptop or standalone desktop.

In the lcfg use the laptop header file:-
#include <lcfg/opts/laptop.h>
The local users have to be specified and local homes created. This is also done in the lcfg.
!kerberos.localusers   mSET(lmb)
!localhome.users mSET(lmb)
The machine also has to have an entry in the dns/inf file of the form hostname-k or hostname-c depending on which wire it is on.

Installing a single rpm.

Get name of rpm
rpm is likely to be in /pkgs/master/rpms/rh9/dice (on any dice machine)

Copy rpm onto floppy:
mount /mnt/floppy
cp /pkgs/master/rpms/rh9/dice/LPRng-conf-1.3.32-1.noarch.rpm /mnt/floppy
umount /mnt/floppy
Put rpm onto exam laptop:
mount /mnt/floppy
rpm -i /mnt/floppy/name_of_rpm.rpm
umount /mnt/floppy

Editing Files on New Servers.

To get emacs on new servers use /opt/sfw/bin/emacs

Formatting a New Hard Disk Before Installation.

Replacement hard disks sometimes need formatting before installation with linux.

Finding a Directory on Solaris Servers.

find . -name xxxx -type d -print The name will usually be the uun but some home directories are named for legacy usernames.

Single User Booting on FC3.

On Grub menu type 'p' (for password) and enter BIOS password. This should then allow you to type 'a' to modify boot args. Add 'single' to the end of the args and hit return. The machine will then boot and stop at the 'Enter admin password for maintenance' prompt as usual.

Installing HP 7100s and GX 620s.

All recent machines (DC 7100 and Dell GX620s) uses SATA controllers rather than IDE for their disks. Linux treats SATA disks as if they were SCSI disks, so they're named as sda, sdb instead of as hda, hdb etc. The CDROMs are still on the IDE controller, but as they are now the only device on the IDE, the CDROM is now hda rather than hdc. The current DICE install CD still assumes that the CDROM is hdc, so if you want to install a DC7100 or Dell GX620 you need to type "hda" at the CDROM prompt. Yes, it would be nice if this could be autodetected, but it's not easy :(


Add printers to your browser.

In the .mozilla/profile-name/random-number/prefs.js file after closing your browser just add this line - obviously change the list as you want...

user_pref("print.printer_list", "fh10 at8 fh4c bp2");
...after the line
user_pref("print.printer_PostScript/fh4c.print_shrink_to_fit", true)

Who may run CGI scripts?

Everyone except ug1 and ug2 students.

Informatics Blog

In order to be added as a Author of a particular blog on blob.inf, the user must first register at:

The administrator can then 'Add New User' to their blog making sure they use the correct email address that appears in the user's profile (default upon registration is is UUN@inf, however the user may have later updated contact info to a different address)

Plone web CMS Service

A common problem is that the users have accidentally been provided with the https (editable) version of the webpage and they get access denied error. They just need to be told to go to the http (viewable) version.

In order to be given permissions to edit a particular site/webpage, the user must first have logged in so they are registered with the site, e.g for student services they should visit the following link:

Certificates - publishing workaround

For Seamonkey users - they may encounter certificate errors when trying to publish to https pages, e.g ITO/staffonly. The fix is firstly to browse to a URL like:

in Seamonkey. When it complains about the certificate, click the "yes I know" and tick the "add permanent exception". Quit Seamonkey and then restart it, use the browser to weblogin to the required page, then use the publisher to edit it.


What software can I use to do ......?

gpg Encryption software.
sconf Reconnect a laptop to network connections.
xfig or dia To draw diagrams.
a2ps To print landscape and lots of other things.
xsane To use scanner on revenge in 2501 JCMB.
quanta An HTML editor.
k3b To copy/create CDs/DVDs.
meld To compare two versions of a document side by side.

Is X Installed on Dice?

To find out if something is installed:-
[cornel]lmb: rpm -qa | grep acl
You can then find out details by:-
[cornel]lmb: rpm -qi acl-6.2-4
Name : acl Relocations: (not relocateable)
Version : 6.2 Vendor: School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh
Release : 4 Build Date: Wed Jan 7 18:29:34 2004
Install Date: Tue Oct 26 16:10:17 2004 Build Host:
Group : Development/Languages Source RPM: acl-6.2-4.src.rpm
Size : 235132051 License: 1985-2002, Franz Inc., Berkeley, CA, USA. All Rights Reserved.
Signature : (none)
Packager : Roger Burroughes
Summary : ACL binary distribution
Description :
Package of Allegro CL 6.2 Enterprise Edition binary distribution (CD).
RH9 downloaded patchers included.
Licence file included.
If you are not sure of the name of the rpm you can:-
locate lisp | more
This lists all the files which have "lisp" included. Pick one and run:-
cornel]lmb: rpm -qf /opt/acl62/alisp

How Do I Control Sound?

Use kmix


Changing a Port Setting.

The easiest way to find out which file to edit to change a port setting is:- rfe -xf kbnet/portnumber or rfe -xf kbnet/roomnumber

This will produce output like:-

[tumshie]lmb: rfe -xf kbnet/2421
1415-1.ports:port C5 2421a - H
1415-1.ports:port C6 2421b - AT1
1415-1.ports:port C7 2421c - C
1415-1.ports:port C8 2421d - H

[tumshie]lmb: rfe -xf kbnet/055
at5c.ports:port B1 AT5/055-spithersquoy - V
mhcn-1.ports:port B7 F/055 - D
The switch network can be seen here.

Bios on Toshibas.

To get in to the bios on Toshibas hold down Esc then press F1.

Checking samba connections.

Run the command:

smbclient -l (or 

What to do about hardware fault with Apple Mac laptop

The serial number can be found under the battery. If the machine is still under warranty, they just need to phone the Apple Support number that Sheila has. They will diagnose and may send the person to Cancom on Nicolson Street.


Print Servers

printbp (sybies)
printat (cessnock)
printjcmb (monotype)
printjcmb2 (colcannon)
printfh (tuntsa)

Toner for AT and FH

        Printer         Cartridge
FH1 4100DTN C8061X
FH2 4100DTN C8061X
FH3 4100DTN C8061X
FH4c 4500DN black C4191A
cyan C4192A
magenta C4193A
yellow C4194A
FH5 4000N C4127X
FH6 5M 92298X
FH7 4M+ 92298X
FH8 4050N C4127X

Printer Cartridge
AT1 4200DTN Q1338A
AT2 4050N C4127X
AT3 4200DTN Q1338A
AT4 4200DTN Q1338A
AT5 4200DTN Q1338A
AT6 4200DTN Q1338A
AT7 4200DTN Q1338A
AT8 4200DTN Q1338A
AT9c 4600DTN Black C9720A
Cyan C9721A
Yellow C9722A
Magenta C9723A
AT10c 4600DTN (as AT9c)
AT11 4200DTN Q1338A
AT12c Inkjet 2880TN ??????

Setting a Printer in AcroRead.

In the .Xdefaults file put:-
Acroread*lprCommand: lpr -Pprinter
Then run:-
xrdb -merge .Xdefaults

Recovering a corrupted printer database

Just restart the printer component on the print server which has the corrupted printer database:

om LPRng restart

Establishing which IP address a print job has been sent from

Until kerberised printing has been set up in Forum, we can't determine real user/UUN from a print job submitted from a selfmanaged machine/laptop as we only see the name of their local account. We can establish which IP address they were connected to meaning we can then determine their location via netmon.

on infcups as root, grep for their 'Name' of file, 'User' or jobID in the following file:


which shows the following info, one line per page printed:

if213m0 joxley 374683 [22/Nov/2011:14:32:11 +0000] 1 1 -

MDP Machines

Malware Removal Guide

The following guide gives advice on what software to use to remove malware from Windows machines:

Malware Removal Guide

Only first page of pdf prints from Adobe - fix

If only first page of pdf prints out instead of full document: Do file > print, go to advanced (left hand side) change the Font and resource Policy to Send at Start. Then click ok.

Windows Machines

Synchronising Time with Dice Machines.

Internet Time -- automatically set to sync with

Remembering Prevous Printer Settings Windows 7

If you delete a printer in windows 7 it doesn't not delete the port setting for that printer.

The following steps will tell you how to remove the port settings in windows 7:

1. Open 'Devices and Printers'.
2. Click on the printer you wish to delete the port on.
3. At the top of the window click 'Printer server properties'.
4. Click the Ports tab.
5. Select the port and click 'Delete port'.

If it comes up with an error eg: 'The printer is currently in use', delete the printer and then select any printer already configure and use the prevous steps to get to the port options, you will then be able to remove the port setting as it will still show up there even after the printer has been deleted.

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