Computer Science

Logging On

iMac Lab

The iMac lab in MSCS 222 is open to Computer Science students, and requires a Computer Science login and password. This is not the same as the OKEY login and password and will need to be set one time using a web browser elsewhere. Skip down to the Usernames and passwords section below for details on that procedure.


The Computer Science Department instructional server, hereafter known as CSX, is actually ten Linux servers running identical software. These servers reside in a locked room inside the Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science (MSCS) building and are only accessible via the campus network.

Since no one except the system managers have physical access to the servers, users must access the servers via machines such as those found in one of the University run labs, a personal machine in one's dorm room, a laptop using the campus wireless network, or from home via an internet service provider. The department provides iMacs in MSCS 222 that can be used by students for this purpose; see the previous section concerning those systems. On these machines or other Macs, or on any Linux or other UNIX-like system, ssh is already available for connecting to the CSX servers; on other systems, users may need to acquire an ssh client. Windows users are advised to use an ssh program like the free software PuTTY.

You will need to specify the hostname of the server when using one of the ssh packages described above. Each server has its own hostname:,, and so on through Please note that is not a login server and will not permit user logins.

Users connecting from off campus will need to use the VPN (virtual private network) that the university provides via Cisco's AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client, which is available for many platforms. The simplest way is to browse to and use OKEY credentials to log in; a Java program will attempt to auto-install the software but even if it fails, a download link will be provided. Alternatively, the software can be acquired from Cisco's site or an appropriate app store. Either way, when connecting, the hostname will be "" and the credentials will, again, be the user's OKEY credentials. Once connected, the user can connect normally to the servers as if doing so from a campus system.

Similar to the iMac Lab mentioned above, a Computer Science username and password will be required to log into CSX. Please see the next section for details.

Usernames and passwords

Some users may recall PRISM, which has been ended as a service, so we have a new way of activating new CSX accounts. If you are taking a CS prefix course, or if you have a declare CS major, you already have an account; it is just a matter of getting an initial password created. To do this, visit the following page: and follow the instructions there. You will need your OKEY account information first!

pwreset sample
pwreset sample

You may change your password if you wish after you have logged in, or any time thereafter, using the passwd command. Should you forget your new password or need to reset it for any reason, you can always go back to the pwreset page and do it again.

The login procedure

For the iMacs, you will simply use your login and password obtained above at the login screen. On CSX, once you use any of the SSH alternatives mentioned above, you will be prompted for your login and password.

Please note that in either case the password will not be echoed back in the clear to the display as you type it for security reasons. If you make a mistake you may have to start over, but there is no risk of locking yourself out of your account due to mistyped passwords.

Changing your password

You can use the passwd command on either the CSX servers or one of the iMacs in MSCS 222 to change your password. It will require you to type your current password once, then your new password twice; you must type the new password exactly the same both times to make sure you're not mistyping it. As soon as the passwd command accepts your entries, your password will be changed; please do your best to remember it. The IT Security group has some suggestions about using strong passwords. Please also be aware that sharing CSX accounts is a violation of policy, and can result in account closure as well as liability for any issues resulting from such behavior, thus users should keep their passwords secret.

The system administrators cannot tell you what your password is for technical and policy reasons, but you can always use the password reset procedure described above in Usernames and passwords when and if needed.