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Computing Platforms

"Managed" or "self-managed"

Some of our computers are "managed" (by the computing staff, automatically) and some are "self-managed" (by their users). We try to make DICE services usable from both.

Managed platforms

"Managed" platforms are those which the School's computing staff manage on your behalf.


DICE desktops and servers run Ubuntu Linux or Scientific Linux. Academic staff and research postgraduates get a DICE desktop by default. The desktops in the teaching labs run DICE, too. To login to a DICE machine, you need a DICE account.

The Windows 10 Supported Desktop

The University Supported Windows 10 build on desktop and laptop PCs. (Even on laptops, you might find this called "managed desktop" or "supported desktop".) Professional Services staff will be provided with one of these, but other staff can also ask to use this platform.

The Supported Mac platform

MacOS devices deployed since July 2022 are set up with the University Supported Mac build.

Self-managed platforms

"Self-managed" machines are looked after by their user. They can be laptops, desktops or servers.

The policy for self-managed machines lists the conditions you must adhere to when connected to the Informatics Network.

We have help for the following platforms:

Self-managed servers (rack-mounted only) can be installed in the self-managed server rooms housed in the Forum's basement.

Before buying a server you must read through the Informatics Server Basics course in Learn. To find the course visit Learn, click "Self-Enrol" then "Browse Course Catalogue", then search for "Informatics server basics".

Desktops: DICE or self-managed?

Academic staff and some research postgraduates are provided with a DICE desktop by default. If you prefer to run another operating system on that computer, you can 'go self-managed' - that is, reinstall the PC with any other operating system you are legally entitled to use. If you want to do this, please tell us. Or, if you already have a self-managed desktop PC, you can choose to have DICE on it instead.

In either case, please tell us so that our support team can arrange the necessary networking (etc.) changes.

Further info

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