Open Computing at Plymouth University
This page lists free and open-source computing resources, with a
particular focus on staff and students at Plymouth University, UK.
Except where noted, all resources on, or linked from, this page are licensed
under a Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Linux on work machines
The university's preferred solution is that
you run Linux as a virtual machine inside their normal Windows install on
university-owned machines. They provide instructions
on how to do this.
In some cases, you may prefer or require direct (e.g. dual-boot) access to
Linux. Obvious examples in psychology include: (a) neuroscience analysis on
laptops (VMs are too memory-hungry and laptops too low in memory for this to
be viable), (b) in a desktop machine, anything requiring direct access to the
This is demonstrably possible, and permissible on a case-by-case basis
(Profs. Rod Sheaff and Andy Wills are among current staff doing this)
Things to note:
- Backup your machine before doing this!
- IT support won't support your machine in Linux mode, any problems
you have are your problems (but I can help).
- You may be asked to get the signature of a Senior Manager to
approve your request. I am one of those, so you can get
mine. Prof. Rod Sheaff is also happy to approve such requests.
- Don't leave it more than a few days without an email from ITS
before you ring them up again and check progress.
- TIS may ask you to provide the installation media. If so, I'm
happy to give you an Ubtuntu installation USB stick, for free. Just
pop round to my office (PSQ B230).
- Don't give up, if you hit problems (including problems with ITS)
just tell me and we'll get it unstuck together.
Printing from Linux
You'll need to know the IP address
of the printer you wish to print to, plus the make and model of the
printer, so you can select the correct driver. Some known printers:
- Portland Square Building: Room B222 (colour printing)
- Portland Villas (various locations)
- Host: see list
- Drivers: Imagerunner Linux drivers from
Canon UK (above list gives model numbers).
Rod Sheaff has kindly put together these updated instructions
for printing from a wired
, connection. They worked for him, I
haven't had a chance to test them yet. If you hit problems, let me know.
Email and calendar
cover how to set up the
Evolution email/calendar sofware to access Office365 email and calendars at
Plymouth University. Alternatively,
cover the same thing
for Thunderbird. Alternatively, use the web interface, which works well on
- eduroam - WiFi for students, researchers, and educators
at 10,000s of hotspots in over 70 countries (including PU campus).
- Instructions for
- Instructions for Linux at Plymouth University.
- Virtual Private Network - Connect to the university's
private network from outside campus (useful for remote desktop).
- Bookshelf (vitalsource) - This is the eBook platform used
by Plymouth University. You can access it via the DLE (Moodle) by
the module page link 'Core textbooks'.
- Online use: The books can be read online using
open-software browsers (e.g. Firefox, Chromium).
- Linux download: The Bookshelf app is not supported
under Linux so you cannot download books, only view them
- Android download: The Bookshelf app is only available
via the Google Play Store (which is not open software).
- tscript - Flatten all PDFs in a
directory (useful for returning marked work in a way that students
can see comments whichever device they are using to view).