Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science

Desktop Computing

We maintain a desktop computing environment for our students, faculty and staff. We provide up to date versions of major desktop computing platforms, define desktop computing as standard desktop computers, laptops and the operating systems, software and peripherals they utilize. In our environment we also work with Research Computing and Server Computing. Because of the different types of use-cases, we have very different policies and tools to manage these different technologies.


We deploy and support Apple, Dell and Lenovo desktop and laptop products for desktop computing. We retain vendor certified technicians and perform SCS-owned hardware repairs on-site for the convenience of the SCS community. We recognize that our community will have different needs given the research nature of our environment, so many different operating systems are utilized on campus. 

Operating Systems and Software

SCS computers are preloaded with our standard software including Microsoft Office for Windows and macOS, along with antivirus software. Additional software is available via our software stores, such as Self Service (Jamf), Software Center (SCCM) and our internal Linux software repositories. When under support, these endpoint computers are managed through platform specific tools and policies such as Microsoft SCCM, Jamf Pro and SCS Unix/Linux Management.


We provide support for all public printers across SCS, along with infrastructure that allows printing from Linux, Windows, and macOS hosts. We use a centralized print service, allowing printing to one queue and then releasing the print job at one of the associated printers. 


We also offer backup services including Archival Backup and Data Protection Service via CrashPlan. This allows the computer in question to back up from any connection to the internet (on and off campus) with web based control over profile and restoring options.


CMU network access is available via the campus-wide CMU-Secure wireless network as well as the SCS physical (wired) network. While there is no cost for access to the wired network, it requires registration for the increased security and health of our network. We also have remote resources including pre-logon Any-Cisco Connect VPN instructions for Windows computers (off-site).