Math Phys computer news

New .cshrc and .login scripts now ready

New standard .cshrc and .login scripts that are compatible with Digital Unix, Ultrix and Linux are now available and can be found in /usr/local/skel on the Math Phys cluster server, h. These replace the standard Maths Phys scripts and most users can simply copy these to their home directories, replacing the old scripts. Some users may have customised scripts that are different - please contact Andy Thomas if you need help with altering a custom .cshrc or .login script.

The new scripts will allow you to log into the Linux systems in 6m36 without getting a lot of disconcerting error messages.

At the same time, modifications have been made to the X-windows installations on the Linux PCs to allow Alpha and Ultrix X-logins to function properly with these systems and allow you to log onto the graphical Xlogin screen, without having to make any changes to your existing X settings or scripts.

New printer queues for 6m36 and 6m29 Linux PCs

The Linux systems in these two rooms print to the laser printer in the same room by default but they can also print to the printer in the other room, and to the printer in room 632 as well. In addition, the 6m36 Linux systems can print to the colour PostScript printer also in room 6m36. The print queues are named as follows:

  • laser printer in 6m29 ps6m29
  • laser printer in 6m36 ps6m36
  • laser printer in 632 ps632a
  • colour printer in 6m36 ps6m36colour

If you want to print to the default printer in the same room, you need not specify the printer explicitly and commands such as lpr and enscript, or packages such as Star Office, will print to the local printer.

If you want to print to a different printer, then you'll need to specify it as follows:

lpr -P(queuname) (filename)

For example, if you want to print the PostScript file from a system in 6m36 to the printer in 6m29, you'd type:

lpr -Pps6m29

Printing plain ASCII files to the HP LaserJet 4 in 6m29

Because this older model printer is not very good at automatically switching from PostScript mode to non-PostScript mode, you should use enscript to print plain ASCII files to it. For example:

enscript program.c

will print your C source program listing to the 6m29 printer. enscript converts plain ASCII into PostScript which the printer will then print as a PostScript file; if you try to use lpr to print the plain text file directly, you will not get any output!

Print queue restrictions - ps6m29 and ps6m36colour

The elderly HP LaserJet 4 in 6m29 is not a high volume printer so I have decided to restrict access to this printer to the following systems:

  • the Linux PCs in 6m29
  • the Linux PCs in 6m36
  • nestor (the Sun IPX in 6m29)

If anyone feels other hosts should be able to print to this printer (eg, the Math Phys Alpha cluster, other Alphas/MIPS/Linux/Windows PCs in Maths Phys) then let me know and I will set this up.

Printing to the colour PostScript printer is only possible from the Linux systems in 6m36 - you cannot print to this printer from the 6m29 Linux systems. This is because the 6m36 colour printer is intended for Math Physics section users only while 6m29 is an open access room for all Maths departmental users. This restriction is intended to stop non-Math Phys users printing to the colour printer from 6m29.

If you are a Math Phys user and using a 6m29 Linux system you will be able to save your print jobs in your Math Phys cluster home directory (in /home/h/your username) instead of in your geometry home directory and then log into a Math Phys system to print the work. So this restriction will not affect Math Phys users even in 6m29.

Software additions

A lot of new software has been added to these systems, including a full range of window managers and desktops on the 6m36 systems (try them all!), xfig, transfig, xmgr, xmgrace, lapack, various Fortran toolkits and on the 6m36 systems, MPI.

Earlier news

Andy Thomas

Unix/network sys admin,
Department of Mathematics

last updated: 17.5.2001