CSL: Policies: User-Maintained Desktops

CSL: Policies: User-Maintained Desktops

By default, departmental users are provided with a desktop computer which is maintained by the Lab Staff on a trusted sub-net of the departmental network. We offer users the option to install an operating system of their choice on this machine while they are working in the department. In this case users must notify the Lab staff and the machine must be moved to an untrusted sub-net. Users will then be responsible for maintaining their own systems.

Each user in the department is provided with a desktop computer administered by the Lab staff on the department's trusted network. Currently these machines run a recent version of the Ubuntu Linux distribution. Users may request software to be installed on these machines by the Lab staff.

Users requiring more flexibility for their research may request to administer their own system, where they can run the operating system of their choice (eg, Windows, Linux, Solaris X86, ...) in an untrusted configuration. The subsequent administration of the machine will be the responsibility of the user.

Please do not disconnect a desktop machine from the trusted network without first contacting the Lab staff.

When contacting the Lab staff, please tell us the room you are in and the name and/or ID of the computer you wish to self-administer. All department-owned computers should have a name on the front as well as an inventory tag, typically located on the top of the machine. Undergraduates and visiting users should make sure there are no conflicts with other users in the office who may be depending on the use of the computer.

The choice of operating system is left up to the user. The Lab staff maintains basic versions of a current Microsoft Windows operating system and a current Ubuntu Linux system that can be installed upon request. Any customization to these basic installs, as well as requests for other operating systems will need to be performed by the user.

Once the request has been made, the Lab staff will unlock the machine and move it to the untrusted network. The user can then manage the system as they see fit.

Please note that data on user-maintained desktops will not be backed up. Users will need to copy important data to other machines which are backed up.

Users will be responsible for the security of their self-adminsitered machines. If a user-administered machine appears to have been hacked into or is reported to the Lab staff by the university network manager or other such authority, the machine will be removed from the network, until such time as the user can be contacted and a resolution to the problem implemented by the user.

Finally, as a convenience, the Lab staff request that users notify the Lab staff when the user-administered machine is no longer needed, so the machine can be returned to service for the next department user.