Remote Access

The CS department is providing a few different ways to remotely use department resources.

Linux Virtual Machine

The CS department recommends students use the Linux VM if possible. This virtual machine image is configured with all the necessary software that is used on the open lab machines. Some of the software we have, such as VMWare and the JetBrains software suite, is proprietary software that we can only legally install on BYU-owned computers. However, this machine image does include a number of useful development tools, such as Android Studio, GCC, Java, Python, Eclipse, and Atom. This VM is designed to run on your personal computer in Oracle VirtualBox.

The Linux Virtual Machine by default will not give you access to your CS account home directory. If you need access to files contained in your CS account please consult the “Accessing network files” section in the VM documentation, or use the SSH option below.

SSH into Schizo

If you are unfamiliar with SSH then please follow this link for more information.

SSH is a valuable tool which allows users to connect to a terminal on a remote computer. Schizo allows students to access one of our open lab machines via SSH. This allows you to access all files contained in your CS account home directory and run commands, including pass-off scripts. To use this tool you will need your CS account credentials.

For example, if your CS account username was johnsmith, you would use the following command to ssh into the terminal:

Make sure you replace johnsmith with your CS account username, or SSH will not work. Also if you do not use add the you will not be able to connect

You should then enter your CS account password. You will then have access to the Lab machine resources.

In the terminal, the prompt typically starts with [username]@[host]. For example, in the screenshot above, it shows that the user johnsmith is on the machine called florida. This will tell you whether you're currently running commands on your own machine or on a CS lab machine.


The CS Department VPN is ONLY for Computer Science students or students working for professors in the CS Department. If you are not a CS student, please contact your own department or BYU OIT for general VPN access.

The CS department VPN server allows you to remotely connect to the CS network, which allows you to access network resources that are only available inside the network. Most resources that students need are available from off the network, but if you do need internal-only resources from off-campus, you'll need to use the VPN.

We have a limited number of OpenVPN licenses; because of this we can only have a limited number of people connect to the department through the VPN. Take careful note of the following points:

  • If the VM or SSH are sufficient for your needs, please use those instead (see previous sections).
  • If you need to use the VPN, make sure you disconnect once you're done so a new user can use that license.
  • If you find yourself having problems with the VPN, we may be at capacity and unable to serve more users until existing users disconnect. Try to make do with the other options until a license is released.

Pass-off scripts

Please take note of the following information regarding pass-off scripts.

Some classes require you to pass off labs with a script provided by the professor or TA's. For grading purposes, the TA's typically run the scripts on the open lab machines. These scripts may behave differently on other machines.

The VM described in the following section will have an almost exactly identical software setup to the open lab machines. However, there may be small discrepancies between the versions of the packages running on the two. Most of the time these differences will not affect the scripts, but if there are any discrepancies between the two, how it runs on the open lab machines will take priority.

For these classes, the VM will be useful for developing most of your code, but you may also want to test it on the open lab machines by using SSH.

remote-acccess-home.txt · Last modified: 2020/09/01 13:45 by ianjack