CLASSE Account Expirations on 09-Jul-2018

Please note that many CLASSE accounts are set to expire on 09-Jul-2018. Affected users will receive a warning email three days beforehand, with instructions for extending the account, if necessary. To see an example of this email, please click here (requires CLASSE login).

Upgrade of LNX201 to SL7 on Tuesday 10-Jul-2018

Continuing with our migration from Scientific Linux 6 to 7, LNX201 will be upgraded to SL7 at 10:00 AM on 10-Jul-2018. LNX201 will be unavailable at this time and should return to service by 1:00 PM. As a reminder, we are migrating all CLASSE SL6 workstations to SL7. If you have not yet done so, please submit a ServiceRequest to schedule an SL7 upgrade of your SL6 workstation.

All Linux systems running X2Go servers

All CLASSE SL6 and SL7 systems are now running the X2Go server. This allows you to remotely launch full graphical desktops on your designated desktop or workstation. Please note that XFCE is our recommended desktop environment for all linux sessions (both local and remote). XFCE provides a configurable and user-friendly desktop environment, and allows you to run multiple sessions simultaneously. If you use gnome or kde on your desktop, for example, you must not use gnome or kde when logging in simultaneously on another system or with X2Go. Please see MultipleSessions for more information.

Attention macOS users: Attempting to connect to an SL7 X2Go server (i.e. any CLASSE SL7 system) requires an upgrade to the latest macOS client, version Please see our MacX2Go wiki page for download and install instructions.

Improved UI for Linux Transparent Screen Lock

On Tuesday morning, all Linux kiosks will receive an update to our locally-developed transparent screen lock that includes several user interface improvements. This software provides a transparent screen lock over one's desktop. A configurable list of groups are able to unlock the screen using their own CLASSE username and password, and logs document who unlocked the screen when.

This software is very useful in kiosk and operational environments where graphical displays need to stay running, updating, and visible, but to comply with various security policies the screen must lock after defined periods of inactivity.

New Firefox ESR for CLASSE Managed Computers

CLASSE uses the Extended Support Release (ESR) version of Firefox for long term stability while also keeping up to date with security updates. Next week, on Tuesday, 10-Jul-2018, Firefox on CLASSE Windows computers will undergo a major upgrade, from version 52ESR to 60ESR. We will also be migrating to Mozilla's recommended 64-bit builds at the same time. [Firefox on Scientific Linux computers will be upgraded at a later date.] Changes in Firefox 60ESR include:
  • Extensions are a different platform. If you've installed any, they may break, or may not be supported anymore.
  • No plugin support other than Adobe Flash Player. (If you are using Java on Linux as a plugin, it will stop working.)
  • 64-bit Firefox on Windows uses more RAM than the 32-bit version. It is not unusual for Firefox to use 4 GB of RAM when you have multiple windows or more than 10 tabs open. Resource intensive sites (like YouTube) may also use a lot of memory. If you find degraded Firefox performance after the upgrade, please submit a ServiceRequest to discuss options.

General network and server maintenance will occur every Tuesday from 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM. The CLASSE-IT group will always announce any expected disruptions in our NewsLetter and via CLASSE-IT-NEWS-L, but with the size and complexity of our network there is always the potential for something to go wrong. We will do our best to contain all network maintenance and planned outages to Tuesdays from 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM.

Unless other arrangements have been made, CLASSE-managed Windows systems may be updated and rebooted on Tuesday morning at 2:00 AM, so please avoid critical or lengthy operations at that time. For more details, please see SystemExpectations.

Questions or problems? Submit a service request.

Other resources:

Topic revision: r11 - 02 Jul 2018, WilliamBrangan
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