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This document provides information about accounts on the Unified Linux Systems managed by the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. There are many other standalone Linux systems in the school that are not part of the unified configuration and, therefore, this document does not apply to accounts on those systems. If you have any questions about Linux systems within the school, please contact us.

Persistent Server Processes

You are not allowed to run any persistent server process (including a web server) on the SICE unified Linux systems outside the Burrow without the sponsorship of a member of the faculty. The Burrow cluster is provided as a playground of sorts for things that are not otherwise allowed. We have a server as part of the Burrow cluster named (aka. where you can run your own web server, database server, or any other server that meets the following criteria:

  • It must be related to the teaching or research mission of Indiana University and the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering.
  • There can be no commercial content.
  • It must not be associated with any illegal activity.
  • It must not use excessive system resources (cpu cycles, system memory, network bandwidth, etc).
  • It must adhere to all IU computing policies governing acceptable use of university resources.

If you plan to run a server in the Burrow please use the machine named and please keep in mind that the setup and maintenance is entirely your responsibility. Servers must be registered, however, so they don't compete for the same ports. Register servers by submitting a Service Request including the desired service, software, port and purpose. Please do not ask us to assign a port for you. Just pick a port yourself, but do let us know what pick. You can pick any unused port number in the range 10001-65535. Use the checkport command to verify that the port number you have selected is not already reserved or in use. For example, if you run "checkport 34345" on silo, it will report whether port 34345 is available or not.

We also have documentation for how to run a few specific services that you may find useful:

Apache LockFile Notes

If you want to run apache using the pre-installed version of apache that comes with the OS, this can be done very simply as described in How do I set up a web server on the Burrow?

If you are are using the apache web server, or any other web server that relies on a lock file, you must make sure you properly configure the LockFile directive. By default, apache will create a lock file in your home directory. This causes problems because this lock file should never reside on a network file system (via NFS), which is exactly where your home directory resides. To prevent this problem, please add something like the following to your apache configuration file, httpd.conf:

        LockFile /tmp/.apache.lock.username

You will need to replace username with your IU username. For more information about this problem, please search for "LockFile" in the apache documentation.


We reserve the right to reject or discontinue any services or content that are not compatible with the purposes of the Burrow or the goals of the School. Services may also be discontinued if they overload the facilities, introduce security vulnerabilities, are not adequately maintained, or otherwise lead to problems. Services may be required to be relocated at the request of systems staff. While the privacy of user files is respected as on all SICE systems, systems staff reserves the right to inspect and modify user files related to a Burrow server if necessary to correct or subdue a problem with the server.