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MCS Linux Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why can't the MCS PCs default to Linux?
  2. Why can't I (consistently) use passwordless SSH authentication to the remote Linux servers?
  3. How do I view a Word/Excel/Powerpoint document on MCS Linux?

  4. Why can't I access the Physics/Computer Lab MCS Linux servers?
    Access to these systems is restricted by membership of a group. Your userid must be a member of the appropriate group to be allowed access. You should contact your course organiser, lecturer, or director of studies if you think you have been left out of the group by accident. For the technical details, see Remote access to MCS Linux.

  5. : How do I use usb attached storage (e.g. a usb flashdrive) on MCS Linux?
    Plug your usb storage device into a usb port on the MCS Linux computer. Wait a few seconds. Have a look at the file /etc/fstab. This should now list you usb device and where it can be mounted by you.

    For example, plugging in my usb flash disk results in the entry:
    /dev/sda1 /media/sda1 auto sync,noauto,user,exec 0 0 #HOTPLUG B3Fu.SMyZ+shmuHA

    Note, it will usually be /dev/sda1 or sometimes /dev/sda for weirder devices. But if you can't figure out which device it is, look at /etc/fstab before and after inserting your device so you can see which line is added. Alternatively, run dmesg after inserting the device and you will see which device was assigned to it.

    Once you know the line in /etc/fstab, you can simply mount the device using: mount /media/sda1 (replace /media/sda1 with whatever the line in /etc/fstab says).

    Do not forget to umount /media/sda1 (replace /media/sda1 as above) after finishing but before unplugging the device or you will loose data and possibly corrupt all data on the device.

    If you are using the graphical user environment Gnome, after you do the mount, an icon labeled sda1 (or whatever the device name is) will appear on your desktop. You can click on this to open a window showing the mounted filesystem on the device and you can also right-click the icon and choose "umount" from the appearing context menu instead of doing the umount via the command line.