Computing Resources

CS staff and students have a variety of computing resources available to them. We have desktop workstations and servers running various operating systems. We use a centeralized storage system (NFS) so every user's files are available on any computer they log in to.


Privacy and Security

Your home directory could be accessed by others if your directory permissions are open, or due to kernel vulnerabilities or other unknown security isssues or compromises (we do our best to make sure that machines are kept up to date and only accessed by those who should have access).

If you become aware of any possible security isssue(s), please notify

If you have the need to encrypt your data, you can use the git version of cryfs (/usr/local/pkgs/cryfs), current release of gocryptfs (/usr/local/pkgs/gocryptfs/1.4.4) or the git version of encfs (/usr/local/pkgs/encfs) on our workstations (please be aware that if the workstation you are on gets compromised, then any mounted encryted data would be vulnerable too).

NOTE: If you forget your passphrase or your directory gets corrupted due to quota, etc, then it is possible that your data can be damaged or unrecoverable.

CryFS Tutorial:

GoCryptFS Tutorial:

EncFS HowTo:



Publicay available workstations are on the third floor of the Trottier building. These run Ubuntu Linux with a fully graphical desktop.

These workstations are also available to all McGill students. Non-CS students can log in to a temporary workspace using their normal McGill email username and password.

Hostname Type OS CPU Memory Disk Space
CS-1 - CS-32 Dell Tower Ubuntu LTS Intel i7 (x4) 8GB 450GB


There are several servers available via SSH:

Hostname OS CPU Memory Disk Space
cgi64 Ubuntu Linux Virtual (x4) 8GB  
teaching / mimi / ubunutu Ubuntu Linux Intel Xeon (x3) 6GB 12GB
freebsd FreeBSD Virtual 3GB  

Local Storage

On non-virtualized machines (workstations/teaching) there is a partition of the hard drive mounted at /diskless. This data lives on the local drive and will not be deleted under normal circumstances, but may be deleted at any time for system maintenance. Feel free to use this storage for files that are too large for your home directory (such as databases) but note that this is public storage so anyone will have access to your data. You will notice a performance improvement when compared to your home folder as the data does not need to be sent over the network when you want to use it. This data is only available on the specific machine you are using.