Software Requirements

The following software applications are recommended for incoming students in Summer & Fall 2016, and Spring 2017.

Some of these applications are downloadable from the web or a GT server at no cost to students. See http://software.oit.gatech.edu for further details on this software. Please see the complete Student Computer Ownership Guide for full details on hardware, software and other requirements.

Most new notebooks will include a pre-installed operating system. When buying a notebook, select an operating system meeting the minimum requirements given on this page.

Georgia Tech supports a standard software suite for both Windows and Mac OS X systems. Standard software minimizes software incompatibilities between students and faculty, helps meet educational goals, improves the effectiveness and timeliness of software support, and helps minimize support costs. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) and ResNet will actively support the standard software. Most titles will additionally be available for student use in the general-purpose computing clusters maintained by OIT (http://librarycommons.gatech.edu).   

Students should buy software packages at the time they are needed for use in their courses; many packages are available for free at http://software.oit.gatech.edu. Students should avoid downloading software that is not needed, as this can substantially affect the performance of your computer.  Removal of software from expired trials is also encouraged to maximize the operating speed of your system.

 

The standard software suite for both Mac OSX and Windows is as follows:

Windows Systems

Operating System:
Microsoft Windows 8.1 (64-bit) or newer version.
Note:  Included with new computer purchase.

Email:
My GaTech (can be used with any web browser)
Note:  Accessible online at my.gatech.edu, no purchase or installation required.

Data Backup:
Windows Backup
Note:  Included as part of Windows 7 and newer versions. Requires external hard drive.
Optional: crashplan.com/gtstudent unlimited backup and storage for a fee.
Here is a document that provides some great advice on Data Backup:
www.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/publications/data_backup_options.pdf

Security:
The Technology Support Center and WreckTech recommends and supports Microsoft Security Essentials  and recommends their use to protect against viruses or malware. www.oit.gatech.edu/service/desktop-laptop-security/anti-virus-software

Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation Software:
Microsoft Office 365 Pro Plus or OpenOffice
Georgia Tech students can download Office 365 Pro Plus for free at office365.gatech.edu
(For additional information see: faq.oit.gatech.edu/content/im-student-how-can-i-get-access-microsoft-office-365-pro-plus-free)
OpenOffice can be freely downloaded at www.openoffice.org

Online Storage:
As part of the Office 365 Pro Plus package, students will have access to OneDrive for file syncing and storage.
(See FAQ Q23 for additional information.)

 

Mac OSX Systems

Operating System:
Apple Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11 or newer version (Note: 10.10 Yosemite is still acceptable at this time.)
Note:  Included with new computer purchase.

Email:
My GaTech (can be used with any web browser)   
Note:  Accessible online at my.gatech.edu, no purchase or installation required.

Data Backup:
Apple Time Machine       
Note:  Included with Mac OS X.  Requires external hard drive.
Optional: crashplan.com/gtstudent, unlimited back up and storage for a fee.

Security:
The Technology Support Center and ResNet supports Sophos and Apple Xprotect  and recommends their use to protect against viruses or malware.
www.oit.gatech.edu/service/desktop-laptop-security/anti-virus-software

Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation Software:
Microsoft Office 365 Pro Plus, OpenOffice, or iWork Suite
Georgia Tech students can download Office 365 Pro Plus for free at office365.gatech.edu
OpenOffice can be freely downloaded at www.openoffice.org.

Windows Compatibility:
Windows compatibility software is not required campus-wide. However, some classes may require the use of specific, Windows-only applications. Students in these classes choosing to use Mac OS X systems can install virtualization software (Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion (paid) or Virtual Box (free)) and a fully licensed copy of Microsoft Windows 8 (or newer) in order to run Windows applications; or use Apple’s Boot Camp solution to run Windows at native speed. Keep in mind that virtual machines take away from your total available RAM; this is why we recommend a minimum of 8GB.

Note: Apple will be dropping support for Windows 7 on Boot Camp.

 

Linux Operating Systems:

OIT recommends that students who need to use Linux for class assignments carefully consider which distribution of Linux they will install. For the best experience possible, OIT recommends students stay with Ubuntu-based Linux distributions such as one of the following:

  • Ubuntu
  • Linux Mint
  • Elementary OS

These distributions offer the most familiar user interface and are relatively easy to interact with.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is highly recommended that any Linux distribution be used as a Virtual Machine and not as a multi-boot or Boot Camp environment, since modifying the local partition tables may lead to unstable computer systems and have a high potential for data loss.

Please know that OIT and the Technology Support Center provide “limited/best effort” support for Linux distributions at this time. Some support documents have been created to support Linux users and are available at faq.oit.gatech.edu or for wireless configuration at lawn.gatech.edu.

The standard software suite indicates software versions known at the time of this printing.  At the time of purchase, students should acquire the latest versions for the computer they will be using.  If you purchase software from the Technology Store, then you will always receive the current version.  The Technology Store can be accessed online (http://techstuff.gatech.edu) and offers exclusive discount pricing for the Georgia Tech community on software, hardware, and accessories.  Additional purchasing options include e-academy / on-the-hub (http://www.onthehub.com/) – an online vendor offering academic discounts for essential and curriculum-based software – or other commercial sources.

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At the time of purchase, students should acquire the latest versions for the computer they will be using.  If you purchase software from the Technology Store @ Georgia Tech (Barnes & Noble @ Georgia Tech), then you will always receive the current version.  The Technology Store @ Georgia Tech (Barnes & Noble @ Georgia Tech) online store, at http://techstuff.gatech.edu offers exclusive discount pricing for the Georgia Tech community on software, hardware and accessories.  Additional purchasing options include e-academy (http://www.onthehub.com/) – an online vendor offering academic discounts for essential and curriculum-based software - or other commercial sources.