Monday, August 20, 2012

Today's topics:

Scheduled network outage: Saturday, August 25

There will be a scheduled network outage of the LEPP and CHESS networks from 6 AM until Noon on Saturday, August 25. The outage might be shorter, but don't plan on it. CIT will be working on network cabling in Wilson Lab as part of the "EzraNet" project.

Networks inside Wilson Lab itself should continue to work, but there will be no connectivity to the rest of campus or to the outside world. In particular, there will be no connectivity between CHESS, Wilson, Newman and the Physical Sciences buildings. The LEPP network connections in Newman and the Physical Sciences Building depend on their connections to Wilson, so they will not work at all.

The Red Rover wireless network connections in the Physical Sciences Building should continue to work for access to the rest of campus (other than LEPP and CHESS) and to the outside world.

Symantec Web page checks

The version of Symantec Anti-Virus software provided by the University includes a Web browser plugin which does some rudimentary checks for Web page malware. This feature has to be enabled by each individual. It's not something we can turn on centrally. To enable it for Firefox, please follow this procedure:
  1. Open Firefox
  2. Type Control-Shift-A to open the Add-ons menu in a new tab
    • There are other ways to access this menu by way of the main Firefox menu
  3. Select the item "Extensions" (in the left-hand column)
  4. In the new table at the right, look for the line "Symantec Intrusion Prevention"
    • At the right side, there should be a button which says
    • "Enable" (if it's currently disabled) or
    • "Disable" (if it's currently enabled).
  5. If it's disabled, you might try enabling it.

PC50 to go away -- check your Z: drive!

PC50 is an ancient file server running Windows NT. When PC50 dies, we do not plan to restore it.

If you use Windows, please check your Z: drive to make sure it is NOT using PC50. If it is, please notify the LEPP computer group immediately so we can migrate your files to a more reliable SAMBA file server. Instructions for how to check where Z: points are available at

If you use the Mac file share on PC50, also please notify the LEPP computer group immediately so your files can be moved somewhere more appropriate.

The LEPP computer group can be reached at service-lepp@cornell.edu or the Web form at https://wiki.lepp.cornell.edu/lepp/bin/view/Computing/ServiceRequest

Remote access to Linux systems

We are reviewing our Linux remote access support with a CLASSE perspective to determine the best way of meeting CHESS and LEPP's ongoing and future requirements. One aspect of this is to compare the performance, reliability, and user experience of VNC versus NX.

While LEPP currently has one test FreeNX server (an open source port of the commercial NX server), the server is outdated and in need of upgrade or retirement. VNC is an attractive alternative as it is currently maintained (freenx hasn't been updated since 2008), available on all Linux systems, is supported by Red Hat, supports access to multiple simultaneous sessions (including local X sessions for users with a Linux desktop), and from in the lab or a reasonable remote connection (cable, DSL, etc.), works as well (and for many more reliably) than NX.

Documentation on remotely accessing Linux LEPP systems via ssh and VNC is available at https://wiki.lepp.cornell.edu/lepp/bin/view/Computing/RemoteLinux .

General network and server maintenance will occur every Tuesday from 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM. The CLASSE-IT group will always announce any expected disruptions in our NewsLetter and via CLASSE-IT-NEWS-L, but with the size and complexity of our network there is always the potential for something to go wrong. We will do our best to contain all network maintenance and planned outages to Tuesdays from 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM.

Unless other arrangements have been made, CLASSE-managed Windows systems may be updated and rebooted on Tuesday morning at 2:00 AM, so please avoid critical or lengthy operations at that time. For more details, please see SystemExpectations.

Questions or problems? Submit a service request.

Other resources:

Topic revision: r6 - 20 Aug 2012, JamesPulver
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