ARCHIVE: CLEAR (Curricular Linux Environment at Rice)
Admin's introduction to CLEAR, written by Karl Burkett
What is CLEAR
CLEAR (Curricular Linux Environment At Rice) is a cluster of Linux computers.
A cluster is a group of servers working together to offer the same services.
A server is a computer that can be accessed by many users at a time and that offers many different utilities or services.
Linux is a common operating system used by many servers, but Linux desktop environments exist as well. (By contrast, Windows XP is exclusively a desktop operating system).
When you work on your desktop computer (PC, or Mac) you use its display, keyboard, and mouse to interface with it. When you work at a server you need special software - we also call it a "terminal application" or "terminal client" - to interface with it.
A terminal transfers all the keyboard (and mouse actions, if it's a graphical session) from your own computer to the server.
If you run programs on a server that need to display graphics on your desktop, you need to have an X-windows display manager/server installed on your desktop.
Tools you need on your desktop to start work on CLEAR
To use a terminal to interface with CLEAR servers
- On your own Windows computer download and install ssh
- On your own Mac, you can use the application Terminal found under Applications/Utilities
- From Rice lab computers, all the programs mentioned above are already installed and available to you.
To get an X-window manager for your desktop
- On your own Windows computer download and install Xming
- On your own Mac, you already have the X-windows X11 server available to you, unless you are running a much older version of the operating system. In that case, you can download X11 from Apple.
- On the Rice lab computers, the window managers you need are already installed.
Step-by-step directions to start working in CLEAR
- How to Start a terminal and connect to CLEaR from windows or Start a terminal and connect to CLEaR from a Mac.
- How the folders and documents on the server will appear in your terminal window. Read Files and directories in Linux.
- How your U: drive or home folder from storage is available to you on CLEAR. Read Home drive on CLEAR.
- How to Transfer a file from your Windows computer to CLEaR or Transfer a file from your Mac to CLEaR.
- Initial navigation of home and course directories on CLEAR
What you need to know to submit homework
A generic tool called 'turnin' is available on the CLEAR cluster to turn in homework that will be used in a majority of cases. Your professor will give instructions specific to your class about using this tool (or an alternate method), but provided here is an overview of Using the 'turnin' command to manage homework.
Use "Subversion" to keep track of versions of your code or documents
If you are faculty and you need a linux environment for your class
Please contact the IT Help Desk at http://helpdesk.rice.edu/ or 713-348-HELP to start the process.
How to move your class materials from the old Owlnet or RUF servers to CLEAR