CS Department Computer Pools

The IRB provides several Rooms equipped with modern computers for CS Department and student. Details about use and reservation of these and the computers therein follow.

We currently offer the following Computer Pools:

Our pool computers shut down automatically. Please do not manually power them off.

  • Inform IRB Staff (GvD) if you suspect there to be a problem in the pool rooms; we can only fix problems of which we know.
  • Keep the workstations clean; eating is not permitted.
  • Users with work to do have priority over casual computer usage when computer workspaces are limited.
  • Keep unncessary noise to a minimum.
  • Do not keep sessions locked longer than ~10 minutes.
  • The unauthorized transfer of copyrighted materials is strictly prohibited! Violation may result in civil or criminal charges.

All IRB-managed Computer Pools are locked starting 19:00. Access after-hours is only available via magnetic access card.

The standard set of permissions issued on our cards allows access to the following rooms. Access to other rooms is only granted upon request on a case-by-case basis.

  • D3.301
  • D3.339
  • D3.344
  • E1.111
  • E1.121
  • E1.129
  • E1.303
  • E1.316
  • P1.612.4
  • P1.709.3
  • P7.202.1

These access cards are available at the IRB campus office in exchange for your signature. Please also bring some form of picture ID to verify your identity.

Magnetic cards can only be issued to IMT accounts with CS-Department delegated administration rights. A tutorial for this is found here.

Important: CS Department practice sessions do not require access cards, as they only take place while pool rooms are unlocked. An exception to this are the Computer Engineering rooms in building P7. Please notify us if you suspect a room to be irregularly locked.

Our Pool Computers allow you to run your own VirtualBox VMs as long as you are logged in locally. This is the recommended setup for events or if you need a special setup that our Pool Computers do not provide natively; contact us if you'd like additional guidance for your use-case.

If you do not have a VDI VM image already you should create a new VM, install an OS (we offer PXE for common OSs), install all relevant software, and export it as a VDI image; drop by our offices and we can help you with this.

The UPB Network Storage hierarchy is mounted at /upb on each Pool Computer; your VDI image should be placed on a path where only the intended audience has read permissions. Please ensure that the VDI image is made read-only to prevent accidental modification during concurrent use.

You should consider providing a startup wrapper script to allow convenient use of your VM. An example follows which provides a suitable setup for Linux VMs for our Pool Computers:


declare -r vm_name="$(basename $BASH_SOURCE)"
rm -rf -- /local/vbox.tmp/$USER

VBoxManage createvm --name "$vm_name" --ostype Windows81_64 \
  --register --basefolder /local/vbox.tmp/$USER/VirtualBox\ VMs

VBoxManage modifyvm "$vm_name" --memory 2048 --vram 32 \
  --audio pulse --audiocontroller hda --usb on

VBoxManage storagectl "$vm_name" --name SATA-Controller \
  --add sata --controller IntelAhci --portcount 2 --bootable on

VBoxManage storageattach "$vm_name" --storagectl SATA-Controller \
  --port 0 --type hdd --medium "$(dirname "$(readlink -e "$0")")/$vm_name.vdi"

VBoxManage storageattach "$vm_name" --storagectl SATA-Controller \
  --port 1 --type dvddrive --medium emptydrive

VBoxManage snapshot "$vm_name" take 1

VirtualBoxVM --startvm "$vm_name" --fullscreen

VBoxManage unregistervm "$vm_name"

rm -rf -- /local/vbox.tmp/$USER
rm -rf -- /local/vbox.tmp/.vbox-$USER-ipc

Place this script next to your VDI file, and name them alike, omitting the .vdi extension; make sure the script is executable. Invoking it will start your VM with an ephemeral disk in fullscreen mode from any Pool Computer.

If you'd like (and are part of a Research Group (FG) or are leading an event), we can integrate this script into our session management to allow users to select it as a Session during login. While we recommend against use of Windows, a WindowsPE-specific version of this example script is available upon request.