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System Information for the Current Semester

This document was updated to reflect the system during Spring 2016.

Recent System Changes

We need you, the users, to report to us, the system administrators, any bugs you find with any lab image. If you don't report a bug, it won't get fixed. Simply drop by 1140 of the Talmage building or submit a ticket at and include a thorough description of the problem, and we'll do whatever we can to fix it. Please provide instructions to reproduce the problem. We want all of our machines to work, and work well, so please help us so we can get any bugs fixed in the system.

Logging In

Students who set a password last in Summer 2016 will soon receive messages telling them that their password is expiring. You can set a new password either on the kiosk at 1140 TMCB or by going to

Linux Labs

The new monitors for the Open Labs have arrived! We will be installing them in various labs in the basement first. The upstairs labs will still use the old monitors, but will have two of them per seat. Eventually we will also have monitors in the laptop spaces as well.

(Not So Recent Changes)

Linux Labs

  • Matlab 2014a has been installed.
  • During Spring/Summer 2015 we rolled out Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, which is our current image for the CS Dept. open labs.
  • We are moving to a new authentication system during Spring/Summer 2016. This requires everyone to register with the new system. Talk to the system administrators in 1140 TMCB if you have questions.

Password Requirements

We realize that it may be frustrating when creating a password, but our requirement help to protect your account, your files, and our servers from attackers. We enforce strictly secure passwords. Every password must be at least 8 characters long and include characters from 3 out of the following 4 categories:

  • Capital Letters
  • Lower-case Letters
  • Numbers
  • Special Characters (such as !@#$%^&*()_+?{}, etc.)

Other Suggestions

  • Minimum Password length: 8
  • Use Special characters in your password.
  • Avoiding using single dictionary words, Book of Mormon words, Bible words, Star Trek words, and English and Non-English names (if you can think of it someone probably already checks for it in a dictionary attack).
  • If you do use words, use more than one. Your password is more secure with 2 or more words involved in a password (as long as they only meet the dictionary word requirement). For all practical purposes, words like “if” “a” “the” do not count towards the number of words you've used.
  • Do not use personal information in your password (i.e. username, student id, email address, netid, etc.).
  • Try using acronyms, like “mmwahamfsoe-b!gaysek!” or “mMw4H4mF503-b!Gay53k!” (An acronym for: “My Mother was a Hamster and my Father smelt of elder-berries! Go away you silly English knights!”).

Default Permissions

To increase the security of the system we've changed the default permissions of files and directories you create. They will now be created with the Unix permissions of 600 for files and 700 for directories. There are a few issues you need to be aware of. Please note, these tips are for Linux only.

Web pages

The default permissions are too strict for files that go into your public_html directory. If you want a file to be accessible for you web-page, open up a terminal and do the following:

   cd public_html
   find . -type d | xargs chmod a+rx
   find . | xargs chmod a+r

That should fix your permission problems, and your student web-page should be viewable.

Do NOT under ANY circumstance change your public_html permissions to 777. This seems to be a possible hitch that has allowed some attacks on student web pages. Don't let it happen to your account.

Account Time-to-Live Policy

We enforce the CS account time to live policy. In other words, your account will be disabled and deleted according to a standard schedule.

  • At the end of every semester all accounts will be disabled.
  • Any account that has been inactive for the period of a 2 years will be deleted at the beginning of a new semester/term.
  • At the start of every semester/term we automatically re-enable all accounts of people who are enrolled in CS classes.
  • Once your account has been disabled, your student web page will still work, but if you're not coming back to BYU, we advise you to move to a new web page, as they will cease to function after one year.
system-information-for-the-current-semester.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/26 14:21 by nesretep