laptops and network software

This page now only exists as a reference for people who have already enabled laptop network software. The mechanism is no longer supported. You may like to read the page below for information helping you with debugging.

We never enabled the network software on laptops by default. There are a number of reasons for this:

1) Software might surprisingly break when laptops may not be connected to the network.
2) Some software will only work when connected to the physics network or VPN due to licensing restrictions.
3) The software will be slow on first use as it must download over what will probably be a slower connection.


  1. We use "cvmfs" to distribute the software so that it only needs to be downloaded once. However, cvmfs does need at least a very slow network connection as it will periodically check to see if the software has changed.
  2. If you are not using a departmentally managed or provided laptop you may not be able to use all software due to licensing constraints. These instructions are insufficient to allow cvmfs to work on laptops that are not loaded with our standard image. For these machines, we suggest that the standard package installation instructions are instead followed.

Categories: Laptops | Linux