Astrophysics Server

Here is a brief guide to our new Linux Redhat 7.3 server in Astro to get you started. All requests for help and enquiries relating to the server should come through the astro helpdek by email. There is ~80GB of space in the /home partition for all users. The 1.1TB Raid array is housed under /data and each user has a directory on the data disk. There are no quotas imposed but disk usage will be monitored so don't use more than your fair share. Backup data to DVD and remove it from the disk once you have finished using it.

You can logon astro via xterminal however once you logon you may like to change to a less graphic intensive window manager for your 8-bit terminal. To do this go to the main menu -> programs -> settings -> desktop -> windows manager and choose something like ICEwm.

Our new server is not a mail server. Do not advertise your email address as '' under any circumstances as mail to that address will be blocked at the central unsw mail server and bounce back to the sender. At all times you should advertise your email address as either or School of Physics is currently setting up a dedicated centralized IMAP mail server which should be online very soon. This will enable to you to read your mail on any server using any program and always see the same mail folders which are centralized on this server.
In the meantime........

  • If you read your email on bat, ssh to bat to read it or setup your .forward to go to newt.
  • If you read it on newt, there are several ways to read your email remotely (newt currently also provides IMAP access but is not the machine I was referring to above). Evolution a gui based mail reader (similar to outlook) or pine are the mail clients I recommend. Pine is currently configured on astro to connect immediately to the old IMAP server running on newt. If using evolution remember to put your email address as

When the new dedicated IMAP server is online I will send out a guide that will enable you to upload your existing mail folders, addressbooks and configuration files to it making the transition to IMAP seamless.As we are now transitioning over to the new imap server I recommend everyone read this page.I have also also setup a quick page that tells you how to read your mail via imap using evolution. If you read your mail via pine it will automatically connect to the imap server. If you use another client, read the evolution guide as that will contain most of the settings you need.

Astro is backed up nightly and backup set spans one week.To retrieve files from the backup please contact the Astrophysics Help Desk.

There is a DVD writer on astro. This provides an easy way for you to backup your data to a portable medium once you have finished with it. The capacity of the DVD+RW disk is 4.7GB and the DVD+RW disc can be read in mosts DVD-ROM drives (ie readers). Note that the DVD+RW discs are rewitable and we cannot write to DVD+/-R disks on astro due to a firmware limitation in this first generation DVD burner. To backup using the DVD burner on astro your must contact the Astrophysics Help Desk.

DVD disks are currently not available at the store so you will have to purchase your own.

. Although the DAT drive still physically resides on Bat you can access it remotely using ssh to extract your data to Astro. The 'mt' commands can be used to rewind, eject, fastforward and check the tape:

ssh bat mt -f /dev/rmt/0l status
ssh bat mt -f /dev/rmt/0l rewind
You can then extract your data using tar and ssh:
ssh bat dd if=/dev/rmt/0ln bs=10240 | tar xpf -
This should work with most tapes written with tar as the default block size is 20k. You can determine the block size of your tape using the command:
ssh bat tcopy /dev/rmt/0ln
file 1: records 1 to 582: size 10240 <- This is all we need to know bs=10240