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CSEL: The Computer Science Education Lab

The CSEL is located in ECCS 112 and ECCS 128. Your Buff OneCard is requred for access to the lab. Faculty, staff, and students (either in the CS department or enrolled in a CSCI course should have access to the CSEL resources.

Please email for help, questions, or comments.

NB: All general purpose machines (PCs and remote access) use NFS home directories, so your data is persistent and shared across all of the CSEL systems. If you are running an IO-bound job, consider using the shared scratch space mounted on /local. NB 2: Please do not assume any serious security for these home directories and do not store any confidential info there.

PCs in the lab

The are a number of PCs available for academic use. The current specs are:

  • Intel Core i7-2600 Quad Core 3.4 GHz
  • AMD Radeon HD 6670 GPU (Northern Islands)
  • 16 GB RAM
  • NFS / (root) and /home

The current, available PXE images are:

  • Ubuntu 16.04.x amd64
  • Ubuntu 14.04.x amd64 (deprecated)

If you need a custom image for special settings, preferred Linux distribution, etc, please send us an email.

nVidia ``Graphics'' Machine

In ECCS 128 there is a special machine which can be used by anyone but students in the graphics classes have priority. This machine has:

  • Intel Core i7-4771 (Haswell) Quad Core 3.5 GHz
  • nVidia GeForce GTX 780, 3GB GDDR5
  • 32 GB RAM
  • Samsung 840 Pro SSD (for / (root))
  • NFS /home
  • Dell 2560x1440 Monitor

Remote Access

You may access the lab remotely via SSH (SCP, SFTP) using your IdentiKey and password. The current remote access machines are:

  • - Ubuntu 16.04.x amd64
  • - Ubuntu 16.04.x amd64
  • - Ubuntu 16.04.x amd64
  • - Ubuntu 16.04.x amd64

As with the workstation images, please email us if you need a custom image for a class, student project, etc.


You can get access to the campus (and CSEL) networks using OIT provided VPN


We have a private GitLab server located at You can access it using your Identikey and password.

It is advised to use instead, as it is supported by bigger staff and thus is more reliable. supports private repos.


There's a printer in the lab. Feel free to print. Don't waste paper.


Note: As of Spring 2016, we have moved to a website hosting setup that only supports static websites. If your site previously relied on dynamic languages like PHP, you'll need to migrate to using static technologies such as HTML5, javascript, and/or static-site generators such as jekyll. If you require dynamic hosting support, you'll need to look to external services such as DigitalOcean and AWS (personal projects) or request resources on our in-house OpenStack Cluster (course projects).

You have a student website hosted at This site can be located under either ~/public_html or ~/.www. If you are having trouble, make sure the web server has permission to read this directory.

$ chmod o+x ~
$ chmod o+rx ~/.www

SQL Database


There is a mariadb (mysql fork) server located at Your username and password to access this database are your identikey and password (as with all of the CSEL services). You have one database, named after your identikey, which is created when you log in if it doesn't already exist. All access to this DB must be over TLS.

$ mysql -h -u$IDENTIKEY -p --ssl $IDENTIKEY

In addition, phpMyAdmin is available at


In addition to the typical software available on the CSEL systems, the PCs and remote access servers also have MATLAB installed.

We also have the following academic licenses:


By default, your password for CS Department education systems is your identikey password. This password is stored by OIT and is the same password that you use to access your email, mycuinfo, etc. Hence, if you are having password problems in the lab test against one of those systems.

You can change your password using the csel-passwd tool on the desktops on campus or the elras.

usage: csel-passwd set|reset|test [IDENTIKEY]

  This tool is for changing your CSEL password. If not specified, IDENTIKEY defaults
  to your current username ($USER).

  set      Set a local CSEL password (will not reflect elsewhere on campus)
  reset    Reset back to campus identikey password
  test     Test your current password

For example, to change to a local password

$ csel-passwd set

To go back to the default and defer to your identikey password

$ csel-passwd reset