The Linux Virtual Lab is BU’s general purpose Linux interactive timesharing environment for use by the BU community, and part of BU’s larger Shared Computing Cluster (SCC). The Linux Virtual Lab login node has two 2.5 GHz ivybridge (E5-2670 V2) processors. Each processor has 10 cores and there is a total of 128 GB of memory.

Making use of the Linux Virtual Lab will generally require knowledge of the Linux operating system, which is a command-line system. Research Computing offers a free Introduction to Linux tutorial early in the Fall, Spring, and Summer. Without some background in Linux, this service will be of limited use to you unless you just wish to run a particular application such as MATLAB that has its own interface you are familiar with.

To request an account on the Linux Virtual Lab, click on Get Help above or write to Once you have an account, you will be able to log in to with your BU login name and Kerberos password. (Please note that sponsored Guests will be required to go through the regular Guest Account process and, in addition, provide a valid passport or other documentation to confirm your country of citizenship.)

Your use of the Linux Virtual Lab is governed by Boston University’s Conditions of Use and Policy on Computing Ethics. By using your account on the Linux Virtual Lab, as well as other University computers, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions set forth there.

Linux Virtual Lab users have access to most of the software available on the SCC. (However, note that Linux Virtual Lab access is not to be confused with SCC access for Researchers, which provides batch nodes for intensive computing and additional disk quota.)