Department Computers

The department computer and network administrators are completely of the opposite kind of people from me. They installed everything I dislike, and almost nothing I like...
  • I dislike Ubuntu, but most of the so-called “Unix” machines are Ubuntu. (The rest are Solaris.)
  • I like bash (as most Unix-like users do these days, I bet...), but their default shell is tcsh. Perhaps this is a convention inherited from antediluvian days.
  • They have GNOME, Xfce, fvwm, Sawfish and Fluxbox installed. The only major DE/WM missing is KDE, which is my favorite.

The first time I tried to print something, it was sent to a printer in a lab 50 yards away, despite the fact that there was one only 2 yards from me. I needed to set the PRINTER environment variable so that lpr knew I wanted to use the printer in my office.

If I were using KDE, I would have finished this in 20 seconds, by catting a 2-line file to ~/.kde/env. But it took me 20 minutes to find its counterpart in GNOME, and then another 5 minutes to find out whether I should write the script ~/.gnomerc in Bourne Shell grammar or C Shell grammar. The answer is Bourne Shell grammar. Though the default shell is tcsh, ~/.gnomerc is always interpreted by /bin/sh, which is a symlink to dash (not bash) in Ubuntu and latest version of Debian... Humph.....


  1. It seems that the lab computer assigned to me uses RHEL, and GNOME.

    However, it seems that other grad students and the advisor all use KDE. I don't know why.

    And, they all use apple for desktops.

  2. Yes, there are so many mac users..
    Students here are using various OS's and distros on their laptops, but it seems professors are using either Mac or Ubuntu. Maybe they're too busy to play with Debian or Fedora..