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FAQs and Helpful Information

Reporting Problems with CS Equipment

Contact Computer Science Tech Support by sending an email to When sending the email, be sure to include the following information:

  • Name of the Computer (Located on a white label on the front. Ex: CS300-123456)
  • Description of the problem.
  • Any error messages you are getting.

Academic and Classroom Labs

Research Labs

Remote Connection

Web Related



Academic and Classroom Labs

How to log into the computers in the Main Lab and Classrooms

Windows Side:

  • Be a student in the College of Engineering or enroll in Computer Science Classes.
  • Use your MINERS username and password to log in. (The same credentials you use for your UTEP email).

Linux and Mac Side:

  • Be a student in the College of Engineering or enroll in Computer Science Classes.
  • Send an email to with the following information:
    • Full Name
    • Email Address (MUST be a OR email address)
  • Use your MINERS username and password to log in.
  • Your home directory will be created within 24 hours by CSTS team.

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How to address a locked/disabled account

If you're getting this message, that means your MINERS account is locked or disabled due to a hold or some other reason. Computer Science does not handle MINERS accounts. To resolve the issue, you'll need to talk with the IT Helpdesk.

How can I contact IT helpdesk?

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How to save your work in the Main Lab

You CANNOT save on the desktop or hard drive of any of the computers in the Main Lab. If you need to save your work, you either save on your Mspace (Drive M:) or on a USB drive.

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Contacting IT Helpdesk

You can reach IT Helpdesk in four ways:

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Research Labs

Creating/Renewing CS Research Accounts


When you join a research lab, you must give your professor the following information to obtain a research account.

  • Full Name
  • 80 Number
  • UTEP Email Address
  • Preferred Email Address


To request a new account for a research student, obtain the information from the student as listed above and send an email to containing the following information:

  • Full Name
  • 80 Number
  • UTEP Email Address
  • Preferred Email Address (If not from UTEP)
  • Key Request Information (If you do not want default. See Below.)
  • Termination Date (Required for Non-UTEP researchers)
  • Windows Account, Linux Account, or both)
  • SVN Access Requests (Site Information Required)

By default, all research accounts must be renewed every semester. All faculty members will receive a spreadsheet at the beginning of the semester that contains information for all their research students so that they can indicate which accounts should be renewed and which should be disabled. Accounts will be renewed or disabled when CSTS receives the revised spreadsheet.

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CS Research Lab and Building Access

Chemistry and Computer Science Building

When a new research account is created, CSTS will automatically submit a key request form and a building access form for the corresponding research lab and the Chemistry and Computer Science Building.


When accepting a key to your research lab, keep the following in mind:

  • You are responsible for keeping your key safe. If you lose the key, you will be financially responsible for re-keying the research lab door.
  • Do not lend your key to anyone. This keeps your research lab secure and your research materials safe.
  • If you leave the research group, you must promptly return your research lab key.
  • If you are graduating, you must return the key regardless of whether or not you will be returning as a Master's or PhD Student. You will not be cleared to graduate until you do so.


When a new research account is created, CSTS will automatically submit a key request form and a building access form for the corresponding research lab and the Chemistry and Computer Science Building. If you do not want this default, then you should indicate this when you request the new research account. If your new researcher is not a UTEP student, staff, or faculty, you will need to purchase an Affiliate ID Card for them for a small cost at the MINER Gold Card Office. This will allow them to use the building access system and pick up a key.

Old Computer Science Building

When a new research account is created, CSTS will automatically submit a building access form for the Old Computer Science Building.


You need to talk to the professor in charge of your lab to get a keypad code for your research lab door. It will change every semester, so be prepared to ask him or her whenever a new semester begins.


CS Tech Support will send you a new keypad code for your students every semester so that you can distribute it to the students working in your labs.

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How to Save Your Work in the Research Labs

The My Documents folder in Windows, which stores "My Pictures," "My Music," desktop, etc, is mapped to a share on the research server (Your H: Drive) and is backed up on a regular basis. Whenever you log into any computer on the SE Domain, your files will be under My Documents. You should always save your files there.

For safety, you should always check to make sure that your My Documents folder is being mapped correctly. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Click on Start, then right-click on My Documents.
  • Click on Properties
  • Examine the window that comes up. Under Target, you will see if your drive is being mapped. The key idea is that if the target is from a server, Deimos2, then all is good. If it comes from the local machine, C:, then something is wrong.


  • If there is a problem with the drives mapping, send an email to with the following information:
    • Your name
    • Your email address
    • Your Username
    • Your Research Group

Remember, it is illegal to store non-research multimedia files on the server (Desktop, My Music, My Videos, etc).

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CS Research Account Disk Quota

If you get messages saying that you cannot save anymore, then you most likely have filled your cache. To remedy this problem, follow these steps:

  1. Delete any non-research data you have.
  2. Reduce the size of your cache for all internet browsers to the minimum. For instructions, click here.
  3. Empty your recycle bin (Windows) or your Trash (Linux).

If, after you've completed these steps, you still cannot save, then send an email to, and provide your username and research group.

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Administrator Access on CS Research Machines

If you need administrator access on a Windows machine to install a program, ask your professor for permission. You will need to give him or her the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your Username
  • The Machine Name (Found on the white label in front of the machine)
  • The machine IP Address (Also on that label)

Your professor will forward this information to us. As policy, we only allow one administrator on each machine. If your machine is taken, and the student is still working on it, then you'll have to choose another machine. If that student is gone, then your professor will need to send us an email saying that we can remove the previous person and grant you access.

Once you get administrator access, we'll give one final warning:

Any files placed anywhere outside your My Documents folder will *NOT* be backed up. If these files are lost, they are gone forever!

You have been warned.

To help safeguard your research files, the CS Tech Support policy limits one administrator per computer. If a computer currently has an administrator, then you cannot have administrator access. The only exception to this rule is when the administrator is no longer in the research group, and your professor approves you taking the former administrator's place or if your professor approves of more than one administrator after understanding the potential risk.

No one will be granted administrator access in any way on a CS Server. There will never be a situation or program requirement where you absolutely have to have administrator access on a server to function properly.

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Stand-Alone Windows Machines

If you need a Windows stand-alone machine, you will have to follow these guidelines:

  • You must request a stand-alone image from CS Tech Support. The image includes the following:
    • Windows XP Pro
    • Antivirus
    • Visual Studio Pro
    • Java JDK
    • SSH Client
    • Microsoft Office
  • You must keep up with the Windows Updates and virus definitions at all times.
  • You will be responsible for your own backups.
  • If you want to use remote desktop from outside campus, you'll have to provide a name for the machine so that CS Tech Support can provide a static IP address.
  • This machine will never be part of the CS Windows Domain.

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Root Access on Linux Machines

You can have root access to a Linux research machine, but you will have to meet the following conditions:

  • The machine MUST be stand-alone. (To safeguard all research users)
  • You MUST provide the root password to CS Tech Support any time it changes. (For security reasons)

If the machine is going to be a member of the CS Domain, then you cannot have root access on that machine. However, we can provide sudo access on that machine based on your needs.

CS Tech support only installs and supports CentOS. All other Linux distributions are not supported. However, you can have a stand-alone Linux distribution, provided that you follow these regulations:

  • You must report the installation to CS Tech Support
  • You must report the machine's name to CS Tech Support
    • If this machine will only be used for a few days, you can skip this step.
    • You will receive a static IP and a fully qualified name under the DNS.
    • Once you complete this step, you cannot change the name of the machine unless you request a change with CS Tech Support.
  • You must configure the firewall.
  • You must keep up with the updates.
  • You must provide the root password to CS Tech Support
  • Root must be disabled from direct SSH
  • You must create a secondary account for daily work. (No using the root account for work)

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Sudo Access on CS Research Linux Machines for non-root users

With sudo access, you can install software, change network settings, and configure other software and hardware for your machine. Sudo access is granted by research groups and machine groups. If you find that the command you need are not accessible, you will need to contact CS Tech Support for assistance.

i.e on using sudo

  • To install software, use the command:
    # sudo /usr/bin/pirut
  • Configure soundcard, use the command:
    # sudo system-config-soundcard
  • Mounting a USB flash drive, use the command:
    #sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /media/usb
  • To unmount a USB flash drive, use the command:
    #sudo umount /media/usb

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Can't Access Your Stand-Alone Machine From Off-Campus

If you cannot communicate with your stand-alone machine from off-campus, it means that your machine was not officially reported to CS Tech Support. When you report the machine to CS Tech Support, then you will get a static IP address, and the campus firewall will not block the incoming traffic.

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How to install software in Linux for non-root users

First you must know what version of CentOS is installed on your machine:

  • # cat /etc/redhat-release

If you are running CentOS 5.x

  • # sudo pirut

If you are running CentOS 6.x

  • # sudo gpk-application

Both commands will launch the graphical software installation GUI. This is the recommended method to install or remove software since it will update all necessary files. Do not use YUM or RPM as these applications will not update all the necessary files unless you are ROOT.

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Remote Connection

Using SFTP

Any sftp software can be used to access your files from anywhere. A common free Windows compatable SFTP program used in Computer Science is winSCP

You can access the following shares:

  • CS Domain Windows File Server (Research) at (SFTP Only)
  • MINERS Windows File Server (Academic) at (SFTP Only)
  • Linux environment (Academic) at (SSH and SFTP: VPN Required)
  • Faculty: You can access your Linux home folder (Research) if you have one by connecting to the UTEP VPN Connection and then connecting to one of the following:
    If VPN is not available, you can connect to

Use your respective credientials when accessing these shares.

View the SFTP tutorial below.

If you are accessing a Windows File Server, do not use SSH. Always SFTP directly.

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Connect from off campus (VPN)

For Windows XP, Windows 7 32 Bit, and Mac OS X

To find the software and instructions to connect to the VPN on your computer, please click here.

For Windows 7 64 Bit

For Windows 7 64 Bit, follow these steps to manually set up the UTEP VPN connection.

  1. Open the Network and Sharing Center and click on Set up a new connection or network.


  2. On the screen that appears, highlight Connect to a workplace and click Next.


  3. On the next screen, click on Use my Internet connection (VPN).


  4. On the next screen, enter the information as shown and click Next.


  5. On the next screen, enter your MINERS Username and password and click Next. Don’t click to remember the password on a public computer.


  6. If you’re successful, you’ll get a confirmation screen. If not, check your network connection and verify that you have internet. Then try again.


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Web Related

View Websites for CS Courses

To view your site, go to and click on your name.

If you are hosting your site on another server, please send an email with the URL and your name and course number to to have the index.html updated.

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Upload Website Contents for CS Courses

Log in to any Windows machine and open the Secure File Transfer Client program. If the Secure File Transfer Client program is not available, you can download it here. For more information on how to use the SFTP protocol, click here.

To upload content to your website, connect to with your MINERS credentials.

Class related websites are stored in the Websites directory. Your files are located in the folder corresponding to your class number and your MINERS username.

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Editing CS Virtual Sites

To edit a CS Virtual site,, follow these steps:

  1. ssh to using your CS Linux Account. For instructions on SSH and SFTP, click here.
  2. # cd /var/www/vhosts/sitename
  3. Edit index.html or any other webpage you may have.
  4. Test your site by navigating to

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Testing PHP

To test PHP, follow these steps:

  1. Use any editor to create test.php
  2. Edit the file and input the following text:
  3. Save and exit the file
  4. Upload the test file into your web directory.
  5. Test the file by going to your website. If you see an output of information for the release of PHP, then PHP is working.

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Printing in the Main Lab

Windows Side:

  • Send the document to the printer via your computer.
    • Choose the printer from the menu shown below:


    • For double-sided printing (default), select ccs1.0704-12
    • For single-sided printing, select ccs1.0704-11
  • Log into one of the release stations at the back of the Main Lab next to the printers using your MINERS Login and password.
  • Once logged, you have the following options:
    • Print individual documents
    • Print all
    • Delete Documents (Quota will not be reduced)

Linux Side:

  • By default, the printer prints double-sided. To do this, type in the command:
    # lp {filename}
    # lpr {filename}
  • To print single sided, type in the command:
    # lp -d ccs1.0704-lp31 {filename}
    # lpr -P ccs1.0704-lp31 {filename}

If the printer is out of paper, has a paper jam, or is running out of toner, talk to CS Tech Support in CCS Room 1.0610 or CCS Room 1.0608.

Do NOT load your own paper into the printer, or try to fix the printer no matter how small the situation may be.

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Printing in the SE Lab

Do not print from your own personal account. Your Software Engineering team shares an account you can use to print documents related to your Software Engineering project.

To print, follow these steps:

  1. Log into one of your team's machines in the SE Lab
  2. Send the print job to the printer in CCS Room 1.0702


  3. A window should appear after you send the print job asking for a billing code. Enter the appropriate billing code depending on your group. You will need to get the billing code and password from your TA.


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Printing in the CS Research Lab

The printer in your lab should appear on your computer (Both Windows and Linux) as the following printers:

LabRoom-lp (Double-sided: Default)
LabRoom-lp_s (Single-sided)

You can 1000 sheets ($50) per semester If you need more, then bring a ream of paper to CCS Room 1.0612, and you'll get an additional 250 sheets added to your quota.

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Getting Paper for Research Printers

Go to either CCS Room 1.0612, CCS Room 1.0610, or CCS Room 1.0608 and ask for a ream of paper. You'll have to sign for it.

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To log into your mysql account, follow these steps:

  1. Log into or ssh to, using your MINERS credentials.
  2. Open a command terminal.
  3. # mysql -u {username} -h earth -p

Once you log into, follow these steps to change your password:

  1. # mysql -u {username} -h earth -p
  2. Enter your current mysql password.
  3. # SET PASSWORD = PASSWORD('secretcode');
  4. Exit and test your password.

Connecting to MySQL through PHP

The following PHP code creates a basic connection to the MySQL database and displays an entry in a table. If you are having trouble connecting to MySQL through PHP, use this PHP script to check your connectivity. Change the parameters in blue to suit your database information.

Follow these steps to check your code.

  1. SFTP to
  2. Navigate to /Websites/csXXXX/{username}
  3. Use any editor to create test.php
  4. Edit the file and input the test program below.
  5. Save and exit the file
  6. Upload the test file to your web directory.
  7. Test the file by going to{username}

$connection = mysql_connect($host, $user, $password);
die('Could not connect: '. mysql_error());
mysql_select_db($database, $connection);
$result=mysql_query($query, $connection);
if(!$result) {
die('Could not query: '. mysql_error());
echo "Parameter 1:".$num['PARAMETER1'];

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SVN and E-Notebooks

If you are working with a research group or on a group project for a class, and would like to use version control, you can request access to a Subversion (SVN) Repository. To share information, your group can use an E-Notebook.

To request an SVN repository for a class, send an email to with the following information:

  • For each member in the group:
    • Full Name
    • 800 Number (If from UTEP)
    • UTEP Email address (If from UTEP)
      Email Address (If from outside UTEP)
  • List of the Admin Users
    • Full Name
    • UTEP Email
  • Specify that the service requested is SVN

To request access to a research SVN repository, you will need to ask your professor to send an email on your behalf to with the following information:

  • Full Name
  • MINERS Username
  • Name of the SVN Repository

For an E-Notebook, your professor will have to send an email to with the following information:

  • For each member in the group:
    • Full Name
    • 800 Number (If from UTEP)
    • UTEP Email address (If from UTEP)
      Email Address (If from outside UTEP)
    • Group Name
    • Specify that the service requested is E-Notebook

Each member will receive an email with their account information once the request is made. To access the repository, follow these steps:

  1. Open an internet browser.
  2. Navigate to
    OR, depending on the service requested.
  3. Find the name of your repository on the list. Once you click on it, you will have to enter your account information.

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Setting Up Outlook

When setting up Outlook, when asked to provide the name of the mail server, use the name:

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