FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions



What should someone know about our system?

Please read this ITP-Info !

Where can I find a CD burner and where can I burn CDs?

The new computers generally have a CD or even a DVD burner. The programs k3b or xcdroast are well suited for burning CDs or DVDs.

Where can I find a scanner?

Linux supports scanning very poorly. There are scanners available to use through Windows in some administrative offices. The modern multifunctional units, in the administrative offices, are capable of sending scanned documents to an email address.



Is there a backup of my data?

Home folders and a few other areas are backed up every night at the IT Center. If you lose data, an administrator there can help you recover it.



What printers are available for use?

You can find a list of available printers in the submenu under Infrastructure.

How can I use the printers from my laptop?

The printer queues for the CUPS print server lxtssp1 (IP can be accessed using the IPP protocol.
If the systems cannot independently find the CUPS servers, you can enter the following printer connection for Linux and Mac OS X
or for Windows (under network printer)
and, if necessary, select the appropriate driver.



Which distributions are supported?

Only the (open) SUSE Linux distribution is supported, since the full extent of support can only be ensured for this distribution. Version LEAP 15.4 is installed on all desktop systems.



How do I set up my mail program?

Settings for the local mail client (See below for informationan about pine)

  • SMTP Server (no SSL): relay.rwth-aachen.de or
    SMTP Server (witj SSL and authentification): mail.rwth-aachen.de
  • Incoming Server: mail.rwth-aachen.de
  • Account: <TIM-ID>@physik.rwth-aachen.de

You can find additional information in the IT Center's instructions.

Individuals using the pine mail program should set the following variables:


The parameter ssl in the inbox-path causes an encrypted connection to the server, so that the password is not sent through the network in its pure text form. The parameter imap is optional, since this protocol is the default.

How do I configure my mail account?

Configuration takes place through the webmailer (see below). You can set your password and forward your mail through the self service.

Is there a webmailer?

There is a webmailer at https://mail.rwth-aachen.de/owa. Log in with the following:

  • User ID: <TIM-ID>@physik.rwth-aachen.de
  • Password: <password>

How do I save disc space in my mail program?

Some mail programs, including those in the Mozilla suite (Thunderbird, Mozilla, Seamonkey, ...) store locally saved mail in a so-called mailbox format. These mailbox files do not automatically become smaller when you delete emails! The "compact" function, offered by all mail programs, is helpful. This can be found in Thunderbird, for example, under File -> Compact Folders. No emails are lost, but rather they are simply refiled in the mailbox file. Please do this every now and then.


Mailing Lists

Is there a mailing list I should be on?

There is a mailing list, through which all members of Theoretical Physics can (should) be reached. In order to send an email to the list, use the address itp(at)lists.rwth-aachen.de. All emails sent to the list must first be approved by an administrator.

If you are not yet on the list, you can enter yourself on the registration page. You just need to enter your email address. You also have the option of providing your name and choosing a password. If you do not enter a password, you will receive a randomly generated one. After one of the administrators has confirmed your registration, you will receive all future mailings sent via the list. If you have recently received an email welcoming you to the list, you do not need to enter your name.



How can I access my computer outside of the physics department?

There is a SSH access available from some selected domains outside of the physics network on the computers:

  • lxtsac1.physik.rwth-aachen.de
  • portal.physik.rwth-aachen.de (computer lab)

"Computer lab" means that the access information for the computer lab account must be used. If your domain has not yet been activated for access from outside, please contact the Theoretical Physics administrators.

From those machines you may connect to a computer in the institute network. ssh allows tunneling via those access computers and thereby directly connecting to a system in the network. A short explanation is given when you login to the access computers. This allows to directly copy data from or to the local disk of a desktop system (lxt...) without having to copy them to an access machine first.

Via x2go you can start a complete desktop environment on a system in the theory network e.g. your desktop system. x2go directly supports tunneling via ssh. Due to hardware limitations the access systems themselves do not support the X-server functionality. If you want to start a graphical environmnet you have to tunnel to a system in the theory network.
Please download the x2go client from x2go. It is available for Linux, Windows and OS X.

How can edit Microsoft Word documents, for example, in a Linux system?

LibreOffice (OpenOffice fork) is installed in all systems and has demonstrated high compatability with Microsoft formats.

How can I get access to a Windows system?

Using rdesktop, a connection can be made to a Windows 2003 server, on which the most important programs with sufficient licensing are installed: rdesktop -d PHYSIK -g 90% -a 16 winsrv The system is coupled with the user administration of the computer lab, so that anyone can log in with his or her computer lab user information. Please direct questions to the EDV Support.



Which compilers are available?

The current compilers from the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) are installed in every system. (see Software).

Where are the Intel compilers?

Intel compilers have been licensed by RWTH and can be used on the compute cluster. If needed local installation is possible as well. You can find additional information under software.