Software Requirements

Software Requirements

Standard Software

Georgia Tech supports a standard software suite for both Windows and macOS 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 Wreck Techs will actively support the standard software. Most standard software will additionally be available for student use in the general-purpose computing clusters maintained by OIT.

Students should install software packages at the time they are needed for use in their courses; many packages are available for free at software.oit.gatech.edu, or through vendors offering academic discounts, such as OnTheHub/E-Academy (gatech.e-academy.com). Be aware that downloading and installing additional software can substantially affect the performance of your computer. Removal of software from expired trials is encouraged to maximize the operating speed of your system.

Since the Technology Support Center and Wreck Tech cannot support all software, if students choose to use any non-standard software, they may be solely responsible for maintaining it.

Students should have available a record of the license keys for all their purchased software so that these may be re-installed in the event of a serious problem or system reinstall.

The standard software suite for Windows and macOS is as follows:

Windows Systems


Operating System:

Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Note: Microsoft Windows 8.1 is still supported at this time

Note: Included with new computer purchase.

Email:

Office 365 Exchange (can be used with any web browser)

Note: Accessible online at mail.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 provides unlimited backup and storage for a fee (visit this link for more details). OneDrive cloud storage is another (free) option that can be accessed through office365.gatech.edu.

Here is a document that provides some good advice on Data Backup.

Security:

The Technology Support Center and Wreck Techs recommends and supports various products to protect against viruses or malware:

www.oit.gatech.edu/service/desktop-laptop-security/anti-virus-software

Georgia Tech expects each machine to have security software installed, whether it’s a part of the Operating System or a 3rd party software. For more information about this requirement, please:

Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation Software:

Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus or OpenOffice

Georgia Tech students can download Office 365 ProPlus for free by following these instructions.

LibreOffice and OpenOffice are free Open Source office suite alternatives.

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

macOS Systems


Operating System:

Apple macOS Sierra 10.12

Note: 10.10 Yosemite and 10.11 El Capitan are still acceptable at this time.

Note: Included with new computer purchase.

Email:

Office 365 Exchange (can be used with any web browser)

Note: Accessible online at mail.gatech.edu no purchase or installation required. Students’ GT email address is forwarded to the email address you provided when you applied by default. To set up an Office 365 mailbox, follow these instructions.

Data Backup:

Apple Time Machine

Note: Included with macOS. Requires external hard drive.

Optional: Crashplan provides unlimited backup and storage for a fee (visit this link for more details). OneDrive cloud storage is another option that can be accessed through office365.gatech.edu.

Security:

The Technology Support Center and Wreck Techs recommends and supports various products to protect against viruses or malware:

www.oit.gatech.edu/service/desktop-laptop-security/anti-virus-software

Georgia Tech expects each machine to have security software installed, whether it’s a part of the Operating System or a 3rd party software. For more information about this requirement, please:

Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation Software:

Microsoft Office 365 Pro Plus, OpenOffice, or iWork Suite (free download for Macs)

Georgia Tech students can download Office 365 ProPlus for free by following these instructions.

LibreOffice and OpenOffice are free Open Source office suite alternatives.

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 macOS systems can install virtualization software (Parallels Desktop (paid) or VMware Fusion (free)) and a fully licensed copy of Microsoft Windows 8.1 (or newer) in order to run Windows applications. Keep in mind that virtual machines take away from your total available RAM; this is why we recommend a minimum of 8GB.

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.

Computer Support


Georgia Tech provides the following support facilities and services:

  • Printing (limited)
  • Internet access
  • Email
  • Centralized network storage (limited) and basic web-hosting
  • Computer labs for short-term access to computers running the standard software
  • Departmental clusters         or      labs       with       major-specific            software          (e.g.,         mathematical manipulation and calculation, CAD, compilers, and databases)
  • Special classrooms and labs for computer-enhanced presentations

Technology Support Center (support@oit.gatech.edu)

Services provided by the OIT-Technology Support Center include but are not limited to: GTAccount, email and Wireless Network support. The OIT-Technology Support Center is also available to students to offer consultation about computer hardware configurations. The Center is in Room 215 of the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons, and is available for walk-in support and at 404-894-7173. User Assistants are also available in the Library computer clusters. The Technology Support Center also offers How-to Clinics each semester. See tsc.oit.gatech.edu for dates and times, as well as a complete listing of services and hours of operation.

Wreck Techs

Wreck Techs provides full support to residents of the on-campus residence halls. Wreck Techs utilizes student technicians as Residential Technology Advisors (RTAs) who are available to provide telephone, online chat, in-office, and on-site technical support to residents. RTAs are available to assist students with such tasks as connecting to the GT wired or wireless network, installing anti-virus software, and assisting with connecting gaming/personal entertainment devices to the Georgia Tech network.

Wreck Techs is the only service on campus that provides After Hours Support (see wrecktechs.gatech.edu for hours of operation) and in-room repairs. Students may leave their laptops in the Wreck Techs office in order to obtain technical assistance with diagnostic checks, virus and malware removal, and adding software. All residence hall wireless access points and wired network connections are maintained, supported, and repaired by Wreck Techs. Wreck Techs will also conduct in-room assistance without appointments during Fall Move-in week.

Third Party Support

 All computer repair and upgrade services for Apple, Dell, Lenovo, and HP are referred to outside Support Vendor Repair. Please note that there is no affiliation whatsoever to OIT with these Service locations and users can choose to seek computer repair from anywhere else not referred. Hardware repairs on all brands of computers, regardless of where they were purchased or current warranty status, can be facilitated at referred location.

Computer Security


All members of the Georgia Tech community play a role in protecting the Institute’s information assets and systems. To help facilitate this effort, we ask that you do the following:

  • Read the Georgia Tech Acceptable Use Policy.
  • Review the GT Information Security online tutorial located at gatech.edu/
  • Create strong passwords and do not share them with anyone for any A strong password has at least eleven characters and uses a combination of numbers, upper and lower case letters, and special symbols (!@#$%^&*-+). Do not use the same password for multiple purposes or websites. Password management tools (e.g. LastPass lastpass.com) are highly recommended, and can help with the development of strong passwords.
  • Register your devices with the GT Police at gatech.edu/services/property/index.php
  • GT Police also offers free laptop engraving of your Georgia Tech ID number on your laptop. Email crimetips@police.gatech.edu to request an appointment.
  • Keep software applications, operating systems, and security patches current by visiting vendor websites Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh users can set their computers to download Operating System patches automatically:

Windows Users: Enable Windows Update –

Start -> Windows Settings -> Update Security -> Windows Update

Mac Users: Enable Software Update –

System Preferences -> Software Update -> Check for updates (weekly)

  • Perform regular backups and store them in a secure
  • Verify that websites are secure prior to entering personal information by looking to see that your web browser is pointed to an https rather than an http address.
  • Log off or lock your session when away from your
  • Prevent theft of your computer: use a cable lock to secure your laptop to a table or desk if you need to step
  • Do not use your computer to download, copy, store, or redistribute copyrighted materials for which you do not have the legal right to do
  • Georgia Tech considers the security and privacy of student and employee information to be of utmost importance. To keep our information safe, the Institute requires that all faculty, staff and student workers use two-factor authentication when accessing campus services and systems to strengthen the protection of student and employee data and maintain compliance with University System Information Security policy. To pre-enroll in two-factor authentication before coming to campus, follow the information located in the document titled “Pre-Checklist for Enrolling in Two-factor Authentication Using Duo.” Once you’ve downloaded the Duo app, you will need to complete your enrollment at FASET or by going to the Technology Support Center located in Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons, Room 214.