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Quick guide – Linux computers

Tampere University and TAMK

Staff member TUNI Linux computer

TUNI Linux is a Linux workstation and server environment for students and staff of the Tampere University hosted and administered by TUNI IT-services.

This page has information and advice on the use of TUNI Linux desktop and laptop for staff member. In case of problems, please contact IT Helpdesk, it-helpdesk [at] When contacting IT Helpdesk, mention the name of the computer (, an accurate description of the problem and when you had it.

Operating system and distribution

TUNI Linux desktop and laptop computers use the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Workstation distribution.

Logging in, user account and password

Log in to TUNI Linux computer using your TUNI username and password. E-mail address can't be used to log in to TUNI Linux computer.

Staff members laptop and desktop computers are for named user and only the named user can login. In case the users of a workstation change, please contact IT Helpdesk.

The laptop computer needs to be connected to the TUNI-STAFF WLAN or to the network in the socket reserved for it when logging in for the first time. Afterwards it will remember the authentication details and you may log in with the same password without the network. When you have changed your TUNI password, the new password will be used by the computer the next time you login or open screen lock while connected to the network and automatic VPN connection is active.


The cogwheel icon displayed after inputting the username at the login screen offers the installed desktop environments. The supported and tested alternatives are GNOME 3 and GNOME 3 Classic, but other environments can also be used. We recommend you use the GNOME 3. The default desktop is GNOME 3 Classic, which attempts to look similar to the GNOME 2 desktop in earlier versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The resemblance is rather superficial though.

There are instructions and advice for the use of GNOME 3 in Red Hat's Desktop Migration and Administration Guide chapter 1 ( and the cheat sheet at Gnome wiki ( On TUNI Linux computers, the "No topleft hot corner" extension is enabled by default, so moving the pointer to the top left corner will not open the Activities screen. If this is functionality that you want, you can disable the extension using the Shell Extensions page of the Tweak Tool.

The first login

Select the language you wish the desktop to use as well as the keyboard layout (Input Source), when you log in for the first time. At this point, skip the Online Accounts setting.

Passwords and GNOME keyring

The GNOME desktop automatically starts a keyring manager where supported software may store authentication details if the user so wants. At least GNOME Online Accounts, Evolution and NetworkManager make use of this. The keyring is stored encrypted and opens automatically using the login password. You can manage your keyring with Passwords and keys program.

When you change your password, the keyring cannot open automatically anymore. It should then prompt you once for your new password the next time that you log in.

Multifactor authentication

Multifactor authentication is currently a prerequisite for using TUNI Microsoft Office 365 cloud services. In early 2021, it will also be introduced in all other TUNI services.

Please find further information at multifactor authentication

Disk space

Home directory on staff member computer

The home directory on staff members TUNI Linux desktop and laptop computers is located on the local disk. There is no redundancy, but a remote backup is attempted every 24 hours as long as the machine is connected to a network and automatic VPN connection is active. The size of the home directory is limited to 6 gigabytes to make remote backup feasible. The home directory is intended primarily for config files and you should place your work files on /tuni/ network disks.

Network disks

You can use network disk shares (the same shares used on TUNI Windows computers) on TUNI Linux computers also.

The personal directory (The P: drive on Windows) is visible under /tuni/home/<username>

The group directories (The S: drive on Windows) can be accessible under directory /tuni/groups/, but they do not show in /tuni/groups/ directory list. A group directory will be automatically mounted when you access it (for example with command ls /tuni/groups/directory_name ) if directory exists and you are allowed to access it. Group directories can also be configured to be visible in directory list. You can ask this from the IT Helpdesk. Please mention the name of the directories you need.

With TUNI Linux laptops you can use network disks with any network connection if the automatic VPN connection is active. 

Local disk

The rest of the local disk is accessible under /worktmp (it is a symbolic link, but all references should be done through it). Create a directory named with your username under /worktmp/ and use that directory. /worktmp/ is not backed up and there is no redundancy, so important files should be stored on network disks.


The printer queue SecurePrint has been pre-configured on TUNI Linux computers.
Read more about printing and copying

E-mail and Calendar

E-mail sent to firstname.lastname [at] can be read with a web browser from , where you login with your TUNI email address.

You can also read your email with email clients that support OAuth2 authentication (MFA), for example Mozilla Thunderbird.

Unfortunately, the previously instructed GNOME desktop Online Accounts does not support OAuth2 authentication, which means you can't use Gnome Online Accounts with MFA.

Please find more info about your email in the IT-services handbook.

Software and Updates

A base of common software is installed by default on TUNI Linux computers. In case you need software that is not installed, check the instructions below if you can install it your self or ask IT Helpdesk if it can be provided.

Updates will be installed automatically while the computer is connected to the network and automatic VPN connection is active. We will notify you by email in case updates require your actions, such as restarting the computer or some software. We reserve the right to reboot the computer in case a dire situation so demands, but if possible we will try to be in touch beforehand and restrict this to scheduled monthly service breaks.

Installing software

When using staff member TUNI Linux computer you can also install software yourself. You can use pkcon command to install software packages built for TUNI Linux computers including packages from distribution (Redhat Enterprise Linux 7 Workstation, RHEL Workstation Optional, Redhat Software Collections), packages from EPEL project ( and packages built by IT-helpdesk. pkcon search command will automatically find packages in all software repositories mentioned. If you can't find the software needed, you can ask from IT-helpdesk. 

You can also compile and install software by yourself for example under /worktmp/<username>/ directory. For more information see Installing software on TUNI Linux computers .

Using Windows software on Linux computer

You can access the Windows 10 virtual desktop through the TUNI Virtual Desktop service.

In addition, you can access Office online programs directly at


A certain network socket has been reserved for TUNI Linux computer. The socket is meant for just one workstation, and other devices may not be plugged into it. If you move to another room and the computer follows you, you must notify IT Helpdesk so a new socket will be reserved for it.

A laptop may be connected to wired networks elsewhere. By default they will look for network settings automatically, or you can configure them explicitly from the Network Settings.

While on its own wired network or when automatic VPN connection is active, the the computer has a static IPv4 address. Desktops may also have an automatically generated IPv6 address. The IPv4 address is associated to the name of the computer in DNS. Firewalls forbid incoming connections, apart from ssh from  the Hervanta campus network.

Wireless Network, WLAN

These wireless networks used at TUNI are pre-configured: TUNI-STAFF,, eduroam. TUNI-STAFF works automatically with computer certificates. With and eduroam the primary user of the computer will be pre-filled as the network username and your TUNI password is being prompted. These credentials will be stored in the GNOME keyring.

It is possible to use other wireless networks, but any credentials used with them will unfortunately be stored on the local disk in cleartext. This is unfortunate and will hopefully be fixed in the next point release, but until then you must just be aware of the risk.


VPN gives you access to internal services even when the laptop is on an outside network. The TUNI Linux laptops attempt to form a automatic VPN connection "TUNI-Linux-VPN" whenever they are not connected to their home socket. This selection will direct all TUNI traffic through the VPN and services such as networked disks are available through it. Other network traffic will not use this VPN.

You can select the VPN from the menu in the upper right corner. In addition to the automatic "TUNI-Linux-VPN" there is also "TUNI-Linux-Full-VPN" that will direct all traffic through the VPN. This is not on by default because of performance reasons, but if you want to use third-party services that have access to from only within the TUNI network, this may come in handy. You have to manually disable "TUNI-Linux-VPN" before enabling "TUNI-Linux-Full-VPN".

While a VPN connection is open, it is also possible to login to the computer remotedly with ssh from within the Hervanta campus network.


Lenovo ThinkPad P1 and ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Workstation Dock

The ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Workstation Dock for ThinkPad P1 comes with two separate power adapters and special cable for connecting dock to laptop. Both power adapters must be connected to the dock (bigger 170w adapter to 230w/170w power connector and smaller 65w adapter to 135w/65w power connector). 

Linux support for ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 dock is a bit limited at the moment and because of that, the dock must be plugged off when you power on or reboot the laptop. If dock is connected when starting or rebooting the laptop, USB devices connected to the dock may not work correctly (USB-devices may not work at all or operating system may not discover unplugging of the dock). In this case you should unplug the dock, shutdown the laptop (shutdown, not reboot) and power on laptop again. When the laptop is up and running (with login screen on screen) you can connect the dock again.


IT Helpdesk
0294 520 500
it-helpdesk [at] (it-helpdesk[at]tuni[dot]fi)

Published: 7.6.2019
Updated: 15.2.2022