Infrastructure Guidelines System-on-Chip Design

This page contains some practical guidelines to help you connecting to the Linux server, transferring and printing files, etc. Most of the information presented concerns one-time actions which do not need to be repeated each time that you need to reconnect.


The exercises will be carried out on a Linux server called The lab PC or your laptop will act as a terminal to connect to the server. This means that using some local communication program, your local mouse clicks and keystrokes will need to be forwarded to the server and that graphics from the server will need to be shown on your local display.

Note: server is not accessible from outside the University of Twente domain. If you are located off campus, you should first set up a VPN, following the instructions as given by LISA.

Communication can be established in many ways. The preferred way is to use x2go which gives you a remote desktop from which you can launch various programs. This means that all graphics from the Linux server is displayed inside a single window on your local machine. x2go as well as alternative methods that will result in separate local windows for each remote window, are described below.

Your login name for the server is your student account (an s followed by your student number). Only students registered to the course can login (if you have troubles to register, please contact the lecturer or TA). Your password is your generic password for University of Twente authentication. Be aware that the Linux server does not echo anything while you are typing your password directly in a Linux terminal (x2go will echo dots).

Connecting to the Server with x2go

x2go is supposed to be installed on the lab PCs; alternatively, you can use MobaXterm as described later on. If you are connecting from your own PC, download the x2go client that fits your OS (Windows, Linux or MacOS) from the: x2go download page, install it, and then launch it. Note: users of MacOS, need to first install XQuartz from before installing x2go.

Then, create a new x2go session where:

Double click the session icon to establish the connection. If successful, the XFCE desktop will show up (you can ignore an initial pop-up window with an error message on the XFCE Policy Agent). You can launch programs from the Applications menu that you can access via the right mouse button (among others). You will definitely need the Terminal Emulator and will likely use the file browser, web browser, text editor, etc.

You can consult the CAESdoc x2go page for additional general support information on x2go. Do not use the Published Applications mode as this will slow down your interactive sessions considerably.

Launch a terminal (emulator). The program running in the terminal is a command interpreter called a shell (bash in this case).

.bashrc Setup

This section is about configuring your account. You only need to perform it once.

You will launch various applications needed by the exercises using the command line in this shell. If you are not sufficiently at ease with Linux/Unix commands, study the the on-line Unix Tutorial.

You need to have a file in your Linux home directory called .bashrc with the following contents (check the contents with cat .bashrc):

. ~socadmin/defaults/soc.bashrc

If you don't have it, the easiest way to achieve this is to type on the command line:

echo ". ~socadmin/defaults/soc.bashrc" > .bashrc

You also need to have a file .bash_profile in your home directory with content:

. ~/.bashrc

If you don't have it, the easiest way to achieve this is to type on the command line:

echo ". ~/.bashrc" > .bash_profile

After you have created the files .bashrc and .bash_profile with the correct content, terminate the terminal (type exit) and start a new terminal.

The following screenshot displays a correct configuration ready to launch the tools.


The blue-and-red command prompt on a white background is a sign that soc.bashrc has been correctly sourced. In the prompt, you should see your own login name instead socadmin. The two cat commands confirm that .bash_profile and .bashrc have the correct contents.

The file ~socadmin/defaults/soc.bashrc takes care of everything you need for the projects. It runs the necessary tool start-up scripts and sets environment variables. You should not attempt to run start-up scripts or set environment variables by yourself!

Terminating an x2go Session

The x2go desktop can continue to exist even when you have terminated your connection (it is then suspended). The next time that you connect, you can pick up your work from where you left. Please do this only when necessary as each desktop creates substantial load to the server. Be aware that just closing the x2go window on you PC will suspend your session and will not terminate it!

Normally, you should log out from the server when you have finished working. There are many ways to do this, one of them being the Log Out option in the Application menu under the right mouse button.

Printing and Prettyprinting

For printing, you should use the University of Twente generic facilities. Normally, you will not need to print anything on paper as you will be asked to submit your reports and other deliverables in electronic format.

On the Linux server, you can convert PostScript into PDF by means of the command ps2pdf. You can convert a VHDL text file into a nicely prettyprinted PDF document by means of vhd2pdf. You can use xreader to view PDF documents. To prettyprint any text file (ASCII file), you can use any2pdf (it may perform poorly for VHDL).

File Transfer

To copy PostScript or PDF files that have been generated on the Linux server (actually, just any file), you can use sftp, the secure FTP protocol that is e.g. supported by WinSCP (connecting to server using your student login credentials. Alternatively, you could use FileZilla, Mobaxterm, or the file-sharing option of x2go (when performed correctly, this option will mount a directory of your local machine under the media subdirectory of your Linux home directory).

Alternative Methods for Connecting to the Server

The description below assumes that you are running Microsoft Windows. If you are running Linux, redirecting Linux graphical output to your screen is automatic if you use secure shell with the redirection option ssh -Y or ssh -X. For MacOS, you need to first install XQuartz (; then, you can connect with secure shell in the same way as in Linux. Please search the internet yourself for details. Assuming that the local PC or laptop is running Microsoft Windows, you can consider to use Mobaxterm. If you are using your own computer, download and install this program first.
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Last update on: Fri Feb 10 12:52:32 CET 2023 by Sabih Gerez.