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EECS IT Knowledge Base

This section contains support documents for various topics you may encounter while using department resources.  If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for here, please contact EECS IT Support directly.

Summer 2019 Update: We are moving!

The EECS IT Support web pages are moving! Please visit:

You will find information on how to request help as well as updated Knowledge Base (KB) articles. We will be transitioning all KB entries over the next few weeks.



  • If I go on co-op or am not enrolled in classes for a semester, will my EECS account expire?

No, EECS accounts are valid until graduation.

Files / Home Area

  • What are the limits on disk usage?

Currently the EECS department provides up to 5GB of file storage to users. See Disk Quotas for more information.

  • How do I access a USB drive in Linux?

FAT- or FAT32-formatted drives should work as-is in the EECS Gnome environment. Linux does not fully support NTFS- or Mac-formatted USB drives.

  • How can I encrypt my files?

Please see our Guide to File Encryption.

Computer Access Issues

  • What computers are available for my use?

See Research/Lab Resources for a list of all available systems.

  • How do I remotely access the departmental computers?

See the Remote Access help page.

  • How do I forward X11 application windows to my computer?

The Remote Access page also contains information on X11 forwarding.

  • How do I remotely access files on a linux machine?

See the Remote Access page, under “Accessing Files Remotely.”

Common Error Messages

  • How do I get around a “Permission denied” error when accessing a file?

First of all, if you did not create the file(s), contact the owner.
Otherwise, run “chmod u+rw file“, or “chmod u+rwx file” if it is an executable. See File Permissions for more information.

  • When I type the name of my program, I get a “command not found” error; why?

In Linux, the current directory is not searched by default for executable programs. Why is it bad to put ‘.’ in my path?

  • I get an error about my profile when I start FireFox; help?

If you get an error about your profile already being in use, please see Firefox Known Issues.


Web Topics


Linux Topics

  • Linux quick reference
  • Basic Linux commands – eight basic, frequently-used Linux commands
  • Compression and archival – compressing and archiving files/directories
  • Disk quotas – current quota limits, checking disk usage, reducing disk usage
  • Dotfiles – viewing dotfiles, list of common dotfiles, editing dotfiles, frequent tasks and problems, restoring dotfiles
  • Passwords – changing your EECS password, choosing a strong password, how often to change your password, general password tips, if you forget your password
  • File permissions – changing the access permissions for files
  • Access control lists (ACLs) – changing more advanced access permissions for files
  • Process-related commands – process listing, signals, termination, foreground/background processes
  • Programs – email clients, text editors, compilers
  • Searching – commands for searching the file system
  • Remote access – connecting to EECS resources from laptops or off-campus locations

Windows Topics

Software-Specific Topics

Instructor / TA Topics

  • Registering for access to a TA/class account – moved!
  • Accessing a TA/class account – moved!
  • Submit scripts – moved!

TA Topics at new EECS IT Support Knowledge base.

Miscellaneous Topics


Please note that information contained in the Knowledge Base is for informational purposes only. If you encounter information that is out of date or seemingly incorrect in any way, please contact EECS IT Support to let us know.

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