Welcome to spacibm!


2018 June 13

As spacibm services are being wound down, the following programs are no longer available: Matlab, Mathematica, HEAsoft, xmgrace, ROOT, supermongo, IRAF, ds9, and x11iraf.

In your .bashrc or .cshrc or equivalent you will need to remove any links to these programs and/or their environment variable settings.

2018 May 25

spac-ps-3800.rice.edu and spac-ps-600.rice.edu are no longer in service: use the Xerox for color printing.

System Overview

spacibm.rice.edu ( is a dual-opteron (64-bit AMD 246) IBM. It is the departmental server for mail, web, IDL etc. It also has up-to-date data analysis packages (Fortran, IDL ...), and office programs (LibreOffice, latex, GIMP ...).

spacibm runs SuSE Enterprise Linux 11.4. This only has a few subtle differences from Red Hat.

You can search for the location of commands using which or locate. Make sure that e.g. the path and lpath environments in .cshrc and aliases point to the correct program.


The names of the main print queues are ps2430 (default printer) and ps4050.

There are extra print queues defined for double-sided printing: ps2430double and ps4050double. e.g. lpr -Pps4050double

The upgrade to SLES 10 required switching back to the CUPS printing package in place of LPRng. Thus the "-Z" options for selecting the tray, duplexing, etc. no longer work. A complete description of the CUPS options can be found at: http://www.cups.org/documentation.php Some common examples:

Manual feed: lpr -Pps4050 -o media=Manual

Duplex on the short edge: lpr -Pps4050 -o sides=two-sided-short-edge

A4: lpr -o media=A4

Please do not use the color printer as a default for all your printing! Please remember to sign up your color printing usage.

On 2009 September 22, the Service Center printers in Herman Brown 335 moved to the following IPs: spac-ps-2430.rice.edu spac-ps-4050.rice.edu


If you use enscript and want to continue to use the Bounding Box that was used on spacsun (and thus the number of lines of text on a page), be sure to set the ENSCRIPT environment variable to letter (note the small l). e.g. in .cshrc:

setenv ENSCRIPT --media=letter


If you use a program such as Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, Evolution, or Outlook to read mail, you should have the mail reading server set to spacibm.rice.edu . Both POP and IMAP should work, although only POP has been tested.

The mail command works similarly to spacsun, but has a number of subtle differences. Please man mail for details. For example, note that r and R are switched, so that r replies to everyone in the original mail whilst R replies to just the sender (you can reverse this by adding set Replyall to your .mailrc).

If you like to use vi to edit mail, you should include setenv EDITOR vim in your .cshrc.

pine is not included in the SuSE distribution. It has been built (with some difficulty) as an add-on (current version 4.64). It appears to work fine, although this is not a program that I use. pine and its related programs (pilot, pico, mailutil) are all located in /usr/local/pine

The mail program elm is not included in the SuSE distribution and is not being maintained by its authors; thus it has not been installed.

An alternative similar mail reader is mutt.

Thunderbird is located at /usr/local/thunderbird/thunderbird

Seamonkey is located at /usr/local/seamonkey/seamonkey

Web Publishing

Files for web display need to go in a directory called public_html in your home directory (not in www). Links to http://spacibm.rice.edu/~yourusername/ will then work.


Lahey/Fujitsu Fortran 95 Compiler (version 6.20d) provides Fortran 95, 90, and 77. Although this is a 32-bit version that is not optimized for AMD-64, it seems to work fine. To get it to work correctly, you must use the command:

/usr/local/lf9562/bin/lf95 -Wa,--32

If you have problems with libraries not being seen, try:

source /usr/local/lf9562/csh_setup

There is also gcc (/usr/bin/gcc), g++ (/usr/bin/g++), and gfortran (/usr/bin/gfortran).

GNU Fortran version 3.3 is also available at /opt/gcc33/bin/g77 (new location). If you get errors about loading shared libraries, add to your .cshrc

setenv LD_LIBRARY_PATH /opt/gcc33/lib64:${LD_LIBRARY_PATH}

You can check that all your library paths are being seen using echo $LD_LIBRARY_PATH


IDL 8.5 - /usr/local/bin/idl or /usr/local/bin/idlde

Note that IDL is now owned by Exelis, so there is a new path for the set-up file:

source /usr/local/exelis/idl/bin/idl_setup

Earlier versions are available as e.g. /usr/local/rsi/idl70/bin/idl and /usr/local/itt/idl80/bin/idl

The default is to run the 64-bit version. Sometimes it may be necessary to use the 32-bit version; for this use idl -32

spacibm is the license server for IDL.

To be able to use IDL, you need to have the correct address set for spacibm.rice.edu in your LM_LICENSE_FILE environment variable. If this is not done, IDL will go into demo mode.

- In unix-type operating systems, this is set in your .cshrc or .kshrc or .bashrc *and* it may also be set in your .flexlmrc file. You need to check both places.

- In Windows the LM_LICENSE_FILE is set in Control Panel - System - Advanced - Environment Variables.

Media Viewers and Manipulators

For viewing pdf files, it is usually better to use okular - /usr/bin/okular - or evince - /usr/bin/evince - rather than Adobe Reader.

Adobe Reader 9.5.3 - /usr/bin/acroread

The default version of GIMP is now 2.6.2 at /usr/bin/gimp . The first time it runs, it will create a .gimp-2.6 directory. You may want to copy over personalized items such as patterns and brushes from your previous .gimp directories. Make sure your Page Setup is set to US Letter before printing.

The previous version of GIMP (1.2.5) is still available at /usr/local/bin/gimp-1.2

xv no longer works with SLES 10 and the package has been removed.


OpenOffice has mutated into LibreOffice. The current version is 5.0. The command remains: /usr/bin/soffice

Although not recommended, version 1.1.0 is still available at /usr/local/OpenOffice and then at /home/username/OpenOffice/soffice once you have gone through the setup procedure (do a Workstation Installation: DO NOT do a Local Installation.)


Make sure that you are finding the binaries for latex, dvips, etc. These are located in /usr/local/teTeX/bin/x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu . For example, in your .cshrc, add:

set path = ($path /usr/local/teTeX/bin/x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu )

Unless you know what you are doing, you should comment out all the TEX... environment variables in e.g. your .cshrc. The exception is to create a directory such as /home/yourusername/texinputs where you keep your input tex, sty, cls ... macros. Then include e.g. in your .cshrc:

setenv TEXINPUTS .:/usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf/tex//:/home/yourusername/texinputs//:

Since the default in SuSE is to use A4 paper, when converting postscript to pdf, use ps2pdf -sPAPERSIZE=letter

Also use dvips -t letter

Last Updated: 2018 June 13

Mail problems to: amanda AT spacibm.rice.edu