Make sure you have read and understand our terminology about Support Tiers before reading this page.

Support Tiers
Support Tiers


Workstation loads are almost always the latest Ubuntu LTS release. We have a fairly comprehensive software profile that includes everything that is available on the remote access server, as well as a multitude of GUI productivity/software development applications.

Most workstation Linux installs in MCECS are Tier 1 and supported and maintained by the CAT.


Server loads are usually the latest Ubuntu LTS release or the latest CentOS/RHEL release.

Tier 1

Supported software loads can range from a minimal bare-bones web-server to a fully-loaded machine/VM with all the same software as one of our tier 1 workstation loads. Access to the server can be restricted to group of users, or left open to anyone in the department or school.

The CAT can also maintain a server as a “file server” that only exposes files over an NFS (Unix/Linux) or SAMBA (Windows) interface. New file servers will be loaded with FreeBSD.

Tier 2

Tier 2 Linux loads are rare, and usually only exist where some software product requires a user or set of users to have root access while the CAT is still expected to do the day-to-day administration for the server. The software load and configuration are usually pretty close to what is offered by a tier 1 Linux load.

Tier 2 Linux loads have the limitation that they do not have access to user’s regular NFS home directories, user data is usually stored locally on the machine or provisions are made for home directories for a small set of users to have homedirs that live in a stash. In addition stashes are not accessible over NFS to Tier 2 loads by default. Access is only granted to stashes if requested by the stash owner.

Tier 3

Tier 3 Linux loads are not maintained by the CAT. The CAT will usually only provide an initial minimal Ubuntu installation as a courtesy.

These machines are completely unsupported by the CAT in their day-to-day operation.