Welcome Back

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This page is meant as a refresher guide for returning students - it will contain a list of the most commonly accessed programs and tools and links on how to use them.

New for Fall, 2016

  • OIT has a brand new site for getting free/reduced cost software - https://software.duke.edu/. Among other things, this means some links on Pundit may be outdated -- if you hit a bad download link, let Dr. G know (or just fix it yourself!)

New for Fall, 2015

MATLAB free for students!

Duke's Office of Information Technology has worked out a deal with The MathWorks for MATLAB to be freely available to students for academic use! See the OIT page on MATLAB for more information.

AFS is gone

The AFS drive that OIT had mounted to support shared files and folders is no longer mounted. Files at /afs/acpub/ are no longer available.

Teer Lab is now Dual-Boot Macs

The old Linux machines in Teer have been replaced with dual-boot Macs. To access Linux files and programs, use a terminal window (MobaXterm or Terminal in XQuartz) to access the login.oit.duke.edu system.

New for Spring, 2015

  • You can now log in to login.oit.duke.edu and OIT will connect you to the best possible virtual server available at the time. These systems should work exactly like the Teer machines do. The only exception I have found so far is evince will not print to a PDF file.
  • The new UNIX (already available at login-teer machines, coming soon to teer## machines) will not allow for printing to PDF files from PS files. As a result, to get a PDF from a PS, use the command:
ps2pdf BLAH.ps
and it will create BLAH.pdf. If you are converting from LaTeX to begin with, use dvipdf instead of dvips.

Commonly Used Programs

Working from Home / Other Computers

Depending on what operating system you use, you will need to have a particular piece of (free!) software on that machine to properly connect to and work with the UNIX systems.

Mac Users

Mac users will need X11 or XQuartz. X11 is generally installed with OS 10.5 through 10.7; 10.4 users will need to install it. 10.6 and above users will want to install XQuartz. Information on each is at the X11 page.

Windows Users

Windows users will need MobaXterm to connect. This program contains both the terminal program and the X-Windows protocol in one free package. Note that at present Duke's public machines most likely do not have MobaXterm installed -- people wishing to use Duke's public machines to do work on Linux systems are thus advised to log in using the Mac boot and run X11 as noted above.

All Users

If you are working from a machine that is connected to the internet, but not on the Duke internet, you will need to use a VPN connection to validate your existence. See more information on that at Connecting by Virtual Private Network. Information on installing MATLAB on a personal computer can be found here. In general, software can be accessed through Duke's OIT page.


For Mac users only - the very first time you open the terminal window, you need to type xhost + to tell your computer to allow incoming graphical windows. Windows users will not need to perform this step.

To connect to the virtual Linux machines, simply open your terminal window and type

ssh -XY NetID@login.oit.duke.edu

where NetID is your NetID.


Post your questions by editing the discussion page of this article. Edit the page, then scroll to the bottom and add a question by putting in the characters *{{Q}}, followed by your question and finally your signature (with four tildes, i.e. ~~~~). Using the {{Q}} will automatically put the page in the category of pages with questions - other editors hoping to help out can then go to that category page to see where the questions are. See the page for Template:Q for details and examples.

External Links