Red Hat Linux Teaching Environment is Available in CSC

by Joe Lee

Linux, featuring flexibility, open system standard, and vast free resources (including itself), has become the hottest operating system today.

The Survey and Results

To find out how Linux has been used in CityU, we performed an on-line survey in December 2002. We collected around 60 responses from academic, research and administrative staff. Statistics indicated that two thirds of the respondents had Linux experience and most of them used Red Hat Linux on the PC platform. If Linux is to be supported in the future, most respondents recommend Red Hat Linux, and they need central support in various areas, including system maintenance, security, training, troubleshooting and others.

Central Technical Support

In response to the demand for Linux support, the Computing Services Centre (CSC) coordinated resources to support Red Hat Linux at system level starting from April 2003. This support covers system installation, applying of system patches, and troubleshooting.

Training Courses

Two Linux training courses have been tailored to assist general users and system administrators. The basic course covers fundamental Linux workstation concepts and operational techniques, while the technical course covers advanced topics in server configuration, security and administration. Both courses have proved to be demanding. Within two months, the basic course has been run for two times and the technical one has been offered three times.

The Environment for Teaching

To facilitate teaching and learning of Linux, the CSC has recently installed Red Hat Linux through Virtual PC in Teaching Studio K. Starting from 1 July, staff and students can use the Linux environment and a variety of software applications including

  • Desktops: X Window System, GNOME, KDE
  • Editors: Emacs, XEmacs, vim
  • Applications: Engineering & Scientific, Netscape, Authoring & Publishing, Graphics, etc.
  • Development: GNU tools and compilers, such as gcc, gcc -c++, g77, objc, java, etc.
  • Central Server Connection: Using X Window to access Sun Servers

General guideline for starting the Linux environment has been posted on the CSC departmental Web at under the Facilities pull-down menu.

Since this is mainly for teaching and learning purpose so our Linux laboratory, for security reason, is set up only as a client environment. Linux server environment will be better provided and controlled in departments' own teaching Labs. As we are new to Linux support, the environment in Teaching Studio K will be used also as a pilot for the development of our support standard for Linux. We welcome your comments on the setting, software applications installed, and the like so that the facility can continue to improve to meet your teaching need. Please forward your comments to or contact Joe Lee at 3442 6276 for further information.