Submit a JIRA Ticket
Our technical support staff uses JIRA Service Desk to accept and manage requests from students, staff, and faculty. A request could be regarding software, hardware, new web service or enhancement, lab issues, or any related topics. You can submit a new JIRA Ticket either via email to 'email@example.com' or online via the link below.
ICT: Student Computing
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) provides services and support for the University of Saskatchewan. For any technical assistance outside of Computer Science, you can visit their website which contains information on self-help guides, accounts and passwords, various services, security, and software or hardware.
Canvas is used for most Computer Science courses, and can be found here: https://canvas.usask.ca
Visit the Ops Centre in S330
If you have a question or concern regarding the computer labs, you can visit our technical support staff in the Ops Centre. The Ops Centre is located in the Spinks building, room S330, and is open during regular academic terms. For detailed hours of operation, please see the schedule posted on the Ops Centre door.
Have a question? Below are some answers to frequently asked questions.
tuxworld.usask.ca is the department's Linux cluster available to all Computer Science faculty, staff, and students. Tuxworld is accessible from both on- and off-campus and has the majority of the software packages found on the Linux lab computers.
Command-line remote access to Computer Science machines is provided via the ssh protocol. tuxworld.usask.ca can be used as a gateway for ssh access to computers on campus that may not be directly accessible. The easiest way to connect via ssh is through the command prompt. If you are running Windows 10, macOS, or Linux on your local computer, use 'ssh NSID@tuxworld.usask.ca' to connect to tuxworld.usask.ca.
TUXWORD VIA REMOTE DESKTOP PROTOCOL
To access tuxworld via the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) you need to use a RDP client. Most versions of Windows come with a RDP client called "Remote Desktop Client". macOS users can download the Microsoft Remote Desktop App for free; information is available from the ICT website here. Linux users can install an RDP client of their choice (e.g. "rdesktop", "Remmina", "FreeRDP", or "kdrc"). There is a good chance that at least one of these are in your Linux distribution's package repositories.
Direct RDP access to tuxworld.usask.ca is only allowed from certain on-campus machines. If you are using a personal Windows or macOS computer you must configure your RDP client to use the campus RDP Gateway. Instructions for doing so can be found here. If you are using a personal Linux computer with an RDP client that is unable to connect to an RDP gateway, you will need to first connect to the campus VPN. Instructions for connecting to the VPN are found here. After connecting to the VPN you will be able to use direct RDP to tuxworld with the Linux RDP client.
IMPROVING RDP PERFORMANCE
There are a few tweaks to the RDP connection that can improve the experience of using RDP across the internet. In the Remote Desktop Connection app the "Display" tab the resolution can be set to 1024x768 and colours reduced to 16-bit. Reducing colors to 16-bit is the most important change you can make for improved performance. Under the "Experience" tab, use "Detect connection quality automatically". If you select a different connection speed, ensure at least Window and Menu animations are turned off. These changes will all decrease the amount of data that needs to be transmitted during use and improve interactive performance.
CHANGE YOUR DESKTOP ENVIRONMENT
To change your desktop environment from the default Gnome3 environment to a different one, you will have to do the following:
- Create a file called .Xclients in your linux home directory (ie. /student/<NSID>).
- Add one of the following without the quotes to it.
- "gnome-session" for the Gnome3 desktop environment.
- "startplasma-x11" for the KDE/Plasma desktop environment.
- "mate-session" for the Mate desktop environment.
- "cinnamon" for the Cinnamon desktop environment.
- "startxfce4" for the Xfce desktop environment.
- Make sure it is executable (chmod 700 .Xclients).
- Try to login using the RDP client.
- Cabinet - Storage on cabinet.usask.ca is provided by ICT. This is the location of your home directory when you are using Windows in Computer Science. This is also your default Windows home directory on non-Computer Science equipment. cabinet.usask.ca:/work$/abc123 (where abc123 is your NSID) is the path to the folder on a Windows machine, and cabinet.usask.ca:/work$/abc123/cmpt/cswin is the full path to where your home directory is saved when using Windows on a Computer Science machine.
- Computer Science fileservers - Your storage on csfiles.usask.ca is in /student/abc123 . If you are a returning student, you may still have data in /student/machome/abc123 as well.
For simple access to your Windows files you can connect to PAWS and follow the instructions here. For additional access to your Windows files see the instructions here. Once you are connected to the campus VPN, you can access your Computer Science Linux files on a mapped network drive by pointing to csfiles.usask.ca/<NSID>.
Make sure you have a VPN connection to the campus (Connect to the campus's VPN)
Mapping the network drive:
Open File Explorer from the taskbar or Start menu or press the Windows logo key (on your keyboard)
Right click on This PC on the left pane and click Map network drive...
From the Drive list, select a drive letter. (Any available letter will do.)
In the Folder box, enter the path to the network share: \\csfiles.usask.ca\abc123 (abc123 should be replaced with your NSID.)
When are prompted to enter your Network Credentials do the following:
In the Username box, enter "abc123@USASK.CA" (abc123 should be replaced with your NSID.)
In the Password box, enter your NSID's password
Select Remember my credentials if desired
CS COMPUTERS RUNNING LINUX
How to access your files from the Computer Science labs or tuxworld.usask.ca
All user’s standard folders (i.e. Desktop, Downloads, etc.) in Linux are mapped to CS file servers at the location: /student/abc123/ (csfiles.usask.ca:/abc123)
- To access your CS home directories via Terminal:
- Linux/Windows home: > cd /student/abc123
- To access ICT provided file storage via Dolphin:
- Enter smb://cabinet.usask.ca/work$/abc123 into the address bar
- Enter NSID and password when prompted.
- For returning students, contents of your old macOS directory can still be found in /student/machome/abc123 .
CS COMPUTERS RUNNING WINDOWS 10
How to access your files from the Computer Science labs or skynet.cs.usask.ca
All user’s standard folders (Desktop, Documents, etc.) are mapped to ICT file servers at the location: abc123/ (cabinet.usask.ca:/work$/abc123/cmpt/cswin)
- H: maps to csfiles.usask.ca/abc123 (CS file storage - seen as /student/abc123 on Linux)
- V: maps to cabinet.usask.ca/work$/abc123/ (ICT file storage)
The Department of Computer Science provides and mantains a variety of drives for students, staff and faculty. Undergraduate and graduate students have a quota of 50GB. Backups are performed regularly, and restores can be performed in emergencies.
|H: Drive||This is an ICT administered network drive where you can save your files and information on. This is the location\\cabinet\work$\abc123.|
|V: or T: Drive||This is an ICT administered network drive that is mounted from cabinet.usask.ca. Backups are performed regularly, and restores can be performed upon request. For more information, please see The ICT Webpages.|
When you login to a lab machine running Linux or a remote access server you are automatically given a Kerberos ticket. This ticket is good for 10 hours. If the ticket expires, you will get a "Permission Denied" error when attempting to access your files. The easy 'fix' is to just run 'kinit', enter your NSID password, and you will get a new ticket. If you intend to run a longer running process (e.g. on tuxworld) you will need to make arrangments to have your Kerberos tickets renewed automatically.
If you intend to have a long-running process (over 10 hours) on tuxworld, for example, you will need to arrange for your Kerberos ticket to be renewed before the 10-hour expiry time elapses.
A simple way to do that is to run the following Python script:documents/krb5autorenew.py
This section outlines the staff and their duties, as well as various services and what staff look after them. For nearly all enquiries and requests creating a ticket in JIRA or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org is the preferred first step.
- day-to-day front-line support
- day-to-day lab maintenance
- printer support (paper, toner, etc.)
- OS installs/re-installs (Windows, macOS, Linux)
- Windows Server
- Windows Desktop + SCCM
- systems monitoring
- Mac Desktop + JAMF
- Linux Desktop
- access to matlab, windows media
- lab software installs (Windows)
- senior Linux Sys Admin
- Linux Server + VM Hosts, tuxworld
- Linux Desktop
- Linux research support
- Mac Desktop
- printer support (accounts, out of pages)
- lab software installs (Linux)
- technical team lead
- senior Unix Sys Admin
- research support
- database admin
|CS Home Directories||Cary, Greg|
|DNS Name Requests||Cary, Greg|
|Firewalls||Cary, Greg, Raouf|
|GIT Repositories - git.cs.usask.ca||Cary, Greg|
|GPU Resources||Greg, Cary|
|Gaming Hardware||TBA, Raouf|
|Hardware Repairs||Cary, Raouf, TBA, Greg|
|Lab Exams||Cary, Raouf|
|Lab Hardware||TBA, Cary, Raouf|
|Lab Software - Linux||Cary|
|Lab Software - Windows||Raouf|
|Lab equipment warranty||TBA|
|Let's Encrypt SSL Certificates||Greg|
|Linux - general||Cary, Greg, Raouf|
|Mac - general||Cary, Raouf, Greg|
|Oculus Rift Hardware||TBA|
|Phishing Attempts||send to email@example.com|
|Printer Consumables (paper, toner)||TBA|
|Printing issues (authentication)||Cary|
|Raspberry PI, Beaglebone Blacks||Greg|
|Research Lab Systems||Cary, Greg, Raouf|
|Research Servers||Cary, Greg|
|Resource Booking||Cary, Greg|
|Salt||Cary, Greg, Raouf|
|Software Licenses||TBA, Greg|
|Software Security Updates||Cary, Greg|
|SVN/subversion - svn.cs.usask.ca||Greg, Cary|
|Unix Kernel/Networking Internals||Greg|
|UofS Insurance Queries||Greg|
|VM MAC Address Requests||Cary, Greg|
|Webserver - www.cs.usask.ca||Greg|
|Windows - general||Raouf|
|Windows Home Directories (Cabinet)||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Wired Network Issuesemail@example.com|
|Wireless Network Issuesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Other things we do:
- We are happy to help determine if an email is phishing - but you can send it directly to email@example.com if you think it is.
- Home computer/personal desktop/laptop support
Printers are named according to the lab or room in which they reside. In general, you should only print to the printer located in the lab you are in.
Undergrad Student Accessible Printers
|spinks360||Spinks S360||B/W Lexmark MS621dn
2 - 550 sheet letter drawers
Grad Student Accessible Only Printers
|spinks430||Spinks S430||B/W Lexmark T630
2 - 250 sheet letter drawers
|thorv254||Thorv 254||B/W Lexmark T630
2 - 500 + 250 sheet letter drawers
Colour Lexmark C534
350+550 sheet letter drawers
|thorvg60||Thorv G60||B/W Lexmark T642
250 sheet letter
|spinks430||Spinks S430||B/W Lexmark T652
2 - 550 sheet letter drawers
|spinks430c||Spinks S430||Colour Lexmark CS510
550 + 250 sheet letter drawers
|THORV-176-RIC||Thorv 176.2||Multi function device MP C4504
2 x 500 Letter + 500 Legal + 500 Tabloid
|thorv278c||Thorv 278||Colour Lexmark C534
350 + 550 sheet letter drawers
|thorv377c||Thorv 377||Colour Lexmark C534
350 + 550 sheet letter drawers
Students enrolled in the College of Arts and Science do not receive any free printing pages.
Instructions on configuring a printer in Windows 10 are as follows:
- Add csprintspool to the Windows 10 Credential Manager by doing the following:
- Open the Credential Manager from the Start Menu
- Click on "Windows Credentials" and then "Add a Windows Credential"
- Fill in the details as follows:
- Server address: csprintspool
- Username: usask\<NSID> (where <NSID> is your NSID. If your NSID is abc123, then Username is: usask\abc123)
- Password: <Enter your NSID Password>
- To add a new printer:
- Open "Printers and Scanners" from Settings
- Click on "Add a printer or scanner" - this will scan for available printers on the network
- Once scanning is done look for the printer that you wish to add
- If the printer is there, click on it, then click "Add Device".
- If the printer is not there:
- Click on "The printer that I want isn't listed" below the list of available printers.
- Choose "Select a shared printer name"
- Enter the printer name in the form: \\csprintspool\<PRINTERNAME> (e.g.: \\csprintspool\thorv377)
- Click on "Next" to install the printer driver
- Set the printer as default, if desired
- Click on "Finish"
Users of Linux, on non-lab machines, can use the following instructions to access the printers. These instructions will give you access to all printers, and any changes that are made on the server side will automatically show up.
- Log on to the machine with an administrative user, that has the ability to use sudo.
- Open a terminal application.
- Execute the following commands:
- cd /etc/cups
- sudo vi client.conf
- Search for the line starting with ServerName
- Add the following line underneath:
- ServerName sobek.usask.ca
- Excecute the following commands:
- sudo killall cupsd
- sudo cupsd
- Open the Printer Setup Utility and choose the appropriate printer as your default.
Users of macOS on non-lab machines can use the following instructions to access the printers. These instructions will give you access to a specific printer; individual printers must be added as required.
Printing from a Mac to department printers (ie. Thorv278c, Spinks430c, etc):
- Go to Add printer.
- Click on the IP (World looking) icon.
- Enter sobek.usask.ca for the Address.
- Leave Protocol as IPP.
- In the Queue enter /printers/<printer name> (ie. /printers/Thorv278c)
- Change the Name.
- For Use: Leave Generic PostScript Printer.
- Click Add.
- Select Duplex Printing Unit and click OK.
- Change to your home directory and create a .cups directory if it does not already exist.
- In the .cups directory create a file called client.conf and add a line: User <YourNSID>.
- Try printing.
For printing to the Ricoh printer in Thorv176.2:
- Use Printers & Scanners interface in System Preferences
- Click the plus sign to add a printer
- Click the Advanced tab and wait for it to populate
- NOTE: If the Advanced tab is not visible:
- Control-click on the tool bar of the 'Add' window.
- Choose 'Customize Toolbar...'
- Drag the 'Advanced' icon to the toolbar.
- Click 'Done'
- NOTE: If the Advanced tab is not visible:
- Select the Type: Windows Printer via spoolss
- Enter the URL for the printer:
- For the THORV-176-RIC Ricoh printer the URL for the printer is 'smb://printq.usask.ca/THORV-176-RIC
- In the 'Name' field type what you wish the printer to be called in OS X once the printer driver is installed (e.g. Thorv176.2) (Spaces in this name may cause issues -- it is likely best to avoid them)
- In the Use field click Select Software...
- Choose the make and model of the printer and click 'OK'. Click 'Add' to add the printer.
- You must download and install the Ricoh driver from the Ricoh site (https://www.ricoh.ca/en/support-and-download). Type the model number into the search (MP C4504)
- Set any additional settings for the printer and click 'Set Default Options'.
- The printer should now be installed.
Note: If you require Lexmark printer drivers they can be found on the Apple Support website here. Your print job should go through and you should no longer have to enter your password to print.Note that the first time you attempt to print you may be asked for your network password. Ensure that you enter 'usask;abc123' (yes, use your NSID, and yes, the ';' must be used instead of the usual '\'. '\' will not work.) for your username. Check the save in keychain box otherwise it will prompt you every time and may even prompt you twice every time.
- The printer may be down. Please inform Op Centre staff in Spinks S330 in the Thorvaldson Building Spinks Addition, or send submit a JIRA ticket.
- You are likely out of printing pages. You must purchase printing pages before you are able to print. Check your print account to make sure that you do have printing pages.
Undergraduate Computer Science lab accounts will expire at the end of every four months; i.e., at the end of December, April, and August. The expiry of the accounts generally corresponds with the end of final exams. Graduate accounts are valid as long as a student is registered in graduate studies.
Students who enroll in courses offered by the Department of Computer Science (any CMPT or BINFO course, and MATH 211, 313, or 314) have an account created for them automatically. Students must have a Network Services ID (NSID) and password in order to log in.
Undergraduate accounts expire at the end of every four months; i.e., at the end of December, April, and August. The expiry of the accounts generally corresponds with the end of final exams. Graduate accounts are valid as long as a student is registered in graduate studies. They expire when the account falls into disuse for roughly one year.
Sometimes computers in the lab might be unaccessible and display a locked screen. Please do not press the power switch! These are multi-tasking, multi-user UNIX-like machines. Other people may be logged in and using the machine even if you are unable to log in at the console. Please find a lab attendant (if available) and let them know of the problem, and then use an alternate machine.
All Linux machines will normally boot up into an X11 display, with a graphical login prompt. To switch to one of the text-based consoles, use CTRL-ALT plus F2-F6 (corresponding to the console you want). To switch to X11 again, use CTRL-ALT-F1.
The following lists are the required software for the current acamdemic year. Unless specified, software available on a particular platform will be available both on the lab machines and the terminal servers. These lists are not exhaustive, but specifiy the software required for classes.
The Department of Computer Science is licensed under the Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teaching program (Formerly known as Microsoft DreamSpark program, and once also known MSDN Academic Alliance). This enables all current department faculty, staff, and students to access software available under the program. This allows the department to provide legal copies of certain Microsoft software for academic and non-commercial use.
For more details and to access software, see Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teaching. Login with NSID@usask.ca and your usual NSID password for access.
Undergraduate students registered in a Computer Science class in the current term are eligible to access the Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teaching software library. Computer Science faculty, graduate students, and staff will continue to have access to the Azure Dev Tools for Teaching library while part of the department unless notified.
Faculty, staff, and students use their NSID and associated password to log onto the Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teaching website. Please note that although the Microsoft website is hosted on non U of S servers that authentication (where nsid and passwords are entered) is done on a U of S server.
EMAIL FROM THE MICROSOFT AZURE DEV TOOLS FOR TEACHING SYSTEM
As per U of S policy all email from Microsoft website servers will be sent to your NSID account hosted on mail.usask.ca (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you prefer a reading your email from a different account you will have to set up your @mail.usask.ca account to be forwarded to that account.
AVAILABLE SOFTWARE PRODUCTS
The Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teaching subscription allows the Department to supply several Microsoft products to students for academic use. Examples are:
- All Microsoft Operating Systems
- Visual Studio (non express versions)
- Visio Professional
- Project Professional
All provided software packages are available one or more of the following delivery options:
- Downloading of CD or DVD ISO images. These images are intended to be used to make a CD or DVD using the appropriate disc burning software.
- Direct delivery from Microsoft. Discs may be purchase for a small fee directly from Microsoft. The fees are typically less then US$20.00 plus shipping.
NOTE: REGARDING DOWNLOADS...
The downloads are compressed and encrypted. A small Windows or OS X based application is used to download and unwrap the ISO image file. This means that the downloading must be done from a Windows or Mac OS X computer.
If downloading at home on a Windows machine and you do not have software that can create a CD from an ISO image file check out ISO Recorder .
You can only access the Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teaching site and software while you are part of the Department of Computer Science; as in currently taking a class offered by the department or on payroll in the department.
This means that as an undergraduate student you will not have access to the Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teaching site in between terms (ex: during summer) or during a term that you are not taking a class offered by the Department of Computer Science.
Our technical support staff are open to setting up any additional software, tools or environments that you may need for your academic projects. They can assist with repositories, databases, web servers, etc. This is a big perk for Computer Science students. You can inquire about your service setup by creating a JIRA ticket.
CUSTOM LATEX CLASSES AND PACKAGES
U of S Thesis document class (Version 1.4.25, 2021/09/23, Mark Eramian)
- Conforms to CGSR Thesis Preparation Guide.
- Suitable for both paper and electronic theses.
Update 1.4.25: Chapter headings now have leaders in the table of contents.
Update 1.4.24: Bugfix release. Removed stray characters in thesis_template.tex, improved compatibility with Overleaf.com.
Update 1.4.23: Additional copyright notice added to title page to comply with changes made by CGPS in late 2020.
Update 1.4.22: Improvements to List of Abbreviations, changes to chapter headings to reduce likelyhood of theses being rejected by CGPS, improved support for hyperref, hyperref now loaded by default.
Update 1.4.21: Added "Disclaimer" to permissionto use page at the behest of CGPS. Permission to use page now refers to the document as a "thesis" for MSc, and as a "dissertation" for PhD, again at the behest of CGPS.
Update 1.4.20: Format of chapter headings now match table of contents entries as per CGPS request. Permission to use page updated to include CGPS Dean's address in addition to departmental head's address.
Update 1.4.19: Title page changed to reflect new College name: College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Research. Apparence of appendices improved in table of contents.
Update 1.4.17: The list of abbreviations can now span multiple pages.
Update 1.4.16: this is a bugfix release. The table of contents no longer disappears when the nofigurelist class option is used.
New in 1.4.15: default margins are now 1 inch on all sides for ETD. Former behaviour of a 4cm left margin for theses that are to be printed and bound can be enabled by a document class option.
- LaTeX Wikibooks
- A Free LaTeX User's Guide
- CTAN: Comprehensive TeX Archive Network
- The LaTeX Project Home Page
RECOMMENDED PRINT RESOURCES
- H. Kopka and Patrick W. Daly, A Guide to LaTeX (fourth edition), Addison-Wesley, 2004.
- Frank Mittelbach and Michel Goossens, The Latex Companion (second edition), Addision-Wesley, 2004.
- Leslie Lamport, LaTeX: A Document Preparation System (second edition), Addison-Wesley, 1994.
- M. Goossens, F. Mittelbach, Sebastian Rahtz, Denis Roegel and Herbert Voß, The LaTeX Graphics Companion (Second Edition), Addison-Wesley, 2008.
SPECIFIC LATEX TOPICS
- LaTeX Symbols Quick Reference
- LaTeX Related Tools
- The LaTeX Font Catalogue
- A page devoted to how to squeeze a little extra into the same space in LaTeX.
SOFTWARE EDITORS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
|Texmaker||An integrated LaTeX Editor, or as the authors call it, "development environment".||[Linux/Windows/MacOS X]|
|WinEdt||A text editor that can be used with LaTeX.||[Windows]|
|TeXShop||A LaTeX Aware editor for the Macintosh. Features integrated preview.||[MacOS X]|
|TeXnicCenter||A LaTeX IDE designed to work with MiKTeX (see below).||[Windows]|
|GNU TeXmacs||A WSYIWYG LaTeX editor.||[Windows/UNIX]|
|Kile||A "user friendly TeX/LaTeX editor for the KDE desktop environment". Resembles TeXShop in many ways.||[Windows/Linux/MacOS/SPARC with KDE installed]|
|Gummi||A simple lightweight LaTeX editor for GTK+ users written in Python and GTK.||[Linux]|
|TexWorks||A cross-platform LaTeX editor modelled on TexShop.||[Windows/Linux/OSX]|
|Lyx||A LaTeX editor that is self described a a WYSIWYM (what you see is what you mean) word processor.||[Windows/Linux/Unix/MacOS]|
|BibDesk||A nice BiBTeX front-end.||[MacOS]|
|JabRef||A Java-based GUI front-end for managing BibTeX databases.||[Java>= 1.4.2]|
- LaTeX for Windows (MiKTeX)
- Mactex for OSX
- Most Linux distributions include Tetex. Install the tetex packages for your Linux distribution.
No prior knowledge of LaTeX is required. Basic knowledge of unix terminal commands is assumed.
The workshop is usually held during two 3-hour evening sessions. The first evening covers the first three topics, the second evening covers the remaining topics. The workshop is usually held in the teaching labs where each attendee has access to a computer; this allows them to follow along, trying the examples presented by the instructor, and working through practice exercises.
NOTES AND EXERCISE PACKAGE