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A Guide to CLASSE Computing Services

Log In

When you obtained your CLASSE computing account, you were provided a userid and you set your own password. You can use them to login on any CLASSE managed computer, including your desktop computer if one was provided. Some lists of CLASSE computers are available at

Changing Passwords

You can change your CLASSE password at any time. Use the Web page
CLASSE managed computers: Your initial login MUST take place while connected to a CLASSE network
Reocmmended: log OUT immediately after initial login to make sure you can log in when not connected to a CLASSE network.

Instructions are available at
and at

Reading Email and Scheduling Meetings

All Laboratory staff and faculty have accounts in Cornell's Exchange service, which is provided by Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365. It processes email associated with your Cornell email address and is used to schedule meetings.

Note: Please report Office 365 email problems, including long delays in mail delivery, to the CIT help desk at 255-5500 or If you don't report it, they can't know there's something wrong.

Outlook Web App

Outlook Web App (OWA) is Microsoft's Web-based email reader and meeting scheduler at

Login to OWA by providing the userid (the suffix is required) and the password associated with your Cornell NetID.

For more information, see


The full Outlook application provides somewhat different features from OWA. Outlook is installed as part of Microsoft Office on CLASSE-managed Windows and Macintosh computers. For more information, see

Outlook (along with many other Windows applications) is available to Linux (and other) computers by using WinAPP, the CLASSE Windows "Terminal Server". For details, see

Microsoft Office is available to the Cornell community to use on personally owned computers for a nominal fee. See

File Storage

Don't keep important files on the local computer you sit in front of! It's vital that you use CLASSE's backed-up file services. See

Your Linux home disk, user disk, scratch disk and project disk space are all on CLASSE file servers and are available using Samba.

Turning Off Computers: Please Don't!

Saving energy is great, but please do not turn off your CLASSE managed desktop computer. Doing so prevents software and anti-virus updates which usually happen during off-hours. However, turning off just the display is OK: it saves energy and does not prevent updates.

In particular, notebook and laptop computers should be left powered on and connected to the network Monday evenings. If updates cannot be performed then, then the updates will happen as soon as the computer is turned on and connected to the network. This can make the computer almost unusable for a long time, just when you need it the most.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

The CLASSE IT group is allowed to provide only a limited amount of support for computers not owned by CLASSE. A brief list of some non-CLASSE support services is available at

Services for External Users

External users may be issued a CLASSE computer account, which provides access to most CLASSE computer services, such as printing and centralized file storage. However, there are some limitations to the resources that can be accessed by external users. Please contact the CLASSE IT group for assistance if you find that you need additional access.

Running Programs


CLASSE encourages using Scientific Linux because this centralized computing resource is easy to access remotely, is highly available, provides more computing power, and is more supportable.

For a list of Available Packages, Recommended Software, more Documentation and other useful information, see Linux Support

Many computational resources are provided by CLASSE's Linux Compute Farm. It contains hundreds of CPU cores which can run jobs in batch or interactively, The farm is managed using the Grid Engine queuing system. See


qsub is the Linux command used to schedule batch jobs on the Linux Compute Farm. See


qrsh is the Linux command used to initiate an interactive session on the Linux Compute Farm. It's often used to run software like Matlab. See


While Linux is the preferred operating system at CLASSE, Windows may be required when connecting to hardware, using an app with no Linux version installed (e.g. Inventor, LabVIEW), or running a very graphics-intensive application. A list of the software provided on all CLASSE Windows 10 computers is available at Quite a few additional products have been licensed and can be provided with little or no additional charge. A few can be easily installed by anyone. See

Please contact the CLASSE IT group for information about additional software products.


A list of the software provided for CLASSE Macintosh computers is available at Macintosh CLASSE-Standard Software

CLASSE CAD/Illustration standards

CLASSE has a EngineeringDesignDrafting/Illustration Department to assist in the production of computer aided design and technical illustrations. Autodesk Inventor Professional (3D) and AutoCAD (2D) are the applications used by the EngineeringDesignDrafting/Illustration Department in the design, creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of physical components; drawings produced by Autodesk Inventor Professional or AutoCAD are stored in a Vault database. Adobe Creative Suite is used to do other graphics-related tasks.

Drafting/illustration/graphics documents that are important for CLASSE research or education must meet CLASSE standards and must be accessible to appropriate CLASSE staff for future reference/modification. The EngineeringDesignDrafting/Illustration Department and associated infrastructure are set up to effectively attain these goals. For "one-off" projects of limited usefulness, the CLASSE IT group recommends the use of gimp on a Linux computer; gimp is also available on Windows/Mac.

For assistance, or more information on CAD, illustration or other graphics needs, see:
or contact Tim O'Connell .

Technical Documents and Papers for Publication

Although people find Microsoft's Word document processing system to be convenient for small projects, it has many bugs, limitations and compatibility problems which make it extremely inconvenient when used for large, collaborative documents or for documents which need to be readable after several years. At least twice, Microsoft has dropped support for documents written in previous Word formats. As a result, editing environments based on LaTeX are much more robust. Detailed comparisons between LaTex and Word are available at


LaTeX is suitable for producing large, collaborative documents The LaTeX format is very stable and portable; it produces documents that are readable and editable over time, and is available on all CLASSE Linux, Windows and Macintosh computers. The file format is independent of which version of LaTeX used, and which host operating system it is running on.

Information about the use of LaTeX at CLASSE is available at

Contact Us

If you have any questions about CLASSE computing, or would like help with a problem, please don't hesitate to contact the CLASSE computer group:

Topic revision: r89 - 14 May 2024, MarlinGuest
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