Help for New Users

Welcome to the Computer Science Department.
If you have just logged into your CS account for the first time, this is the first thing you see. This page contains some information to help first-time users get started.

This Web

This is the Computer Science Department's web. We hope you will find the answers to most of your questions here.

You are smack in the middle of the technical staff's web (Computer Systems and Software).

Brown University IT Acceptable Use Policy

This is the official word on being a good citizen online at Brown.


CS systems authenticate against the University's Active Directory, which means that your username and password are the same as for Banner, wifi, Workday, etc. If you need to reset your password, go to

Linux Help

If you are unfamiliar with Unix/Linux (and you are logged onto a PC running Linux), here are some tips for getting around.

The graphical user interface (GUI) you are looking at is based on the X Window System. Unlike the GUIs that Windows or MacOS present, X lets you choose how things on your desktop look and feel. The default account has a layout which resembles Windows, but you are free to customize it. In fact, we encourage you to - it's the Unix way!

The undergraduates maintain a Introductory Unix Guide and a New User Orientation slideshow (under the Useful Resources heading), both of which are highly recommended.

Sunlab Help

The on-duty sunlab consultant is always available to answer your questions and fix your problems. You can either walk to 9a and ask a question in person or you can reach the consultant three other ways:

You can also look at SSH or FastX for information about logging into the Sunlab from outside the CS Department building.

Technical Information