CS250 Class Setup and Compute Resources


We will be using Piazza as a newsgroup to help facilitate discussion and share information.
Nearly all course information will be distributed through Piazza, and you are encouraged to use this system for all course discussion and issues.
You will receive an invitation to join the class Piazza group within the first few days of the semester. (You can also sign up on your own, here.)
If you do not receive this information, please email me (cyarp at eecs).

Instructional machine access

Every student needs a CS250 class account to get access to the machines you'll be using for your labs and project.
There is a new system in place this semester to register for an instructional account.  Instead of receiving a printout with your username and password, you need to go to http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/webacct and login with your calnetID.
Once there, you can click on a button to register a new account.  You can also use this system to reset your password should you forget it.
If you registered for the course recently, you may not be able to register using this method.  In this case, e-mail me (cyarp at eecs) and I will forward your information to the instructional support staff.
Once you have an account form, follow these steps to set up your account:


Github provides git repository hosting services, and they offer their services free of charge to educational institutions.
Please go to github.com and sign up for an account, if you don't have one already.

CS250 Account Form

Since there are several different account that we will be using this semester, it is important that you are associated with each account.
To help with this, you need to fill out this form.


You will need to be able to run GUI apps remotely on the class machines.
While X-forwarding with ssh does work, NX is the preferred (read: most responsive) way to do this.

You should now be logged into the instructional server. To open up a terminal window once you've connected:

To log out, simply close the NoMachine window. You will see a prompt to either suspend or terminate your session.
Please make a habit of terminating your NX sessions when you are done working to conserve memory on the servers.

If you are having issues with NoMachine, you can try other (older) NoMachine clients that may work better on your personal machine:

In addition, instructional computing maintains a help document for NX that can be found at https://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/pub.cgi?file=nx.help.

Course Instructional Servers

EECS Instructional Computing maintains several clusters for EECS courses.

The machines we use for this course may change from to time to time but the current machines you should use are:

These machines will perform decently with the VLSI tools as long as they are not overloaded.
Try to load-balance; if you notice that many of your classmates are using one machine, switch to a different one.

The top and users commands can be helpful in determining server load.