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-- TimBotzem - 2012-05-08

Remote Desktop from outside Eduroam using Cisco VPN

Instruments on the net

  • AWG
  • DPO
  • VNA

General server guideline

Server access and usage guidelines for the Bluhm group

Advantages of using a server

  • Data is always backed up
  • Files accessible from anywhere
  • Easy information exchange
  • No migration effort when changing computer
Data backup is essential, hence all work and data MUST be stored on the server space unless another backup solution is in place! Disks do fail earlier or later.


Each group member receives a personal login and home directory shortly after registering with Guido Geulen. These are used to access the file space. Windows file share from Physikzentrum: \\home3\inst2c or \\home3\username It may be convenient to map this location as a network drive so that the lengthy name is replaced by a drive letter. Access from other RWTH networks may be possible by replacing home3 with home3.physik.rwth-aachen.de


If you saved your credentials after logon or someone else’s are still saved in the current session and this blocks further access to the net-share, follow these steps:

  1. Close all open explorer windows in order to delete any temporarily saved data/credentials
  2. Open the start menu and type cmd to open a command line window
  3. Into the now open command line type net use * /DELETE
  4. Answer all questions concerning the saved credentials you want to remove with yes (it’s best to delete every single saved credential, even those mapped to other servers than our one, because M$ Windows cannot handle multiple logons)
  5. Now you are clear to open or remap the desired workspace again
SSH/SFT/SCP secure login and file transfer from anywhere: portal.physik.rwth-aachen.de Recommended clients are putty and WinSCP, to be found at http://www.putty.org/ and http://winscp.net. The common area (inst2c above) is located under /home/home3/institut_2c/group.

Directory structure

What you do with your home directory is up to you. Data in it is usually invisible to others, but this can be changed by setting different permissions. However, it must not be used to store large amounts of personal data, such as your video collection. There is also a common directory (located under \\home3\inst2c or /home/home3/institut_2c/group) accessible by all group members. It contains subdirectories for each project/team, which should be used for any file that is relevant for other team members. There is also a common directory where information relevant for everyone is to be stored. Its subdirectories include:

... ...
manuals Equipment manuals etc.
MATLAB High quality, shared matlab code
order Information about completed purchases as described in order/database_instructions.docx
talks Group talks and conference presentations, sorted into personal directories.
theses Theses from our group and relevant others.
... ...

You are requested to make an effort to keep these up to date.

Access permissions

These determine who can read and write to each file or directory. Files created via the inst2c file share are by default readable and writeable by the whole group. Files created via individual home directories are by default accessible only by the user. If necessary, the permissions can be changed by the file owner via the chmod command. The most important ones are: chmod g+rw filename (make file available to whole group) chmod -R g+rw dirname (make all files in directory available to whole group) chmod g+x dirname (allow group to change into directory, needed to access files in it) For details, type man chmod on the command line via ssh.


Data on the server is backed up in two ways. First, it is stored redundantly (via RAID5) so that any single disk failure will not lead to any data loss, even for files that have been changed minutes ago. Second, all data is backed up to the Rechenzentrum every night. Backup is a resource that does not come without cost. Hence it should only be used where it makes sense, and large amounts of data (many MB) that are easily replaceable should be excluded. Examples are downloadable software or large temporary data files. This exclusion can be achieved by placing the files under a ~/nobackup/ directory (case sensitive!), where ~ stands for any home directory or /home/home3/institut_2c/group. If necessary, it is possible to use soft links to make these files visible elsewhere.

Administrative tasks

Changing your password: - log on via SSH. - use passwd command. Further information General documentation can be found at http://www.physik.rwth-aachen.de/gemeinsame-einrichtungen/it-dienste-theorie/. User account related requests should be directed to Guido Geulen. Linux competent group members are Jan-Michael and Tim Botzem.

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Topic revision: r4 - 2012-05-14 - RobMcNeil
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