Institute For Computational Earth System Science


ICESS Administrative Information

ICESS Computing Policy

ICESS Computing Environment

Expertise Town Meetings

ICESS Facilities and Equipment

ICESS System Group Documentation

ICESS Backup Configuration Documentation

Some useful sites:

New Account Form

Post a Request to the Systems Group

This part of the server is always under construction. Answers to many common questions may be found here. 

ICESS Computing Environment

If you are a new user at ICESS, please read all of the links, especially those that pertain to the compute platform you have chosen as your primary work environment.

If you are a seasoned ICESS compute user, you may find many answers relating to policies and procedures in use here. Information is added on a regular basis and suggestions are welcome.


Overview of Directory Structure:

The directory structure is divided up into 6 parts

System files
System Files are stored in the /usr and / disk partitions on your system disk. They are primarily the concern of the system adminstrators (Ed, & Darla) and you should not have to worry about them. The only time these directories should be of concern to you is if they are full (100% or more). This can happen if programs dump core in the root directory. This WILL cause problems---contact a Systems Administrator right away.
Software packages
Software Packages such as IDL, terascan, S, Matlab, etc usually preside in the /local directory. We have 3 /local directories, one on the suns, one on the DEC Ultrix machines, one on the DEC Alpha's. We have some scripts that can run on any of the machines and they are located in /local/share.
User files
User home directories are in /home/user?, where ? is a number from 1 to 14. User home directories are backed up nightly. Currently user directories are for storing what you are working on, i.e., a paper you are currently writing---they are not for long term archival (Use Tapes), nor are they where data goes. Data belongs in one of the following 3 catagories:
Backed up data files
Users data directories are in /home/data?, where ? is a number from 1 to 58 (we skipped 24-29, but will fill them in with new disks). These disks are backed up once a week.
Not Backed up data files
Users data directories (THAT ARE NOT BACKED UP) are in /home/scratch?, where ? is a number from 1 to 19 or 30-35. These are good working areas with large amounts of disk space, but the user is responsible for backing up his/her own stuff.
Temporary space
Users temporary directories (THAT ARE NOT BACKED UP) are in /home/tmp?, where ? is a number from 1 to 14. The original plan was to have an automatic script that would go through and clean up old files left in tmp directories, enabling access to them at all times. Currently this plan is not implemented and they are the same as scratch directories.

Unix Application Software

Each copy of all software used at the University must be covered by a license agreement. You may want to check out the UCSB local software license agreement or the UC system-wide license agreement to find out what applications, besides the ones listed below, are included in the agreements.

Mail Packages:


Plotting Packages:

Image Processing Packages:

Mathematical Processing Software:

Text Processing:

GNU and Other Tools:

Unix FAQ

Important Information for Users

Application Availability - Not all the software mentioned in the Application Software list is available on all architectures (DEC Alpha, Dec Ultrix and Sun). If you can not run a particular application pagkage follow these steps:
  1. Type the command:
  2. % which application_name
    to see if applicaiton_name is mounted on the particular architecture you are currently logged on. Application_name is the name of the application you want to use. For example, when I type "which mathematica" on andromeda I get "/local/bin/mathematica" , while on olive I get "mathematica: command not found".
  3. Type the command:
  4. % echo $PATH
    to see if that directory is in your path. If it isn't, type
    % setenv PATH='PATH,application_directory'
    to temporarily change your PATH so that it includes the directory of the binary files of that particular application. Application_directory is the directory where the application lives (e.g. the result of "which application_name".)
  5. If "which" can't find application_name, there are 2 possibilities:
    1. Application_name is not mounted on that architecture - try logging onto another one and repeating the procedure.
    2. Application_name is not how you start that specific program - try asking around (best), post a note to or ask a system administrator.
NOTE: If you want to know what architecture you are on, type:
% arch
else if you want to know more type:
% uname -a
Physical Ethernet Connectivity - The network at ICESS actually consists of two pysical networks: the ICESS ethernet network (128.111.100) with a bandwidth of 10/100 megabits/s and the ICESS Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI - 192.150.216) network with a bandwidth of 100 megabits/s. Note that not all of the ICESS machines are on both networks. The domain name indicates a machine is on the FDDI network. Data transfers and remote program execution between two machines will be much faster if you are logged onto two FDDI machines because of the higher network bandwidth. All computers are connected to a common high-speed switched Ethernet, Fast- Ethernet, and FDDI network that permits multiple simultaneous 100Mb/s transfers of data within ICESS/SESM. There is a connection to the UCSB FDDI backbone that allows ICESS/SESM to offer traffic to other departments and the Internet at 100Mb/s.

Email Addressing Problems?

When addressing within the ICESS domain ( you may simply use the user name of the recipient.

Display Variable Problems?

You see a message similar to one of the following when running an x-window application: X-window application programs utilize the concept of the DISPLAY shell variable to determine which computer or x-terminal to send output to. If you see one of the above messages (or something similar) then try to look at the contents of the DISPLAY shell variable (use the echo command):
        daniel@slow$ echo $DISPLAY
Normally you will see the :0.0 perhaps preceeded by a machine name. If you do not then type:
        xhost +
on the command line. Now using the X Window Manager notice that the bottom has a message displaying:
        Your DISPLAY variable is:
To set the DISPLAY variable simple click once with the left mouse button anywhere on the "" message, then move to the shell window where you wish to set the DISPLAY. Now click once with the middle mouse button.

How to set Xterm Colors?

There is a near infinite number of options when customizing your X window environment. X.html will provide some basic information about the X window system and X client applications. Spend some time looking at the man pages for specific clients, particularly xterm.

Names of colors that are usable with most X clients are in the file /usr/lib/X11/rgb.txt . For example,

        xterm -fg red -cr blue -ms magenta -bg black &
spawns a new xterm on your DISPLAY with color attributes as follows:

-fg red sets the color of the displayed text.
-cr blue sets the color of the cursor.
-ms magenta sets the color of the mouse icon.
-bg black sets the background color of the xterm.

How To Print?

How to See the Status of all Printers at Icess?

Use the lpstat -t command. For example type:
darla@kaweah$ lpstat -t | more     (type only the text after the $)

        printer is on remote host eos with name 6806
        queuing is enabled
        printing is enabled
        no entries
        no daemon present
        printer is on remote host eos with name 6816
        queuing is enabled
        printing is enabled
        no entries
        no daemon present
        printer is on remote host eos with name 6837
        queuing is enabled
        printing is enabled
        no entries
        no daemon present
        printer is on remote host eos with name 6722
        queuing is enabled
        printing is enabled
        no entries
        no daemon present
        printer is on remote host eos with name phase
        queuing is enabled
        printing is enabled
        no entries
        no daemon present
        printer is on remote host eos with name term
        queuing is enabled

This will show you the status of all printers at icess. Their names are given on the far left followed by the colon. These names may be used with the lpr -P command to print a file, or with the lpq -P command to stop a file from printing.

How to Stop a File From Printing (Kill a Print Job)?

Questions about the BASH shell?

Video Input/Output

Desktop page scanner

This device is an HP ScanJet II, which is a flatbed scanner attached to a Macintosh. It can scan up to 1200 dpi, but takes a few minutes to scan a page. There are two software applications to use while scanning: 1. Adobe Photoshop (to scan images) 2. DeskScan (to scan text to do OCR) Optical Character Recognition(OCR) is technology to convert an image to a text file.

35mm slide scanner (positive/negative)

This is a Kodak XXX scanner, which is scanner which will scan slides. It can scan up to about 2000dpi, generating up to a 25 megabyte file per image at 2000dpi. You can select the level of dpi from 75-2000. This scanner is also attached to a Macintosh. It will scan a slide in seconds, writing the image out to disk is the bottleneck in this process. The software to use is Adobe Photoshop.

Device to make 35mm images of slides

We don't have one of these devices. It's possible the Geography department does.

Video Tape Recording Equipment

We have a Diaquest Imagenode, which is basically a fancy 386 PC, sitting on our network, with a video controller board and an ethernet card. It is attached to a S-VHS editing tape deck. One can easily make video's of a set of images. The images can be downloaded with simple ftp commands, or best done with the Video Composer software on the Silicon Graphics machine: osprey. A videotape has 30 frames per second, so often with animations done in our lab, we will hold each image for 1/5 a second. The software has many fancy features/special effects. Please contact Ed Mehlschau to get the manuals for this software. 


PC User General Information

The following information is intended for users of PCs. Most PC users at ICESS also make frequent use of the Unix platforms available here. Please read all the Unix web pages that may pertain to your dual platform usage.

ICESS is currently recommending the following pc platforms and software options. Note that if you do not purchase the hardware specified below, or consult with us prior to purchasing other hardware we may not be able to provide any service other than an internet ip address.


In order for computing equipment to be supported (we'll help you make it work) the following must be true:
  1. The CRM has approved your hardware or software purchase.
  2. The CRM has copies of your purchase requisition.
Recommended hardware: Supported software: Non-supported configurations:

Gateway 2000 Web Site for UC

Gateway 2000 is providing a web site with special pricing customized to UC. Those of you that configure and/or order Gateway PCs might want to be aware of it. The URL is:
The site also has a nice list of UC-specific contacts (including Tech Support) all in one place.

PC Application software

  1. Linux and Windows NT: How to Get Them to Work on the Same Machine
  2. Windows95: How to Get It to Work on the Net

Linux and Windows NT: How to Get Them to Work on the Same Machine

Note: This "How To" is based on "The Linux + Windows NT mini-HOWTO" by Bill Wohler. You don't have to read Wohler's "How To" before you start, but I recommend you do so.

    Prepare your computer for Linux installation

    Install Red Hat Linux

    Installing Windows NT

    NOTE: The format of this part of the "HOW TO" will differ from the above. Each section will be headed by the a topic dealing with Windows NT installation and followed by important information. NOTE: The above information should be enough for you to install Windows NT with LINUX on your machine. All other information concerning networking should be obtained from Darla or Ed at ICESS. P.S. Installing networking ablity on NT 4.0 is very much the same as on a Windows 95 machine. In fact the whole installation is pretty much the same so if you have problems with installing NT 4.0, refer to help1.txt. PLEASE ENABLE THE SCREEN SAVERS. And if possible, the screen saver should display the machine name.


Windows95: How to Get It to Work on the Net

    Check if your network card works:

    1. The first thing you should do is make sure all the wire connections are fine.
    2. Second, find out what kind of network card you have.
    3. Make sure Win95 knows you have a network card.
      1. Double click on the "System" icon in the Control Panel, which in turn is in "My Computer" icon (The name may be different if you changed it. It's the desktop icon in your main window.

      2. Note, you may also access the Control Panel under "Settings" in the Start button.). Go into Device Manger. You should see an icon of a Network Adpater with the name "Network Adpaters". Click on this icon. You should see your network card listed under "Network Adpaters". If the name of your network card is not under "Network Adpaters" or if you do not see "Network Adpaters" at all, Win95 does not know about your network card.
      3. If Win 95 does sees you network card, go to the next section "GET THE CONNECTION TO WORK", else click on the "Network" icon in the "Control Panel". Next, click on the "Add" button. Then click on the "Adpater" icon. A window will appear with a list of Network card Manufactures on the left and a list of network cards they make on the right. Once you found it, HIGHLIGHT the name of your network card, then click the OK button. If you can not get on the network, go the the next section.

    Get the connection to work:

    1. The first thing you should do is request an IP address from Darla. If you already have one, you may continue.
    2. Select "Network" in the "Control Panel" and pick the "Add" option. Click on the protocol icon. A window will appear with a list of protocol Manufactures on the left and the network protocol they support on the right. Click on Microsoft on the left. Next, hightlight "NetBEUI" and click on the OK button. Return to this window, and seleck Microsoft again. Then hightlight "TCP/IP" and click on the OK button.
    3. Return to the main "Network" window (this is the window you first enter when you click on the "Network" icon). Click on the protocol icon with the name "NetBEUI" and enter the information you have obtained from Darla. Do the same for the protocol icon with the name "TCP/IP". Make sure you click on the OK button when you're done. You should now restart you computer so the changes will take effect.

    Test to see if things are running fine:

    1. Once you have completed the steps above, you will want to see if things work. To do so, click on the Start button and select Run. You then enter 'telnet'. Try to telnet to a machine on the ICESS network. If everything is working fine, then you're finished.
    2. If things are not running smoothly, review the steps above and make sure you did everything correctly. If your network connection still doesn't work, contact request by e-mail,, and a member of the Systems Group will help.

    3. P.S. Please enable the screen savers. And if possible, the screen saver should display the machine name.

    Printer Configuration

    Configure Windows 95/NT

      In the CONTROL PANEL there should be a PRINTER icon.

    This should complete the configuration for this PC.