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Computing Facilities for research

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Group and web space

In addition to a 10GB home directory allocation, you can request group space, hosted on Informatics servers, for your research. You can also request group web space for hosting research web sites.


General information is available on software, including what is installed on DICE, how to request new software, how to get licensed software and how to install software yourself on DICE.

The Informatics Software Download Database (ISDD) is a utility to help academics and students assign appropriate licences, often some form of open source licence, for their software. It is not intended to be a SourceForge-style utility for code management – it is simply a software repository like FTP.

The database is also a way for the School to keep track of download activity so that it may be claimed in the research assessment framework. If your software is not in the ISDD, download activity will not make it into that assessment.

PostgreSQL research server

The school maintains two PostgreSQL servers, one for teaching and one for research. Staff and students can be granted access to either server as appropriate.

Numerical computing

There are a number of options available both within Informatics and provided by IS.

Cluster computing

As for general numerical computing, there are several cluster options available too.


If you intend purchasing IT equipment from your grant, then it is essential that you read the procurement page first. It provides essential information about the process.


We strongly recommend the use of virtualisation. It saves on the proliferation of hardware and is environmentally friendly. You could have a number of virtual hosts running on your own desktop without any significant performance cost.

Git and Gerrit

Git is a distributed version control system, originally developed by Linus Torvalds as a Linux kernel development tool.

Gerrit is a code review system, developed by Shawn Pearce for Google's Android Open Source Project. It allows a team of developers to push into a single Git repository, via a mechanism that both authenticates those developers and permits web-based management, examination, and comment upon proposed changes.

Together, Git and Gerrit provide an integrated revision control and code review system. Gerrit provides authentication and authorisation services for a git repository, allowing authorised users to either push their changes directly into the repository, or to push them into a code review queue, where other developers can review changes before submitting the change into the master repository.

CVS and Subversion

Subversion is a version control tool designed to keep track of source changes made by groups of developers working on the same files, allowing them to stay in sync with each other as each individual chooses.

As of October 2012, we no longer provide a hosting service for CVS repositories.


iFriend is the School of Informatics Electronic Visitor system. It allows remote users to apply for access to some of our services, using nothing more than their email address.

Remote working

Thee are a number of options available to you when you are looking to work remotely with step-by-step guides to help you set things up.

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System Status

Home dirs (AFS)
Other services
Scheduled downtime

Because of the cooling failure in Appleton Tower server room on Saturday morning, many services (including some AFS volumes) are still unavailable. All services should be working by Monday lunchtime.

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