Unix Tutorial

Computer Account Setup

All computer-related work is done in the Thornton E225 lab. Other options are to use any other Unix lab (e.g. in the Albert H. Small building), or PCs in the stacks using Exceed to log into Unix, but you will get less support if problems arise. The CLASS Machines are a cluster of Sun Unix Workstations running Solaris.

The host names for the CLASS machines are:



At the CDE (Common Desktop Environment) login window do not yet type your login id (because the default login is not on one of the 4 above). First click on Options -> Remote Login -> Enter Host Name and then enter one of the above 4 host names. Only then, at the new login window finally type your login id (same as your email id, e.g. mmt4q) followed by ENTER and then type your password, followed by ENTER.

If asked what interface to use we recommend you choose CDE. If you ever want to change your login "session" you may do so by selecting the OPTIONS button on the login window and choose a session listed in the Sessions Menu (CDE, OpenWindows, Startx/X11).


Once logged-in you need to setup your desktop. Some useful icons to have on your desktop are "Xterm" and "Xterm Ssh"

To put the "Xterm" icon on your desktop: click once on the File Drawer icon on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen (third icon from the right) double click on the Desktop Tools icon scroll down through Desktop Tools until you see the "Xterm" icon click once on the "Xterm" icon and drag the icon to the desktop this is a terminal window to the CLASS machine you're logged on. you can open as many of these windows/terminals as necessary

To put the "Xterm Ssh" icon on your desktop: click once on the File Drawer icon on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen (third icon from the right) double click on the EE Tools icon click once on the "Xterm Ssh" icon and drag the icon to the desktop this icon opens a terminal to the remote host machine you would like to log-on to (such as blue.unix.Virginia.EDU). Ssh is a secure way to log into a remote host. you can open as many of these windows/terminals as necessary.


It is VERY IMPORTANT to change your password the first time you login to any CLASS machine. Open an "Xterm" window and type the following at the prompt:


The screen will then prompt you to enter your "current" password - do so and press ENTER. Then the screen prompts you to enter your "new" password Since "passwd" uses ITC's encryption software, we suggest you use your blue.unix account password or another encrypted password you already have. Your login id and password work on any of the CLASS machines. If you are registered (or have been in the past) in other classes that use the class machines (e.g. ECE435/ECE436) you already have an account and no new account will be created for the VLSI class (you use the same password). Similarly, if you already have a Unix account with the ECE dept. (not blue.unix which is with the University) this existing account will be linked to the class machines (you use the same password).

LOGGING IN WITH CYGWIN ON A NETWORKED PC (recomended but limited support available) From your own PC or the PCs in THORNTON STACKS:

Download a CD disk image of Cygwin (download the latest, as of Sep. 5 cygwin-cd-release-20060605.iso (1256 megabytes, Jun 5 14:11)) from: http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~instcd/iso/
Burn a CD with the Cygwin image (use your favorite CD burning software, e.g. Nero) and then use the CD everytime you want to access Unix with an X-server. I found this method much better than using Exceed (more user friendly and a virtual Unix environment under Windows). Alternatively you can install Cygwin on your hard drive.

LOGGING IN FROM EXCEED ON A NETWORKED PC (not recomended but you are welcome to try, limited support available) From the PCs in THORNTON STACKS:

Double Click on the Exceed shortcut and choose one of the 4 CLASS host names above from the "chooser" list that appears.

From your PC at home or in a dorm:

You need to change the Exceed configuration (for example on your personal PC): open Xconfig under the Exceed menu then double click on the Communication icon.

You can either set Exceed to directly login to one machine (choose "query" and then the "configure" button and type the hostname of the machine you want to always connect to (e.g. hazeltop.ee.virginia.edu), or

You can set Exceed to bring up a chooser list of different machines (choose "broadcast" and then the "configure" button and put an X in the "hostfile" box and "edit" the file xdmcp.txt with the names of the hosts you want to appear in your list (e.g. hazeltop.ee.virginia.edu, skyland.ee.virginia.edu, etc.)

The Cadence software has an annoying screen/refresh problem when run on a PC via Exceed. You need to do the following in order to solve the problem:
Under Xconfig -> Performance.

  1. Enable Save Unders
  2. Enable Change Maximum Backing Store to Always
  3. Alter Default Backing Store to When Mapped
  4. Alter Minimum Backing Store to When Mapped
You have to exit Exceed for the changes to take effect.


For more info on UNIX commands and different UNIX editors drop by 235 Wilson Hall for some handouts from ITC or check the following on-line resources:

If you have problems with your CLASS account please send email to eeadmin@virginia.edu

Congratulations, this is the end of the Unix tutorial.