Who We Are
Computer Group Student Executives
Teaching Assistantships
Finishing Up
Computer Resources
Computers and Network Accounts
Keeping Informed
Running Jobs
Useful Software Available to Graduate Students
What To Do When You Need Some (Computer) Help?
Other Resources
Access Cards and Keys
Lab Security
Phone Numbers
Surface Mail and E-mail
Other Information
International Student Information

Computers and Network Accounts

EECG Accounts

Please send an e-mail to ecehelp AT ece dot toronto dot edu to get your account on the EECG machines. EECG has a large collection of networked workstations. Some workstations are in public areas, others are on students desks. Although those on students' desks can be used by anyone, check with the owner of the workstation before using one. Depending on your supervisor and your courses you might also eventually get accounts on UGSPARC (Undergrad EECG), ECF (Engineering Computing Facility), VRG (VLSI Research Group), CS (Computer Science), or DGP (Dynamic Graphics Project) machines.

As soon as you get a computer account,

  1. Change your password if necessary to something that is not easily guessed; a safe password contains both numbers, letters and perhaps capitals.

  2. Use the chfn unix command to update the ``on-line'' data base with your phone numbers, etc.

  3. Send mail to labadm AT eecg DOT toronto DOT edu with the following information:
    - your full name
    - degree sought
    - your course or thesis supervisor
    - group affiliation (Computer or Electronics)
    - office room number (and the desk number from the maps)
    - office phone number

If you are unsure on some of the above fields (for example, you may not have picked a supervisor yet), ecehelp will often still grant you a network account on the condition that you inform her of any missing information the second it is known.

These accounts are funded by your supervisor. Generally, they come with a monthly charge of $30/month. Some professors opt out and manage their own accounts, although this is rare. In these cases, you will end up with an e-mail alias which points to a real account. Upon your graduation, your professor may continue to pay for your account, but if not, the sys admin will give you a good buffer time to upload your files somewhere else before she terminates your account.


After selecting a supervisor, they will be responsible for providing you with a work computer. Depending on how much funding they have, you may receive a hand-me-down, or they may purchase a new workstation. Computer models will be unique to the professors so ask around if you're interested in what models a Professor will provide. For example, some profs choose Dell Workstations while others choose SunBlades.

After purchasing a computer, if you want to be placed on the local network, you will have to give it to the network administrator (ecehelp AT ece dot toronto dot edu) to set it up (i.e. install the proper OS, etc). If you want or need Windows, you will have to administer the computer yourself. You will be responsible for maintaining it secure and virus free or your net access will be removed. If you need a different flavour or version of Solaris or Linux from those supported, and if (and only if) you need such OS for research purposes (i.e. NOT for personal preference or whim), you will be allowed to administer your computer yourself, but you will be placed on a separate subnet of "untrusted" computers and you will be responsible for maintaining the machine secure (or your net access will be removed). For now, all this means is that you will not have EECG NFS partitions mounted on your local machine, but a new internal firewall with more restrictions for the "untrusted" computers is on its way.

If you have a laptop, you will have to send your laptop MAC address to ecehelp before connecting to the EECG network. She will be assign you to a specific network jack and may provide you with a network hub if a computer is currently assigned to that jack. For security reasons, you will only be able to connect to this one jack with your laptop.

Network Disk Space

New graduate student accounts are installed in the general disk pool /grads0, /grads1, /grads2 ... or on separate disk partitions owned by their supervisor. This disk space is shared so monitor your disk usage with the hogs command. Most supervisors have a separate disk pool for projects and simulation data. If your disk space fills up, either ask other students on the partition to delete unnecessary files, or ask your supervisor for more disk space.

File Recovery

Filesystems are backed up nightly between 5:00PM and 9:00AM onto an Exabyte Mammoth tape drive and a Super DLT tape drive. There is roughly 750 GBytes backed up to tape nightly so it takes a few days to backup all the filesystems. Home directories are backed up more often then application directories. If you need to recover a file or directory from a backup tape, ask ecehelp.


If you want to set up your own personal home-page (and you should!) talk to other students for advice on how to do this. The typical method is to create an index page in your home directory ~/public_html/Welcome.html. This will be accessed through the EECG web server as URL where login is your login name. Please read the FAQ /eecg/doc/cgiwrap/README.cgi regarding using CGI scripts in your WEB page . For password protection, lookup the htpasswd UNIX command. Also, the EECG network allows grad students to have dynamic pages using SSI. All you need to do is have the extension shtml to ensure that the server knows how to parse your dynamic page.

EECG graduate admin
Last updated June 2004