Recommended Computer Systems for Students
Note that this is a recommendation, not a requirement. CS undergraduates will largely program in the Unix operating system (either MacOS X or Linux), and so you should find a laptop which supports this. We recommend (as of Spring 2017):
- A laptop weighing no more than six pounds
- Capable of running Mac OS X or Linux
- HDMI and VGA output
- At least 1280x800 resolution
- At least 8 GB of RAM (16 GB recommended)
- At least 5th generation Intel Core CPU (or equivalent)
- At least 256 GB of storage (SSD Recommended)
- At least a 2-year manufacturer's warranty
Accessing GMU Via a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Many GMU resources can only be accessed from off campus via a VPN. To do this, first set up a VPN client, then tell it that the VPN Server is
Setting up Email
GMU has a website with instructions to set up and maintain your email account. The web interface for the mail system is http://mail.gmu.edu. Additionally, you can manage your spam trap and install whitelists and blacklists.
To configure your mail program to automatically fill in GMU addresses, you can use the LDAP server
directory.gmu.edu, with a query string (often labelled "Base DN" or "Search Base") of
o=gmu.edu SSL port 636, a subtree scope, and Simple authentication with your GMU username and password.
Setting up a Personal Website
GMU's MASON cluster has a web server and where you can create personal websites. GMU maintains a web page with instructions for setting up a website and do web development on it.
For specific problems with Department of Computer Science resources, send email to