Computing Environment

Computing Environment Overview

The Computer Science Department operates several large computer systems for education, research and administration. These systems, together with many other research computers, are connected to SUNet -- the University's network -- and thence to the Internet.

The Computer Science Department with its varied individual research groups also operates and supports hundreds of workstations. Apple, Intel, Dell, and Sun Microsystems are among the most prominent vendors of the workstations. These systems are all connected by the department's network to the University backbone.

CS administration computing environment

The CS administrative computing environment includes many virtual machines. This system is used primarily for general timesharing and mail service (popserver/imap) and provides database warehousing. The department administrators use a blend of Macs and PCs. The programming staffs use and/or have access to all platforms (SGI, HP, DEC, IBM, Sun, Mac, Intel) that CSD-CF supports. The faculty computing environment differs from research group to research group.

Gates building network

The network in the Gates Building is a switched network consisting of twenty VLANs. This network is comprised of Juniper and HP switches and routers. This provides the Gates Building with Gigabit networking and connection to the campus backbone.

CS student computing environment

Networking in Offices

CSD has a networked workstation for virtually every person with an office. The department provides these for staff and for some first year PhD students, but most workstations are provided by research groups for the use of their faculty, staff and students. Most workstations are running some version of Unix, although many of the staff use Macs.


For general use by CSD students, there are two main machines plus a lab with a cluster of workstations. All of these machines are provided particularly for handling electronic mail and reading Usenet newsgroups.

Myth Cluster

Located in the basement of Gates in B21, the Myths are a cluster of Intel workstations running Ubuntu.


One feature of the department is that you get a potentially permanent email address within the domain CS.Stanford.EDU. This CS email address can forward your mail to whatever computer you are currently using to read mail.

Students involved with a given research project (as happens with most PhD and some Masters students) generally move most of their activities onto machines owned by the research group.

Every PhD student can pretty much expect to have a research-group workstation on his or her desk. Such machines generally give better response and more available disk space than can be obtained from Xenon.


The University also provides computer access for all of its students, namely with the Leland machines. These includes workstations of various kinds and are intended almost exclusively for class work plus email and news. They are not part of CSD nor are they maintained by CSD. With an account on the Leland machines, you get another email address, which is valid as long as you are a Stanford student.

Account Information

For SUNet information from the University's server, click here.

For SUNetID information from the University's server click here.