Information for Professors & Instructors

1) No food or drink is permitted in the labs. Whether or not the students are eating or drinking is of no consequence. If they bring food or drink into the labs, it must stay inside their backpacks or jackets. Food or drink in a container is still a violation if it is visible. This includes water.

Professors and TAs in charge of the lab are expected to enforce this policy. ECF’s service contracts do not cover damage to equipment as a result of spilled food or drinks.

2) ECF “prof” accounts are provided to assist professors teaching courses that require ECF hardware/software. Disk space is not provided for research or personal backups.

3) Professors may obtain a “research” account for ECF Linux or ECF Windows; see the section on computer accounts.

4) All graduate students are entitled to an ECF Linux account that will provide a web page and access to the internet. Graduate students requiring access to special software (ANSYS/IDEAS/UNIGRAPHICS/AUTOCAD, etc.) for course work may obtain an ECF Linux course account or ECF Windows course account. Requests for ECF course accounts can only be made by the professor teaching the course. The professor should send email to with the following information:

  • Course name and number
  • System required (Linux or Windows)
  • Software required
  • Student name
  • Student number

“Course” accounts are terminated when the course is over at the end of the term.

5) Both Linux and Windows systems have disk space set aside to aid with student assignment submissions and shared software so that professors need not grant access to their personal accounts, or have multiple copies of the same software/data in every student’s account.

6) Professors should access the ECF systems before the term starts to determine if their software and course needs are in order.

Professors that require and request additional software for the system should make the software available to ECF staff at least 15 working days before the course starts. Software additions to the system can be both time consuming and labour intensive as new images have to be deployed to all desktops. Software arriving after an image deployment will have to wait until the next image is created (3-6 weeks into term). Typical ECF Windows image dates: Beginning of Fall Term (end of August), Thanksgiving (early October), beginning of Winter Term (January), and Reading Week (mid-February).

7) Professors using the web for course notes, assignments, etc., should not assume that their documents will print on ECF printers. If students are expected to print documents from the web then the professor should go to an ECF lab and test print the document. Documents that do not print properly should be brought to the attention of ECF staff.

Dos and Don’ts for course-related documents:

  • Don’t scan hand written notes.
  • Don’t assume the students will not print it.
  • Do create non-printable PDF files .
  • Do photocopy notes/manuals and hand them out if all students require hard copy.

8) Every user has access to a personal web page. To create the initial web page, run the “wwwinit” command on the ECF Linux systems.

9) Remote access to the ECF Linux computers is possible with SSH.

10) Remote access to the ECF mail server for staff and faculty is permitted only via webmail. Webmail can also be used to set up mail forwarding and/or automatic replies (“vacation” messages).

11) Problems with equipment in ECF labs such as jammed printers or broken mice, keyboards, or optical drives should be reported to ECF staff; send and email to for Linux or Windows labs. In the email, try to be as specific as possible in identifying the affected equipment so that we can fix the problem. If it is not reported, the issue will not get resolved in a timely fashion.

12) Users should not keep old email in their inbox or mail spool file. Please delete all unnecessary emails and save important emails to a file or folder.