This course requires access to an x86-64 computer that can run VirtualBox and the course virtual machine (a Windows XP machine). If you do not have access to one, labs must be done in person on machines within MCECS.
You will also be setting up a variety of accounts and machines for running labs, solving homework problems, and submitting notebooks.
We will now setup the course VM. A video walkthrough is shown below:
You may either run the VM on your own computer or on a lab machine. If running on a lab machine, ensure that you come back to the same machine each class as you will be installing the VM on a local drive.
.ovafile you have downloaded
General=>Basic, change the name of your VM to your OdinID (to appear in screenshots). In
System=>Motherboard, change the Base Memory slider to 2GB (2048 MB)
"Local User and Groups" => "Users". Right-click on Administrator user and click "
There is a Slack workspace for Computer Science students here at PSU. If you haven't already, create a Slack account, join the workspace at https://pdx-cs.slack.com and add the course channel linked on the course web page. All course communication will be done through this platform; check the pinned section for important updates. Note that the course has a corresponding webpage for more permanent information.
We'll be using GitLab for the course's source control. Create an account via Google using your
@pdx.edu email address by visiting https://gitlab.com/users/sign_up.
Upon completion, use the same credentials to login to GitLab. After logging in you should see the following:
Go to the upper right hand corner and click on the dropdown that is your user profile. You should see the option for "Preferences". Click on this option and you'll be taken to a page for customization of your avatar, status, and main settings.
In the left hand column there is an entry for SSH Keys. Select that entry and wait here. We're going to create a local public/private key pair to securely transfer data between the local repository and this remote hosted by GitLab.
We will now create a local public/private
ssh key pair to securely transfer data between a local
git repository and this remote hosted by GitLab. For the purposes of this lab, we will use
linux.cs.pdx.edu for our local repository location. To add additional machines, you will need to repeat the process below for them.
Log in to
linux.cs.pdx.edu and change into the directory where SSH keys are stored:
If you have not setup an SSH key before, perform the following
ssh-keygen -t rsa
rsa here for clarity, although this is the default encryption method. Hitting enter will create a file named
id_rsa which we'll use as an example. You should now have two files containing the key-pair in the
~/.ssh/ directory. One has a
.pub extension and is your public key. The other is your private key and should never be revealed.
We will now add this public key to GitLab. Dump the contents of the key out:
Then, copy and paste this into the SSH key field on GitLab in your browser. Finally, click "
Go back to the projects page and create a "New project" that is blank.
Name the new project via the
ProjectName above. Within the project's setup, make sure the repository is marked "Private" and initialize it with a README file.
Next, go to the Settings tab and select members. From here you can add members to your project by typing in their username. Add the instructor and the TA as Developers to your project via their pdx.edu e-mail addresses (e.g. <
@pdx.edu where OdinID can be found on the course web page), as in the images below.
linux.cs.pdx.edu, set up your name and e-mail address for
git config --global user.name "<FirstName> <LastName>" git config --global user.email "<OdinID>@pdx.edu"
Then, clone the repository to your machine and change directories into it.
git clone email@example.com:<GitLab-Username>/<ProjectName>.git cd <ProjectName>
We will now edit our first file and commit its changes to our repository. To do so, bring up the
README.md file in an editor. The file is expected to be in the Markdown format. Examine this cheat sheet and add multiple styles of titles and lists to the file. Then, stage the file for addition, commit the file to the local git repository, then push the local commits to the remote version on GItLab.
To add the file to the list of changed files that you want to stage to commit, use the following:
git add README.md
To commit the file that has been staged into the local git repository, use the following:
git commit -m "add README"
Finally, to push the copy of the local repository with the changes over to the remote repository on Gitlab, use the following:
git push -u origin main
It is often the case that you'll have files in your local directory that you do not want added to your repository. To specify that these files should not be included in any commits, git uses a file called
.gitignore. Create a
.gitignore file that contains files that are common to Python that you do not want to add to your repository.
env/ *.pyc __pycache__/
Add it to the files you wish to commit, commit the file to your local repository, and then push the local repository to its remote.
git add .gitignore git commit -m "Adding .gitignore" git push -u origin main
Read the first 6 steps of the following link. Note that for this class, you will be substituting Gitlab for GitHub. You will need to become proficient with the following
git commands for this course or use an IDE such as VSCode that can perform the operations for you.
git clone: Fetch a copy of a remote repository
git add: Add a new file and/or directory to local repository
git commit: Commit changes to local repository
git push: Merge changes from local repository to a remote one. Implicitly assumes "
origin" (place that you retrieved repo from) and "
git pull: Merge changes from remote repository to your local one. Implicitly assumes "
origin" (place that you retrieved repo from) and "
To practice the commands, we will create, add, commit, and push an initial lab notebook. Subsequent notebooks should follow this format, replacing the week number.
cd <path_to_your_repository> mkdir notebooks touch notebooks/Week0.pdf git add notebooks git commit -m "initial notebook" git push
To avoid applying the coupon you receive to the incorrect account, ensure that these steps are done in an "Incognito" or "Private Browsing" browser window to set up your account.
Then, visit https://console.cloud.google.com and login using your pdx.edu account to enable GCP. If you haven't used GCP yet and do not mind temporarily putting your credit card on the account, apply for the $300 coupon and use it to create a new billing account. Otherwise, wait for the instructor to email you a course coupon.
Click on the pdx.edu organization from the console.
Then, click on "New Project"
Create a Google Cloud project with your
ProjectName from above. You should be taken to your project's Home page. For your lab notebook, you will need to ensure that all of your screenshots for your Google Cloud labs include your
To examine your Billing account and its usage, go to the Billing page from the console at https://console.cloud.google.com/billing
One may also use a virtual machine in the cloud to run a Ubuntu VM. To do so, visit the Compute Engine Google Cloud console at https://console.cloud.google.com/compute .
To launch a VM using Cloud Shell, go to the web console and click on the Cloud Shell icon as shown:
Cloud Shell consists of a container with the Google Cloud SDK pre-installed. As part of the SDK, the
gcloud command-line interface is included. The command is similar to other cloud CLIs such as
aws in that it supports sub-commands that specify which cloud service is being accessed. For example, the command
gcloud compute create instances will create a virtual machine instance based on the parameters provided. Use the command below to instantiate the VM.
gcloud compute instances create course-vm \ --image-family=ubuntu-2204-lts \ --image-project=ubuntu-os-cloud \ --zone=us-west1-b \ --machine-type=e2-medium
One can also launch VMs via the web console. Navigate to the Compute Engine service at https://console.cloud.google.com/compute and create an instance. Configure the name, region, zone, and boot disk in the UI, then launch the instance.
We will now setup a remote desktop on the Compute Engine using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) in order to enable a graphical interface to the VM.
To connect to the instance from Cloud Shell, you can run the command below:
gcloud compute ssh course-vm
Alternatively, you can also connect via the web console. To do so, navigate to the VM instances on Compute Engine, then click on "
ssh" to bring up a shell session on it.
On the VM, install the course's development tools.
sudo apt update sudo apt install python3-pip python3-dev python3-venv git -y
docker and its packages. Add yourself to the
docker group so that you're able to run the
docker commands without
sudo apt install docker.io -y sudo usermod -a -G docker $(whoami)
Next, install the graphical software packages.
sudo apt install xfce4 xfce4-goodies xrdp -y
Check that the
xrdp daemon is enabled and running.
sudo systemctl status xrdp
If not, start it.
sudo systemctl start xrdp
Our RDP setup will require a username and password to authenticate. As Compute Engine instances typically perform authentication via OAuth2 and
ssh keys, we will need to set a password for our account on the VM. To do so, run the following to set your account password on the VM for your username.
sudo passwd $USER
If you wish to use a web browser on this VM, you can install Firefox directly.
sudo apt install firefox -y
If you prefer Chrome, then install Google's signing key, add Google's repository to your system, and then install the browser.
wget -q -O - https://dl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | sudo gpg --dearmour -o /usr/share/keyrings/google_linux_signing_key.gpg sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/google_linux_signing_key.gpg] http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google.list' sudo apt update sudo apt install google-chrome-stable -y
On your local machine, connect to the VM's External IP address (shown above in the web console) using an RDP client. You may utilize clients that are built into the browser (e.g. Chrome Remote Desktop extension) or native clients on Windows (Remote Desktop Connection), MacOS (Microsoft Remote Desktop), or Linux (FreeRDP or remmina) to connect to the VM.
Then, login using your username and the password you set for it to bring up a graphical desktop on the VM.
In order to save costs while keeping the machine image around so that it can be started later, exit out of the session and stop the VM. This can be done via the UI or via the command-line in Cloud Shell via:
gcloud compute instances stop course-vm