Welcome page - Command Quicklist - Troubleshooting - LINUX installation

These pages contain documentation of how to work in our LINUX environment. We hope you find all necessary information. Moreover, we hope that you inform us about all usefull suggestions to complete this documentation. Everything indicated with  is for advanced users, freshmen can skip these parts.

About Linux

First of all our machines run under Linux. This is a Un*x-like operating system that is freely available from the internet. Although this operating system is free it is a full fledged OS which provides everything a serious system administrator looks for. Due to its free nature Linux is not subjected to the laws of the free market. As a result Linux is update and enhanced almost every day since there are no investments that should pay-off before the introduction of new technology.

In the beginning a Un*x-like operating system may look much more difficult to use than other systems like MacO$ or M$ Windows. With a little patience you will discover that this not the case and the you can even do more with the same machine simply by using a good OS on it. But the following 'things' are confusing at first:

Learn more about UNIX and linux

We use the KDE environment in LINUX.
It has a Windows look, so using it should be straight forward.

Environment Variables

A lot of the configuration of your system is done by so-called environment variables. These are variables -like any variable in a program- that are known in your whole environment, like makefiles, programs etc. You can view all these variables with the command env (type in a console).
Create/assign them with setenv var value, use them with a $ sign, for example to view the content, type echo $var in a console.
Important predefined variables:
more info

Linux configuration

You have 2 important configuration files, they are placed in your home directory and start with a dot.
These are called hidden files (start with a dot), to view them:

Login at the PC's of the 3rd floor 

Color depth

Work at home           For security reasons we don't put the correct addesses on the web, you'll have to ask us.

login graphically with VNC
    VNC under Mac

textual terminals
You can connect to our Linux system from your home PC, using ssh (not Telnet, because it doesn't give a secure connection).
Install putty as a terminal (homepage, download PuTTY exe).
Connect to one of the above computers. You get a console, no graphical user interface is available. Use for example nano myfile as simple editor (see below, console commands).
You can access your files on our system with secure ftp (more secure than the simpe ftp), use for instance WinSCP  (freeware).

Work with Floppy's

Before you can read from or write to floppy's, you'll have to mount the floppy, type in a console:
mount /floppy
Now you can read your files from this with the file manager or console (cd /floppy and ls *).
When finished, don't forget to unmount with:
umount /floppy
Important remarks:


Configure your desktop: add links to programs
  1. Open the templates window (on your desktop). Drag the "Program" icon to your desktop, keep the Control button pressed & select copy!. It will be copied to the desktop.
  2. Now you have a program link, to configure it, right-click on it and select "Properties"
  3. Under the 'General' Tab, you can specify the name of the link (eg netscape.kdelnk)
  4. under the 'Execute' Tab, you should specify the program you want to run (see higher for the right path). You can also select a different icon by clicking the icon.

Console Commands

As Linux is a UNIX clone, the commands are the same.
Here is a list of the most usefull commands (look here for detailed info!! or man pages ): For more details, check the above links.



Scripts are very powerfull to automate some tasks. Run them by simply typing there name in a console.
There are many shells you can use to write scripts:

Linux Links