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Durham University

Computing and Information Services

Frequently Asked Questions

List of FAQ categories

Managed Linux Desktop Service

+How do I run a process for more than 10 hours?

Access to your file space is secured via Kerberos. The default ticket lifetime is 10 hours. Once your Kerberos ticket has expired, you can't access your file space until it is renewed by entering your password.

Your Kerberos ticket is automatically renewed whenever you log in, or enter your password to unlock the screensaver.

This setup is fine for normal desktop use; applications like OpenOffice.org and Firefox will recover from the loss of filesystem by themselves when your ticket is renewed.

If you need a process to run unattended for longer than 10 hours, you will need to run it with the "krenew" command. This will extend the lifetime of your Kerberos ticket up to 7 days.

krenew /path/to/my/binary

This command will run your code; automatically renewing the keberos ticket until either the job has been completed, or the 7 day maximum renewal period is reached. Further details and options can be found by running man krenew

+I get asked to enter a password to unlock my login keyring, how can I fix this?

GNOME uses a keyring to securely store saved passwords and similar credentials. This is encrypted using the password you first logged into GNOME with.

The prompt asking you to unlock your login keyring will occur if you are trying to access one of these credentials, and you have changed your password (or had it reset) so it is no longer synchronised with the key used to encrypt and decrypt your keyring.

If you still know the password for your login keyring, you can change it back to your current password, by either going to Applications → Accessories → Passwords and Encryption Keys, or by typing seahorse into a terminal.

You can then right click on the folder called "Passwords: login" and choose change password. If the new password is set to the same password you login with, your login keyring will be automatically unlocked.

If however you have forgotten your old password, there is no way to recover the information stored within. You will need to remove the keyring file by typing rm -f ~/.gnome2/keyrings/login.keyring into a terminal, then log out and back in again. This will create you a new blank login keyring, using your current password.

+May I have root-level access to my Managed Linux Desktop Service machine?

On request, and with the support of your department we can grant local root-level access to your Managed Linux Desktop Service machine via the sudo command.

Once this access has been granted, you can run individual commands as root by typing sudo , or get a root shell by typing sudo -i. You may be prompted to re-enter your login password at this point.

Please note that in the event your machine needs re-installation any changes you have made, such as software installation will need to be done again, whereas changes you have requested we make will be preserved.

We reserve the right to remove root-level privileges, and will do so if a user causes us issues with either security, or excessive support requests as a result of changes made with root-level access.

+Where is my filesystem under /data?

Filesystems under /data are automatically mounted upon request.

This means however, that until there is a request for the filesystem, it won't be visible under /data

To mount it, simply attempt to access it, and then your filesystem should appear.

+Who is eligible for the Managed Linux Desktop Service

The Managed Linux Desktop Service is available to any staff member or research postgraduate on demand.

Undergraduates should make use of the Ubuntu based classroom and timeshare Linux service.

If departments have any special requirements, questions or suggestions regarding this service they should contact the IT Service Desk