Database Research Group Database Machines

This section documents the database servers and other machines available to the Database Group for research and experimentation purposes.

Apple Xserves

The Database Group have a number of Apple Xserves available for data manipulation and experimentation purposes. These are currently:

  • (Linux Fedora Core 5)
  • (Mac OX X 10.4)

Please refer to the Mac OS X Server Documentation for detailed information on the OS X Server operating system or the Fedora Project Homepage for more about Fedora Core.

Getting an Xserve Account

All the Xserves use the DICE authentication databases for their user information and as such your DICE UUN and password are all that are required to login. However, only certain DICE users will be granted access to the Xserves and as such you will need to ask for access to be granted. At present you should do this by sending an email from your Informatics email address (this will have your UUN in it) to

Connecting to the Xserves

For the most secure access to the Xserves (or to connect at all via SSH) you will need to aquire a Kerberos ticket from the Informatics Kerberos Server. This is actually quite simple on Apple OS X and Linux. Please refer to the following links for details on how to set up Kerberos on your system:

All supported protocols except SSH (this includes SFTP and SCP) will also allow plain old username and password based logins. Note that all logins should use your DICE username and password.

At the time of writing the following options are available for accessing the Xserves:

AppleTalk Filing Protocol - AFP

This allows connection via Apple OS X finder. Simply enter the server name as follows via the Go -> Connect to Server... menu in finder - afp://<servername>. This will then pop up a window listing the available shares on the machine. You can use Kerberos or DICE username and password login methods to connect via afp:// from inside Informatics.

Secure Shell - SSH

Secure Shell access is available from anywhere with one caveat - only Kerberos or Public Key authentication are allowed. There seems to be a bug in the OS X authentication stack that causes problems with SSH logins when OS X is using third party Kerberos and LDAP databases for user authentication information.

To connect simply use ssh <DICE Username>@<server> after aquiring a Kerberos ticket as described above.

Web Server - HTTP

The Xserves are running web servers accessible via http://<servername>. Note that the documents in ~/Sites/ on the Xserves are visible at the address http://<servername>/~<username>/ from machines within Informatics.

Topic revision: r8 - 09 Apr 2010 - 13:42:31 - ApostolosApostolidis
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