BNL HET, LGT, NT, & RBRC Theory computing resources

Server , also known as, is our main computer and file server. Quark has two 64-bit quad-core Xeon 2.3GHz processors and 8GB of memory; it runs RedHat Enterprise Linux 5. Additional software is installed in /usr/local on quark.


All our workstations get their password files and mount their home directories from quark using NIS and NFS. Thus once you have an account on quark, you also have an account on all the workstations and will see the same home directory on each. Ask either Mike Creutz or Frank Paige to create an account.

Some workstations have a local file system /localhome. Any user can create a directory in this and read/write files there. These directories are not backed up; use at your own risk.

~ Most of the office workstations are running versions of RedHat Linux and are maintained using RedHat Network.

SSH setup

To log directly into quark you must use ssh keys. To set this up initially, while logged into one one of the workstations do: Then at your leisure you can make life easier via this link.


Mail is most easily received on quark with the address Quark is a secure pop/imap mail server running pop3s and imaps. For pop mail using Netscape/Mozilla, set the server preferences to use "," "Use secure connection (SSL)," and port 995.

For outgoing mail using Mozilla on the local workstations, go to the mail and newsgroups account settings and select outgoing server. Put "" as the server name and port 25.

You can sign up for Labmail (a e-mail address) here. This system is most useful if you know with absolute certainty that your employment at BNL will never cease. If you are not certain of this, then you should be aware that under current policy, Labmail is turned off the day after your employment is terminated, with no possibility of having your email forwarded to any other account.


The default printer (lptheory) is the HP P4015n in the coffee room. It is fast and gives duplex output by default for both Postscript and text files:
lp [-d lptheory] filename    [either ASCII or Postscript]
lpr [-P lptheory] filename   [either ASCII or Postscript]
lp -o simplex filename       [single sided output]
There is another duplex printer in the library, but it only supports Postscript; it does not print ASCII files properly. To print to it use
lpr -Plibrary
There is also a single-sided color laser printer in the Xerox room next to the library, accessible from quark with
lpr -Prikencolor filename    [only for color, please]
Do not use for transparencies without asking first. Using the wrong transparencies can ruin it.

Printcaps have not yet been set up on all the workstations for any or all of these queues. If you cannot print from your workstation, do so from quark. If all else fails, you might try this.

Printing from the wireless network

To print on the coffee room printer from the wireless network, run your computer's add printer wizard. Pick "network printer" and then for network type "other." Then select "internet printing protocol (ipp)" and for the path use "ipp://". For a driver, picking "generic postscript" should work fine. There are also instructions for this here but the url given is for the internal network, not the wireless one (drop the ".itd" part).

The above is not valid for OS X; see OS X tips.

BNL Firewall

Access to and from our computers and all other computers at BNL goes through a firewall over which we have no control. If you bring your own computer or laptop here, you MUST read this section and follow its instructions. Some physics sites are blocked by the firewall, but you can bypass this using a vncserver on your home machine and connecting to it via ssh (vncviewer -via homerouteraddress homemachinelocalip).

Other access issues:

HE/NT Preprint Numbers:

When you produce a paper, be sure to give a copy to the appropriate group secretary to obtain an official BNL number. The unofficial numbering system that previously appeared here is being phased out since it only caused confusion.

Software Tips

Software Documentation

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