In order to use your UEA linux desktop at home during the working from home period, please consider these points.

  • Don't just take it home - it won't work ! 
  • Talk to us first - we need to keep a register of which machines are where.
  • Note machine (and monitors etc) remain the property of UEA and MUST be returned to UEA once things are back to normal
  • Note no encryption as is standard on laptops, so beware potential security risk
  • To be able to log into your UEA Linux PC at home, your home directory must be on the local disk, not Central File Store.
  • We need to tell it to use the local disk for your home rather than CFS, and to increase the period for which your credentials are cached

Connecting to the network

  How will it connect to your router?

  • You can connect the PC to your home router using an ethernet cable. You can take the one from your office.
  • If ethernet is inconvenient (router in different room than your work space) then you will need to buy a wifi dongle

The following models have been tested:

  • TP-Link Archer T9UH v2
  • BrosTrend 1200Mbps Linux USB WiFi Network Adapter (from amazon)

If you cannot get one of the above, get what you can and we will try to get it working

We will need to install and configure a driver for the dongle. To do this we will initially need you to plug it in while the machine is connected by ethernet either to the UEA network or to your home router and then to the VPN. You must then tell us the VPN IP address as above

Once the driver is working, you will be able to move the machine to your home work space


The UEA VPN is already installed. For full details see but here are the basics:

        Connect: f5fpc -s -t -x

        Check status: f5fpc -i

        Disconnect: f5fpc -o

    We can connect to your machine to provide assistance when you are on the VPN, but you will need to tell us your VPN IP address. To find it, use this command:

        ip addr show dev tun0 | awk '$1=="inet" {print $2}'


Your files will not be backed up while you are working from home and using the local hard disk as your home directory (normally desktops are set to use central filestore).

Please make sure you keep a copy of any important data either by

  • copying to central filestore when you are logged in to the uea VPN (see below)
  • copy to central filestore using File Director (see below)
  • copy to your onedrive
  • copy your files to a hard disk - remember if that is in the same house/room it is a copy rather than an offsite backup

Matlab and other UEA licenced software

To use Matlab you will need to be connected to the VPN so that it can access the licence server

Accessing your UEA files

Connecting to your UEA file space is a little complicated.

To get to the files that were in your home directory when you were at UEA :

  • First, make sure you are connected to the VPN (see above).
  • Run this command in a Terminal:

vastool search -q '(cn=user)' homeDirectory
replacing user with your UEA username. It will return a line like one of these:

  • Open Files (the filing cabinet icon) and go to "Other locations"

In the "Connect to server" box enter a path patterned on the home directory you found above

If you have trouble figuring out what the path should be, please email us

File Director to access files without vpn

If you just need to be able to get a few of your files, you may find it easier to use File Director. This also has the advantage that you do not need to be connected to the VPN.

  • Open in a web browser
  • Log in as <user> with your UEA password

You should be presented with a list of your available shares including your Central File Store.  Note is it your windows central filestore which is one directory below your linux one.  You won't be able to see your linux directory directly - you will need to log in to a linux machine using vpn, copy (or move) files you might need to your data directory and then it will be visible on the File Director site.

If you have a Windows or Mac machine, you can install a native client which integrates File Director much better with the operating system. Unfortunately there is no client available for Linux, so you have to use the web interface