The Computer Science program maintains a state of the art lab and a Linux-based server.

The Computer Science Lab

Housed in Sattgast 371, the Computer Science Lab has a rich history that involves the work of many dedicates students through the years. In addition, faculty, staff, administration and alumni have done much to continually improve the quality of the lab’s computing equipment, the work environment and the lounge. Things changed substantially in 2019 with the demolition of Hagg-Sauer Hall and the relocation of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department to Sattgast Hall. For the first time, the space that holds the Computer Science Lab is now shared with other programs on campus.

About the CS Server

The CS Server is a Linux-based computer that supports Bemidji State student work in Computer Science course numbered 1309 and higher. Each student in CS 1309 and higher is given an account on the CS server. This account comes with a number of privileges. First, it allows students to log into and use the workstations in the Computer Science Lab. Students can store and access files on the server through these workstations regardless of whether they are running Linux or Windows. In addition, all files can be accessed from anywhere on the Internet using the appropriate software.

CS Tutors

The Mathematics and Computer Science Department has tutors to help students with their programming assignments.

Accessing the CS Server

CS uses secure protocols for communication. There is a variety of software that can be used to access the server. If you are a Linux user, use ssh, scp and sftp (available with the standard distributions) on the command line or look for those options in GUI-based software (try FileZilla or gftp).

Ubuntu users are encouraged to start their file browser and then select File -> Connect to Server. In the Server box, put Change the type to SSH and add your CS Server username and password. For the folder put /home/ and pick connect. Now you can access your server files as if they were on the local machine. Bookmark the connection for quicker access in the future.

Windows clients can either obtain a commercial secure shell product or use an Open Source product. Some students have reported success using PuTTY as a Windows client. There is also a free sftp Windows client available from FileZilla. There us also a non-free, but no-cost sftp Windows client available from CORE FTP. Mac OS X users might consider using Fungu.


Filezilla is a fast and reliable cross-platform FTP, FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface. It works under Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. To access the CS server use as the host and port 22.


WinSCP is an open-source FTP, SCP, FTPS and FTP client for Windows.

Core FTP

Core FTP secure FTP client gives you a fast, easy, reliable way to update and maintain your website via FTP. It also provides a secure method (via SSL, TLS or SFTP) to upload/download files to and from FTP servers. Check out the list of features, and you’ll find almost every feature you need, all in a free ftp program. There are no popup ads, advertising or spyware and you’re never asked or reminded to register.


Fugu is a graphical front end to the command line Secure File Transfer application (SFTP). SFTP is similar to FTP, but unlike FTP, the entire session is encrypted, meaning no passwords are sent in cleartext form and it is thus much less vunerable to third-party interception.


PuTTY is an SSH and telenet client, developed origionally by Simon Tatham for the Windows platform. PuTTY is open source software that is available with source code and is developed and supported by a group of volunteers.


You should change your passwords often, always picking secure passwords. Passwords should be at least eight symbols long, preferably 12 symbols, with a mixture of lowercase, uppercase and non-alphabetic characters. A good technique is to take a short phrase and run the characters together. For example: Ilove2eatEggs. Passwords that are formed from words are easy to type and difficult for others to pick off while you are typing them.

Changing Your Password

To change your password you must be logged into the CS server.

  1. From Windows, using putty or a similar tool start a secure shell (shh) session to
    From Linux, open a terminal window (CTRL-ALT-T usually does it). Then type: ssh Note that you may have to type ssh, where user is your username in the CS Lab.
  2. Use your old password to log in to cs. Note that as you type your password, no characters are displayed on the screen. If your password has expired, you will be forced to change your password. If that does not happen, you need to continue with the next step.
  3. At a Linux prompt type passwd. You will be prompted for your current password and then for a new password.
  4. After you have typed it, press enter and then type it a second time and press enter again. Watch the message carefully to ensure that you were successful in changing your password. You have to pick good passwords or they will be rejected. So pay attention to what you are doing.

Note that you will have changed all of the passwords that are associated with your use of Linux in the CS Lab: your Linux password and your password to the CS Server. Your password for the Windows side will remain unchanged.

Type logout to logout from the server.

CS Lab Printer Information

The printers are straightforward to operate. If you don’t know how to do something, ask someone who does. The most important operation is loading the paper. If the printer is not printing, first check the paper supply.

Another thing to watch out for is people trying to print executable code. It makes a mess and is wasteful. If you notice it happening, advise the person of his/her mistake and help his/her to avoid the mistake. You can usually use the controls on the printer to stop the job and prevent the rest of it from printing. If that fails, just turn it off.

Under Linux, you can get printing and printer information and set you default printer by selecting Printers from the Power Button menu in the upper right hand corner of the Heads Up Display.