At the Department of Computer Science, computers are most probably an important part of your daily activities ... you have a choice between:

  • either use a computer that is provided/paid by (your research group of) the department and you:
    • either give the administration over to the system administration group of the department
    • or administer it yourself (do notice that this really is an XOR)
  • or use your own computer and:
    • you must administer it yourself
    • unless the hardware is compatible with and acceptable for administration by the system administration group

Because computers can be expensive, especially if you have a lot of them, there is some form of insurance on some of them.

System Group Administered Computer

If you give the administration of your computer to the system administration group, it is their responsibility to keep the computer in good shape.

You will not have system administration rights on it yourself but the system administration group will of course do its best to give you all the support you need/want. You can contact them via e-mail to helpdesk or via the system group representative of your research group.

The system administration group has support for desktops, laptops and servers, allows installing software in a number of ways, configures automatic updates and/or does updates and reboots according to a maintenance window.

Self-administered Computer

If you administer your computer yourself, you are the sole responsible person for that computer ... it is your job and responsibility to administer it according to current best practices (goede huisvader) ... staying up to date with patches, upgrades etc. and keeping a close eye on configuration and log files is a minimum.

Most probably all you need to get your computer up and running is a working network connection.

  • we advise to set up your computer with DHCP network configuration to avoid mistakes and to get all important (network) changes automatically
  • moreover, the departmental DHCP servers are configured with a PXE network boot configuration
  • this means that if you boot your computer via PXE/network boot you get a boot menu with which to select a live and/or installation image to test, recover from problems or install an OS

Once your computer is set up, you can of course use all the departmental services that are described elsewhere on this web site: e-mail, printers, backup, ... .

Compute Servers

Running long term and/or compute-intensive experiments has its own special needs. There are a number of alternatives you can consider for these:


All departmental login accounts have a home directory in which files and directories can be stored. Most research groups also have other storage locations but these are mostly used in a very similar way.

There is a more elaborate description of the possibilities regarding documents, data and storage.

Responsible End of Life of (Electronic) Hardware

There comes a time when you no longer need your favorite piece of (electronic) hardware.

At that time you should take a moment to give it a responsible farewell.