Why are lab computers imaged?

Computers are installed with a base image to to ensure that all computers in labs are always functional, and that none of the software has become corrupt or unstable. This means that the computer can be quickly restored to a standard set of software after each student has logged off.

What is a lab base image?

The 'base image' is a list of the software that comes standard in ICTS-managed student computing labs. It is standardised across campus so that everyone who sits down in a lab has access to the same basic tools. This base image is reset twice a year, during the mid-year and end-year vacation periods, when hardware is sometimes also replaced.  Some faculties choose to add on software that is specific to the faculty’s teaching requirements. ICTS manages the base image and configurations using a range of configuration management software. Software refreshes can also be scheduled on request from the faculty who owns the lab.

What software is included in the base image?

The base image comprises standard software used on all the computers in ICTS-managed labs, lecture theatres and training areas across campus. The image also ensures a standard look and feel for all desktops. There will often be course-specific software in addition to the basic software depending on which faculty owns the lab, e.g. mathematics packages for the Maths department.

What rights does the base image give me?

When you log on to the computer, you are automatically an administrator on that machine. This means that you can download and install software you need, and you have all the privileges of an administrator until you log out.

What happens after I log out?

When you log out of a machine with a base image, it resets completely - back to the state it was in when you first logged on. This means that any software you installed will be gone and that anything you saved locally on the machine will also be lost. To prevent losing work, you should always save to your F: drive, to the cloud or to an external hard drive.