Most of the CIMS Linux desktops and compute environments are now running CentOS. If you are curious which release is currently installed you can simply run "cat /etc/*release" from a terminal).

This documentation will be heavily influenced by the feedback that you, the users, send us about your experiences. If you have any questions at all (noquestion is stupid or insignificant!), please send them to and let us know -- your question could very likely become a part of this documentation.

Why CentOS ?

From the official CentOS wiki:

CentOS Linux is a community-supported distribution derived from sources freely provided to the public by Red Hat for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). As such, CentOS Linux aims to be functionally compatible with RHEL. The CentOS Project mainly changes packages to remove upstream vendor branding and artwork. CentOS Linux is no-cost and free to redistribute.

Our choice of an "Enterprise Linux" distribution largely has to do with stability. The "Enterprise Linux" line of Linux distributions uses tried and true versions of software which will provide the most stable and consistent user experience.

Servers with CentOS

For a list of General Compute Servers and GPU Compute Servers running CentOS see the section on Compute Servers.

General Compute Servers:


GPU Compute Servers:


Please use these servers to test your code. Inform us of anything that doesn't work, software that is missing, etc. at


Desktop Support (TBD)
An overview of our graphical desktop environment for CentOS 7 (GNOME, GDM, etc.)

File System Overview
A brief look at what is located where on a typical CentOS 7 system

General information about our Mathematica installations

General information about our MATLAB installations

Migration Schedule
Check out when we'll be upgrading what hosts

Module System
When using software built from source, modules can help prepare your shell environment by pre-configuring related paths, etc.

Information about our Python installation, packages, and environment.

/scratch Partition
Information about the /scratch partition available on every CentOS 7 machine.

Information about shells (bash, csh, tcsh) and related source files (.bashrc, etc.)

Information about the types of software that are available on CentOS 7 systems, how to request new software, etc.