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Product Description

Product Linux – Stanford only
Vendors Red Hat, Debian, and Ubuntu

Linux is an open-source operating system used by many units across Stanford. There are a large variety of "flavors" of Linux; IT Services generally works with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Debian, and Ubuntu. IT Services provides local mirrors of these versions of Linux for local Stanford users.

  • Debian Linux 6 (squeeze) (i386 and x86_64)
  • Debian Linux unstable (sid) (i386 and x86_64)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (i386 and x86_64)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (i386 and x86_64)
  • Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS (Trusty) (32-bit and 64-bit)

Debian and Ubuntu are free for public distribution.

Red Hat is available for Stanford faculty, staff and students, on Stanford-owned machines. SLAC*, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, and Stanford Hospital are excluded. (* SLAC has its own Linux contract)

License Year N/A
Ordering See info in Product Details below for obtaining and installing

Product Details

Debian and Ubuntu Linux

Debian and Ubuntu Linux are free for public distribution, and are mirrored locally at Stanford. These URLs not accessible through a web browser. Instead, point your '/etc/apt/sources.list' file at one of the following:

  • Debian Linux - <>
  • Debian Backports - <>
  • Debian Volatile - <>
  • Ubuntu - <>

For instance, on a Debian Lenny system, this '/etc/apt/sources.list' would read:

# The main Debian archive and source tree.
deb lenny main non-free contrib
deb-src lenny main non-free contrib

Debian and Ubuntu i386 and x86_64 (amd64) releases are mirrored; for Ubuntu, generally only the latest LTS (long-term support release) plus the current and previous releases.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)

IT Services at Stanford University has a campus-wide agreement with Red Hat to provide Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and updates to faculty, staff and students with a current Sunet ID. Employees of SLAC, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, or Stanford Hospital are not eligible due to license restrictions.

Conditions for use of RHEL

This is an outline of the "conditions of use" for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) provided by IT Services. Please refer to Stanford University's Administrative Guide (chapter 6, section 2) for overall university computing policy.

The following rules define additional details, guidelines and restrictions.

  1. You may install RHEL, and activate and retrieve updates, only on Stanford owned or Stanford-affiliate owned hardware.

Obtaining and Installing RHEL

  1. Download ISO images for RHEL are available at Download only the ISO images for the release and update you wish to install.

    For example, if you want to install RHEL Server 7 x86_64, you can download the minimal netboot disk:

  2. Copy the downloaded ISO image onto some kind of media, and install from that.
  3. Activate the installation for updates. Visit to generate an activation key and bootstrap script. Follow the instructions provided on that page to download the '' script onto your RHEL system. Once you have the script, read it, then run the following as root:
    $ su -
    # sh
  4. It is highly recommended that you sign up for the 'yum-server-users' mailing list to stay informed about service changes, maintenance, and outages. Subscribe at

Product Support

Debian and Ubuntu Linux

Online support may be found through the open source communities, or buying a support contract from a designated professional support service

Free Support:

Paid Support:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)

Support for RHEL installation and existing servers is not included in the campus-wide Red Hat agreement. Individuals and departments may purchase support directly from Red Hat if desired.

On campus, online Stanford communities that offer support in a discussion format:

And Mailman list:


Off campus, some limited free support may be obtained through the CentOS online community.

Additional Stanford-specific Software Packages

IT Services staff develop a variety of Stanford-specific software packages for Linux systems. These include:

  • filter-syslog
  • remctl
  • wallet-client

Additionally, ports of other commonly-used Stanford tools - 'openafs', 'shibboleth', etc - may be available.

Debian and Ubuntu Linux

  1. Add the following to the file '/etc/apt/sources.list':
    deb stable main
  2. Add the following to '/etc/apt/preferences':
    Package: *
    Pin: release o=Stanford
    Pin-Priority: 200
  3. Run 'aptitude update' as root.

You should now be able to install Stanford provided packages by running (e.g.) 'aptitude install wallet-client'.

Note that this repository is not signed, so you may need to accept warnings about installing unsigned packages.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

  1. Create a new file named 'etc/yum.repos.d/stanford.repo', with the contents:
    # Name: Stanford RPMs for EL
    # URL:
    name = Stanford RPMs for EL$releasever $basearch
    baseurl =$basearch/RPMS.updates
    enabled = 1
    gpgkey =
    gpgcheck = 1
    name = Stanford RPMs for EL$releasever noarch
    baseurl =
    enabled = 1
    gpgkey =
    gpgcheck = 1
  2. Install the public key for the repository:
    rpm --import

You should now be able to install Stanford provided packages by running (e.g.) 'yum install wallet-client'. Note that this will only work from on-campus IP addresses.

Note that on CentOS you will have to replace $releasever in the yum repo config to something like 5Server or 6Server as that variable is expanded differently on that platform than on RHEL.

Last modified February 3, 2015