How do I log in to my workstation using Kerberos?

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Add your BU account:
    % add-bu-user buloginname
    The add-bu-user has a man page. For additional options, run man add-bu-user.
  3. If you would like your account to be in the wheel group which grants you root access:
    % gpasswd -a buloginname wheel
  4. To become root:
    % sudo bash

How do I access Matlab, Mathematica, Maple, or Splus under BU Linux?

To access Matlab:

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Enter yum install usrlocalITbin
  3. Log out and then back in to your workstation.
  4. Open Terminal again.
  5. Enter matlab
    To run Matlab in background enter matlab &

Other programs are also available on acs-linux.bu.edu.

How do I connect to matlab on acs-linux?

To use acs-linux, you will first need to request an ACS account, if you do not already have one.

Then, to run matlab on acs-linux from a linux machine,

  1. SSH into acs-linux.bu.edu.
  2. Type /usr/local/IT/bin/matlab or simple matlab.

Or, to run matlab on acs-linux from your PC or Mac, you will need to:

1. Install or locate X Windows software (which is already installed on most newer Macs). If you wish to, you can also follow the Using X11 or Using X-Win32 sections of the install instructions to connect to acs (for practice or other uses). However, you will actually need to connect to acs-linux, as opposed to acs, and so, after installing, should…

2. Use acs-linux instead of acs when you follow the “Using” sections of the install instructions.

  1. Instead of acs, enter: acs-linux and then select ssh
  2. Instead of acs.bu.edu, enter: acs-linux.bu.edu, then click on Next
  3. Enter your BU login name, but NOT your password.
  4. Instead of selecting the command “IBM-AIX”, select “Linux.” You should see this command appear in the window: /usr/bin/xterm -ls

3. Once the terminal window appears, simply type the command matlab (or /usr/local/IT/bin/matlab) and you’ll be all set.

How do I set up and use wireless networking in BU Linux?

See instructions on the Using BU (802.1x) with Linux page.

How do I set up and use vpn in BU Linux?

See instructions on the Using the VPN with Linux page.

Firefox stopped working! What now?

My Firefox sessions are complaining with an “Assertion Failure”. What”s happening?

Check to see if Firefox has been updated. New sessions may have problems until the oldest sessions have been killed. So to be safe, kill all sessions and start Firefox again.

Help! I can’t receive mail on my system!

As the saying goes: that’s a feature, not a bug. For security reasons, we’ve configured postfix and sendmail (the programs responsible for transferring email between servers) to be inaccessible from other computers. This is great for most workstations, but obviously isn’t what you want for a mail server.

If you want to receive mail from the Internet on your BU Linux machine, you have to make some modifications to your configuration.

First, make sure incoming mail traffic is allowed through your firewall. You can do this with the GUI firewall configuration tool. Type sudo system-config-securitylevel to launch this program. Note that this is “write only” — it doesn’t read in your previous configuration, so be sure to re-enable any other incoming services you wish to allow.

Then, configure your MTA to listen on the network interface.

For postfix (the default):

  1. Change to the directory /etc/postfix
  2. Edit the file main.cf, and find the line that reads:
    inet_interfaces = localhost
    Change this to be:
    inet_interfaces = all
  3. Save the file, and restart postfix with sudo service postfix restart
  4. Test by typing telnet hostname.bu.edu 25. Typing “quit” will exit out of the test.

For sendmail:

  1. Make sure the sendmail-cf package is installed.
  2. Change to the directory /etc/mail
  3. Edit the file sendmail.mc, and add dnl to the start of the line that reads:
    DAEMON_OPTIONS(`Port=smtp,Addr=127.0.0.1, Name=MTA’)
    This will comment out the option that restricts sendmail access to localhost only.
  4. Save the file, and type sudo make
  5. Add the line sendmail: ALL to the file /etc/hosts.allow
  6. Reload the configuration with sudo service sendmail reload
  7. Test by typing telnet hostname.bu.edu 25. Typing “quit” will exit out of the test.

How do I create a dual boot system?

The simplest way is to start with windows already installed. If you didn’t leave any free space on the hard drive, you will need to shrink the windows partition. This can be done with Partition Magic, or a live Linux CD like Knoppix.

Start the BU Linux installation.

At the partitioning screen, choose “Use free space on selected drives and create default layout”.

After the installation, the bootloader will have an option for “other”, which points to your windows installation. You can edit the title of the entry in /boot/grub/menu.lst.

If you already have both Windows and Linux on your system you can simply add an entry into /boot/grub/menu.lst like the following:

title Windows XP
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

How can I see which version of BU Linux I am running?

Type: cat /etc/bulinux-release

Help! I finished the install, and I can’t log in!

BU Linux machines can authenticate to the main campus Kerberos servers, but need to have a local database of account information. In some departments, this is provided via LDAP or NIS, but in most cases, you’ll need to set up this yourself.

This is actually easier than it sounds. All you need to do is log in with the root account with the password you created during the installation process. If you are in graphical mode, this should take you immediately to the GUI user account management tool, with which you should find it very easy to add a BU login account which uses your central Kerberos password. If you’re in text mode, simply type sudo add-bu-user username to accomplish the same thing. You can also create a local-only (non-Kerberized) account with a local password.

No matter which course you chose, you may also want to add your account to the wheel group, which will give you administrator (root-equivalent) access via sudo and with the various graphical configuration tools.

When you’ve created your account, exit the GUI tool or log out of the root account, and log back in as yourself.

I installed BU Linux, and now my dual-boot Windows won’t work!

This is a known problem. Luckily, it can be easily corrected by following these steps. Note that although this article is quite old, it has information on preventing the problem from occurring in the first place.

Matlab gives an error about loading shared libraries. What do I do?

If you see an error like this:

/afs/bu.edu/common/IT/matlab-7.X/bin/glnx86/MATLAB:
error while loading shared libraries: libXp.so.6:
cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

when running Matlab or any other proprietary, binary-only program, check to see if yum (the command-line package management tool used in BU Linux) can find the missing library for you. Type:

sudo yum install libXp.so.6

and yum will search for the library in the BU Linux repository, and if a package can be found that provides it, you will be prompted to install it.

Of course, this can apply to libraries or files other than libXp.so.6 — simply use the appropriate filename in a command similar to the one above.