University of Louisiana at Lafayette Campus Computing

STEP Labs: University Computing System (UCS)

Conference Center 152 -- 116 Sun Workstations

Stephens Memorial Hall 109 -- 27 Sun Workstations

The UCS Sun System
The UCS Sun system consists of 116 Sun workstations in the Conference Center and 27 workstations in Stephens Hall. The system provides remote access from a terminal or personal computer which can connect to the campus network as well as local access from workstations located on the first floors of the Conference Center and Stephens Hall. Operations, maintainance, software support, account creation, and user assistance are provided by University Computing Support Services.
Accounts on the UCS system are available for UL Lafayette faculty, staff, and students. For students, UCS accounts remain active as long as he/she does not skip a fall or spring semester. For faculty and staff, UCS accounts remain active as long as the individual is employed by the University.
The UCS subdomain consists of:
  • a Sun E-450 file server,, with 3 CPUs, 512 MB of memory, and 38 GB of disk, located in the Conference Center. The server disk contains all user home directories and a master copy of all system files. System changes or updates can be automatically distributed from the server to the clients. A complete load of all clients from the server can be accomplished overnight.
  • 153 Sun Ultra 5 workstations, with 64 MB of memory, 4 GB of disk, and 17-inch color monitors; a few of thse are assigned to support staff, but most are available for student use. Those workstations located in the Conference Center are named through Workstations in Stephens Hall are named through, through, and through Each workstation disk contains copies of essential system modules and other frequently/recently used files; /tmp is a RAM disk, with a virtual size of 128 MB.
  • the primary campus Web server,
  • a secondary Web server for faculty/staff and students,
  • the campus news server,
  • the campus POP (incoming) mail server,
  • the campus SMTP (outgoing) mail server,
The file server is connected via a 10 MB per second port to the campus Ethernet. Seven "fast Ethernet" (100 MB per second) ports connect the file server to switches which route communications to the 153 client workstations.
  • Operating System: The operating system used by UCS is Solaris 2.6 (also known as SunOS 5.6), a variety of UNIX derived from AT&T System V. All typical UNIX tools and commands are available. The default user environment is CDE or Common Desktop Environment.
  • A variety of email tools: Workstation users typically prefer either dtmail, available from an icon on the Front Panel at the bottom of the screen, or the email component of Netscape, the Web browser installed on the workstations. Personal computer users who connect to the campus, either by Ethernet or by PPP dialup, may prefer Outlook, or some similar email program, including those available in many Web browsers. Users who normally use a text-only interface to the Sun systems may select elm (Easy Little Mailer) which is often easier to use than the traditional UNIX mail program. Users who prefer to obtain their email services from a commercial provider may use the UCS mailbox command to automatically forward any email sent to their UL Lafayette address to their commercial account.
  • Netscape Communicator: Netscape Communicator 4.61 is the Web browser installed on UCS. It allows access to the World-Wide Web from any UCS workstation. UL Lafayette departments and organizations may obtain space for their Web pages on the main campus server; and individuals may create personal Web pages in their UCS account. For users who are limited to text-only access to UCS, the lynx browser is available. Users who want to create Web pages my use either Netscape Composer or Applix Author. Composer allows you to preview your page layout more conveniently; Author may be more convenient when converting other Applix documents to Web pages.
  • Word Processing: Sun workstations offer WordPerfect and Applix Words. WordPerfect can also be used from devices other than the workstations; contact the Help Desk (Stephens Hall 201, 482-5516, for additional information. Applix Words is similar to word processing software that runs on personal computers; it can also exchange files with other popular word processors and is integrated with other Applix components which provide spreadsheets, graphics, charting, and Web page creation. Online help is available within Applix by clicking on Help, and Applix manuals are available at the Help Desk and in the Reserve Room of the Library. The TeX typesetter and various UNIX text editors (vi, ed, emacs) are also available.
  • Statistical Packages: SPSS, SAS and Minitab are available on the Sun system. The Current Index of Statistics, a bibliographic database, is also available; type cis to access and ? for help within the program.
  • Image Processing or drawing software: Image manipulation software available on the Sun system includes: gimp (image editing, format conversions, and painting), xv (image display for many different formats), gnuplot (interactive plotting), and xfig (drawing). All of these programs have man pages. The Graph and Presentation components of Applix have online help. Advanced users may also wish to explore the OpenGL libraries.
  • Additional Software Packages: Other available software includes: Mathematica, which provides symbolic mathematics and graphing; MATLAB, which combines numeric computation, advanced graphics and visualization, and a high-level programming language; communications software (ftp, telnet, tn3270, slirp, kermit, zmodem); the Oracle database (Computer Science instructional use only); and numerous programming languages (including C, C++, FORTRAN-77, FORTRAN-90, lisp, Pascal, scheme, perl, prolog, and snobol). See the man pages, or contact the Help Desk for more information.
Other Equipment (one each in Conference Center and Stephens Memorial Hall)
  • Microtek ImageDeck: a stand-alone, 36-bit, 600 x 600 dpi scanner that has a built-in 1.44-MB floppy drive and a 100-MB Iomega Zip drive

Document last revised: Thursday, 19-Sep-2002 18:37:02 CDT

© Copyright 2000 by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Computing Support Services, P.O. Box 42770, Lafayette LA 70504
Telephone: 337/482-5516 · Electronic Mail: