CS Lab Procedures

If you intend to do your coursework on a lab system, there are a few procedural things you need to know

Student VM

All lab machines have either VMware Workstation (NRG, HLC) or VMware Player (SAC) installed on machines in the classroom and lab assigned for the class. These VM machines have a standard user account you will use to log into the systems.

  • User Name: student
  • Password: Handed out in class

You can use any machine available to do your work in any of these rooms.

Waking up the Lab VM

Before doing anything on the lab machine, get yourself logged in and start either VMware Workstation, or Player, depending on which campus you are working from.

Make sure you see the cosc2325vm entry in the available machines list on the left side of the screen. The actual VM is stored in c:\VirtualMachines\cosc2325vm\cosc2325vm.vmx. Double clicking on that file name will open the VM as well.

Once the program is running you need to make sure that shared folders are set up correctly.

Select VM ‣ Settings` to get to the control panel where the machine settings are stored. Under Options tab, click on Shared Folders. Make sure “Always enabled” is checked. The folders window should show COSC2325 H:\. If this is not visible on your machine, ask a lab tech for help.

Waking up your VM

You start the virtual machine by clicking on the green arrow button on the menu at the top of the window. The first time you wake up the class VM, you will be asked if the virtual machine was moved or copied. You need to answer “I copied it”. Ignore any messages that pop up about devices that may be connected to the host machine. (You can click on the “Do not show this hint again” check-box if the device is normally attached to this machine.)

Logging In

You should end up looking at a GUI login screen with three accounts listed:

  • ladmin - used by lab technicians
  • Roie Black - used by guess who
  • student: used by you!

Use the arrow keys (or mouse) to select the correct account and enter the password.

Once you are successfully logged in, you should see a normal Ubuntu GUI screen with several buttons along the left side. The one you will use the most is the terminal window which shows a black button with “>_” displayed. This will open up a console where you will type in commands. (We will go over the basics in the lab sessions).

Home Directories

Normally, you would store all of your personal files in your home directory, which would be /home/student for the account you logged into on these systems. Since we want you to be able to use any machine available, you cannot store any personal files in this standard home directory! So, how are we going to solve this problem?

Mapped “H” Drives

All lab machines have been configured so they “share” a directory on the host machine with the VM. That shared directory is located at this directory when you are working in the VM:

  • /mnt/hgfs/COSC2325

This particular directory is mapped to the root of your student “H” drive, which will be available any time you log into a lab system with the credentials provided when you started the class (to log in on the Windows host machine).

I recommend that you create a folder on your “H” drive named COSC2425 and place all of your work in that folder.

Once you are logged into the VM and have a terminal session open, you should change to this directory using this command:

$ cd /HDrive

Now you are ready to work on projects! All required tools are already installed on these systems. If we need anything else, I will need to make those changes, since the student account does not have administrator privileges.

Warning

Remember that anything you leave in any directory on the Ubuntu system in the “normal places will be saved on that machine only, and any student who uses that same machine will have access to those files. Only files you save under /HDrive will be safe in your personal area, and will be available on another machine.