Introduction to the Math Department Computer Resources

This document can be found at


Students enrolled in, or taking classes with the Math department, Math department staff, faculty and guests are entitled to a Math department account.

Usage must be in accordanance with Drexel's acceptable use policy:


The Math department supports Linux shell access, email, webmail, personal web pages, file space, printing, and provides technical assistance.

Shell access is over ssh and sftp. Telnet and ftp are not supported on Math machines because these protocols transmit the user id and passwords over the internet without encryption.

The primary computational server in the math department is:

Many applications on madhava require an X server. If you are sshing in from a Windows machine you must have an X server running to use these applications. We recommend the free Cygwin X-server from

You must also ensure you have enabled X11 forwarding/tunneling on your ssh application.


The math department runs its own mail server. Newly created accounts forward mail to your central Drexel email account. This can be changed by removing the .forward file in your home directory.

IMAP and POP3 are supported over SSL at mail.math also supports SMTP-AUTH which allows users off campus to send mail to non-math email addresses after authenticating with user id and password.

The math department supports a variety of mail clients, Mozilla/Thunderbird are the prefered clients, though Evolution, pine, mutt, Outlook, Eudora, and others may also be used.

IMAP/POP3 host

IMAP over SSL on port 993. POP3 over SSL on port 995.

SMTP server

SMTP server uses TLS to secure user authentication on port 25.

Mail Folders

IMAP service on mail.math is stored in the user's Mail directory.



This section describes setting up Thunderbird. Mozilla and Netscape are similar, but not exactly the same.

Open Thunderbird. If this is a new installation, you'll get the Account Wizard.

Account Wizard Select email and Next.

Identity Fill in your name and email address. Should look something like ``George McFoo'' and ``''. Select Next.

Server Information Select IMAP. Enter ``'' for both ``Incoming Server'' and for ``Outgoing Server''. Select Next.

User Names The ``Incoming User Name'' is your math account login name. In our example, this would be gmcfoo. Select Next.

Account Name This is name Thunderbird will use to refer to this account. By default it will be your login name with an ``@'' and the domain of the incoming IMAP server. In this example, it's ``''. Select Next.

Congratulations! Select Finish

You may or may not want to use Thunderbird for your default email application.

There are two Advanced account setting we need to change before Thunderbird is ready to use.

Select ``Tools'' and then ``Account Settings''. Find the name you entered under ``Account Name'', in the example, and select it, then ``Server Settings'' and ``Advanced''. This will bring up the ``Advanced Account Settings'' dialog.

Type ``Mail'', no quotes, in the IMAP server directory box, and unselect ``Show only subscribed folders''.

Select ``OK''. Select ``Use secure connection (SSL)'' under the ``Server Settings''. Select ``OK''.

Select ``Outgoing Server (SMTP)'', then check TLS and ``OK''.

Select ``Get Mail'' and you're on your way.


Under Construction


The math department uses the SquirrelMail system to support webmail at

Mailing Lists

Official, public, math department mailing lists are available at:


Personal Web Pages

Personal web pages are located in your public_html directory and should be called index.html. Thus, /home/gmcfoo/public_html/index.html is found on the web at

Make sure the both your home and your public_html directory have search permissions enabled and the index.html file is readable by everyone.

No scripting is supported at this time. We hope to be able to offer both cgi, and php script support in the near future.


Home directories are fully backed up every night and held for 10 days.

Please submit a work request if you need to have a file restored. Make sure you include the full path of the file or directory and the date from which you want it restored.

Technical Assistance

On your own

Man Pages

Most man pages are available on line, or through the web at

On the command line, you type

man cmdname

to read the manual page for cmdname.

man -k string

Man -k returns the list of man pages with the specified string.

Google/Search Engines

Google for information

Help Request System

The help request system is at

All technical questions regarding the math department computational services should be asked through the help request system. This is a web-based system which tracks questions, answers, and problems which come up. The help request system harasses technical staff on a daily basis to make sure your question gets answered, and keeps you informed of any changes or updates. Using this system helps capture answers to simple and complex questions for later use.

Please query the help request system to see if someone else is having a problem similar to yours. Then you can add your comments and information to theirs, which should help shorten the resolution process.

Manager Mail


Manager is a mail alias for the entire math department technical staff. Please use it for questions which are too simple for filling out a full help request.

Is the math server spelled madhalva or madhava?

could go to, while

Please help me configure outlook for IMAP

should go through the help request system.

Please don't mail staff members directly because they might be tied up with another problems. Using manager mail ensure that the most people see your request, so it can be answered soonest


There are two general use printers in the math department




There are two primary commands you can use from linux to print documents: lpr, and xpp. Xpp is a gui for handling duplex and N-up printing. Both commands will handle text, ps, and pdf files.

Acrobat should not be used to print documents. The postscript it generates is incompatable with the Lexmark printers. Please just use lpr or xpp instead.

The default printer on madhava is lexres.

Windows users can access the math department printers by ***

Supported Software

In addition to the usual array of Linux utilities, the math department supports:

Acrobat Reader

(please don't use for printing -- doesn't work with the Lexmark printers -- just print the file with xpp or lpr)

Please fill out a help request if you don't find the software you want. We need at least a week's notice for installing course related software.

Access from Windows

Math department home directories can be accessed from Windows machines at


where username is your math department username. Use your math department password.

Technical Details

1GB/s Switched network

500GB Ceph backed network storage


All the math department machines are running Linux. is a dual processor 2.2GHz AMD with 12GB of RAM. It supports:

authentication over LDAP
web service
web mail (squirrelmail/roundcube)
NFS file service is a 16 core 2.6GHz Opteron with 32GB of RAM and is the department's primary compute server. is 4 core, 8GB virtual machine running in the College of Computing's Cloud.

Both pi.math and e.math use the NFS service from admin.math to provide shared networked storage