Getting Started

Software: Non-university owned system

For personal systems (systems that are not owned by the U of A):


If you are running your own Linux system and would like to use a desktop environment, you will need to install an X window system remote desktop tools package. The preffered remote desktop client package is X2Go The only thing that needs to be mentioned is that when installing, select a custom install and then select all the availabe fonts in the X2Go installer.
For Linux systems with a graphical interface installed, this is optional.


For Windows see the same link to X2Go and select the installer for the version of windows that you are running. The same note about fonts applies, so do a custom install and select all the available fonts. There are other options available and you are free to choose one of those, just understand that we will be of limited help if you encounter problems.

Software: University owned assets

The Linux systems already have the X window system installed and the various desktop environments available. If you are logged on to a College Linux host, then to have X windows from a remote host to you local host, you need to specify a flag to ssh to tell sshd to forward the X packets. For example:

┌─[maz]─@─[mazlin]: ~
└──>>ssh -X

Will connect to the server as the user jmaz and will forward the X packets back to my local host. Now when I run a GUI application, say firefox, it will display locally.


Now that we have the software required to access one of our Linux hosts, we will need to define a session in the X2Go Client that will define how to connect ot the system and what resources are available from the remote host. Start the X2Go client and Select Session from the main menu. Then select, new session. You will see the session screen:

The session name can be anything you want. Change the icon, if you desire. In the Server section, specify the host name, your ID, and leve the default SSH port at 22. For the Session Type you have two choices for desktops. XFCE (recommended) and KDE (resource intensive). For the adventurous, you can define a session that is only an application, like say firefox. This will just display the firefox application and you will not have access to the "desktop".
On the tab, Connection, set your session connection settings like the following:

On the Input/Output tab, set your screen resolution: I use 1500x900 on a 24 inch monitor, adjust for your environment. Check the other settings and change as necessary.

On the Media tab, you can enable or disable Sound and Printing. I do not use either of those options so my configuration looks like:

And finally, on the Shared Folders tab you can establish a folder on your system that will be shared with the remote system.


If you want to support printers, you need to have an SSH server running on your system.

Running Cadence

In order to run the majority of the engineering tools in our Linux environement, you need to setup the required environment variables. The easies way to pick up the correct environment variables you need to source (read in) the standard bash resource file using either:

  . /home/skel/bash/.bashrc
  source /home/skel/bash/.bashrc

If one of these lines are already in your basrc file, then you are ready to go. To start Cadence Virtuoso, simply type: