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Sun Environment

The Sun environment in the Physics Department consists of a number of Sun servers and numerous Sun workstations. Most Sun workstations are used by faculty, but a number can also be found in the various public-access computer rooms. Users' home directories reside on a master file server and are mounted across the network via NFS for user access.

Users can access the Sun environment as follows:

  • Locally on a Sun machine
  • Remotely to '' via 'ssh' or an ssh-based client
In both cases, login is via the Physics email account and password.

Upon logging in locally on a Sun machine, the user is presented with an X-Windows graphical environment with the user's home directory NFS-mounted.

Upon logging in remotely via 'ssh' or an ssh-based client (such as 'PuTTY'), the user sees a Unix terminal window with the user's home directory NFS-mounted. Please see our Remote Connectivity page for detail on ssh-based clients.

Standard home directory quota can be too small, depending on your research area. If that's the case, email help@physics and we can increase it. To check your quota usage, run "quota -v" on one of the physsun machines. If you are having problem logging in using CDE, but can still login via ssh, check your quota and make sure you are not over quota.

Software available on Sun machines includes Firefox, Mathematica and Adobe Reader.
See our Software Packages webpage for more information. If you need access to software that's not mentioned on the software page, please email help@physics for support.

To change your password, follow these steps:

  • Login to "" using an SSH client.
  • After login, enter the command "yppasswd USERNAME", replacing USERNAME with your username. You will be asked to enter your current password followed by your new password.

For information re E-mail, please see our E-mail webpage.

For information re printing, please see our Printing webpage.

For information re the Common Desktop Environment (CDE) on Sun, please see our CDE webpage.

Please send any comments on this page to Richard Vaughn.