Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

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Members Desktop Computing

Members desktops are a mix of Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. Members have a choice of what operating system they prefer. This information is usually collected via survey before the member begins. You can always email IT to change your request (see contact information below). Please allow a few days for this change to process and for the IT department to ready your equipment.

Table of Contents:

Initial Login
Change your password
Storing files
Installed software


Initial Login

You will receive your login information during check-in at the front desk. This includes your username and password. This is how you will login to your desktop. The MSRI wireless: MSRI-Members uses a different password, this is also located in your welcome packet. If you requested a computer, it should already be installed in your office and awaiting you at a login prompt.

Change your password

We recommend your change your password on initial login. Each operating system (Linux, Mac OS, and Windows) use different methods to accomplish this.

Changing your password on Linux

  1. Login with your username and password at the KDM login screen.
  2. Open terminal:
  3. Type "passwd" and hit enter. Follow the instructions on the screen.
  4. Your password is now changed.

Changing your password on Mac OS

  1. Login with your username and password at the Mac OS login screen.
  2. Click on Finder, Choose Applications from the left-side.
  3. Locate the Application named: "NoMAD", Double-click to open this application.
  4. Initially, nothing will happen. Locate the NoMAD icon at the top left of your screen, by the clock. It looks like this: 
  5. Click on the NoMAD icon and choose Change Password. Follow the instructions to successfully change your password.

Changing your password on Windows

  1. Login with your username and password at the Microsoft Windows login screen.
  2. After login, hit: ctrl+alt+del at the same time. Choose change password. Follow the instructions to successfully change your password.


Storing your files

Members should store files on network drives. The network drives are backed up every 15-minutes and copied off-site.

How to access network drives by Operating System:


Network drives are mapped to /home/username/files/ - All other files exist only on the local machine. If you want to save files on the network. Save it to your ~/files/ directory.

Mac OS X

Network drives are mapped to your desktop, you will see a network drive that matches your username.


Network drives are mapped in "My Computer".


Installed software

You are welcome to install any software you like. If you need any assistance please contact the IT department. Here is a list of currently installed software:

Software name Linux Mac OS Windows
Cinderella 2 YES YES


Cygwin N/A N/A


Macaulay2 YES YES NO
Maple (v. 2016, v. 2017 scheduled for Sept. 2017) YES YES YES
Mathematica YES YES YES
Singular YES YES YES
Various LaTeX editors YES YES YES