San Francisco State provides a coursework server (unixlab.sfsu.edu) for educational websites, programming, Linux, and Oracle databases.
Who can access the coursework server
Accounts are not automatically created for all students. The coursework server is available to:
- All Faculty with an SF State e-mail address
- Students with an eligible major or minor and an SF State e-mail address (check your eligibility from the Unixlab Access guide)
- Students enrolled in an eligible course for the current or previous term and an SF State e-mail address (check your eligibility from the Unixlab Access guide)
- Individual accounts (sponsoring faculty must submit a Service Request)
Students with course-based access will have access from the day before the semester begins until one year after the class ends. Students adding a class already enabled for unixlab will have a unixlab account created automatically within 24 hours. Students with major or minor access will have access until they graduate or change majors/minors.
For information on accessing Oracle on the coursework server, please see Oracle on unixlab.sfsu.edu.
Faculty members should use online.sfsu.edu for their Web sites. Faculty can request accounts on unixlab.sfsu.edu for student Web sites and coursework. Faculty can use their public_html directory on unixlab.sfsu.edu to demonstrate to their students. If you have any courses or majors/minors that need access to the coursework server, please Submit a Service Request that includes the course name, number and the applications to be used.
What's available on the coursework server
- Redhat Linux
- Apache 2.2 (no server side scripting)
- Oracle database 11g (Oracle access)
- SAS 9.2 Foundation
- nano (similar to pico)
How to access the coursework server (unixlab.sfsu.edu)
The coursework server, unixlab.sfsu.edu, can be accessed through any SSH or sFTP client. SF State recommends the program PuTTY (for Windows) or Terminal (for the Mac) for SSH access and FileZilla (for both Windows and Mac) for sFTP access.
- Hostname: unixlab.sfsu.edu
- Username: your SF State e-mail account name (e.g., Students: janedoe for account email@example.com / Faculty: jdoe for account firstname.lastname@example.org (primary accounts only))
- Password: your SF State password
- Port: 22
*Five incorrect login attempts will result in a locked account. The lock will remain for 15 minutes. If your account remains locked after 15 minutes but you can log in to other SF State applications (e.g., gateway.sfsu.edu) please open a service request.
How to move data to the coursework server
Data can be moved from the old servers (libra.sfsu.edu, apollo.sfsu.edu, online.sfsu.edu, userwww.sfsu.edu) to the coursework server. To move your data:
- Verify that you can access the coursework server called unixlab.sfsu.edu
- Move your files to the coursework server using one of the following methods:
How to backup/download data
Any data you wish to retain must be backed up / downloaded prior to losing access to the server. Information on backing up / downloading data can be found on the Backing Up Unix Account Data page.
How to get help
Students needing assistance with applications on the coursework server should contact their faculty member. Contact the ITS Help Desk for questions about the unixlab server and old server retirement.
Blackboard operates on a separate server from both the SOAS website and the SOAS email system. Server downtime is rare, short and usually notified on the BLE home page in advance.
If however you are unable to connect, login or submit your file to BLE/Turnitin, please check the items below and the BLE for Students page for advice.
I am unable to access the BLE website
- Ensure you are logging in to ble.soas.ac.uk.
- Try using a different web browser. Both BLE and Turnitin work best in either Firefox or Internet Explorer. They are known to have some issues with Google Chrome or Safari.
- There are sometimes periods of server downtime on SOAS student PCs in which case you should log off your PC, wait a period of time before attempting to login again. If problems persist, contact email@example.com for support.
My login details do not work
- Ensure you are using your 6 digit student ID (without including the final "@soas.ac.uk") as your login and your SOAS email/login password as your password.
- Ensure your fees are fully paid and all your registration details are correct. Students registered on courses but who have failed to pay their fees will have BLE access barred until such time as their fees are resolved.
- If you still cannot login email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your login name and password added/checked.
My course is not listed on BLE
- This indicates your enrollment and course registration procedures have not been completed. Your course registration form collected during enrollment must have your courses listed, be signed off and returned to the faculty office. Until this is done you will not be formally registered and will not have BLE access. Please contact the faculty office to resolve.
- In rare cases your course convenor may not have activated their course for student viewing. If it has been confirmed you are fully registered with your fees paid, this may be the cause - contact your faculty office to resolve.
The preview of my essay shown after clicking "upload" looks nothing like the essay I am trying to submit
- Don't worry. Simply use this preview to check the actual text matches the text you would expect to see (i.e. that you have attached the correct essay and not some completely different file). All images, colours, footnotes, fonts and other features are removed from this view in order to display your essay in the small space available.
- If you wish to check your essay once it has been submitted, return to the submission screen and select the relevant assignment as if you were attempting submission again. As you have already submitted you will now be presented with the "portfolio" screen. Clicking "Show details" and then "Download paper" will allow you to download a copy of the essay exactly as you have submitted it.
I cannot find where to submit my essay
- The assignment submission screen is located in the left menu bar of your course under Assignments (this may differ slightly depending on how your tutor has set up their BLE pages). From there, clicking View/Complete under the relevant assignment will take you to the submission screen. Full submission instructions can be found at the Online Submission Guide.
- If there are no assignments visible in the Assignments screen confirm your course is participating in online submission (only a selection of courses are). If confirmed, contact your faculty office and follow the Alternative Email Essay Submission process below.
I have tried to submit late but BLE tells me it will not accept submissions after the due date
- Contact your faculty office. This problem is caused by an incorrect setting in BLE which is easily fixed. If this is not resolved in time for submission, follow the alternative email essay submission guidelines below.
It is before the essay deadline and I wish to resubmit my essay but BLE will not let me
- Contact your faculty office. This is a result of a BLE setting which your faculty office can alter.
I think I have submitted my essay but I have not received an email receipt
- It is most likely you have not fully completed the submission procedure. Ensure that after "uploading" your essay, and seeing the text only preview, you then click submit. You will receive a "You have successfully submitted..." message with a green tick when you have done so and the email receipt should follow shortly after. Selecting an essay for upload without clicking "submit" will not complete submission.
- You can double check your essay has been submitted by returning to the submission screen and selecting the relevant assignment as if you were attempting submission. As you have already submitted you will now be presented with the "portfolio" screen. Clicking "Show details" and then "Download paper" will allow you to download a copy of the essay exactly as you have submitted it.
If your problems persist....
- If it has proven impossible to submit your essay via BLE, your faculty office may be able to intervene directly (either by uploading an emailed copy of your essay for you or by re-arranging your deadlines). Full instructions on email submissions or who to contact can be found on the Alternative Email Essay Submission page.
- As it is important you submit prior to the essay deadline, do refer to the above alternative submission page in advance of the essay deadline. Do not wait until after the essay deadline before following these procedures!
- Note: email submission is only available for courses where online submission is being used, where BLE has failed to operate and in specific faculties. This is not to be used as an alternative to standard paper submission on courses where online submission is not being used.