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Obtaining an Athena Workstation

Obtaining an Athena Workstation consists of these three primary steps:

  1. Obtain the hardware
  2. Select a metapackage
  3. Install the software

1. Obtain the hardware

IS&T limits its full support to the current recommended desktop configurations. Support for other configurations is available on a best-effort basis. Some hardware configurations may be incompatible with Athena. For more information, see:  Q: What are the hardware requirements for installing Debathena?

Hardware support is limited to assistance with configuration and software installation issues. Physical set-up and delivery of the hardware is the customer's responsibility. We provide warranty repair service for our recommended desktop configurations through the Help Desk.

 2. Select a metapackage

Athena is available in different configurations called "metapackages". These metapackages provide different degrees of customization and come with varying levels of support. Currently, IS&T only offers full support for the following metapackages:

debathena-workstation

  • Suitable for a desktop Athena workstation.
  • Includes access to all Athena software
  • Provides automatic security updates and bugfixes for the life of the operating system (approximately 18 months)
  • You are responsible for upgrading the operating system and for initial workstation configuration
  • Local file storage and local software installation is permitted
  • Support for peripheral devices or non-standard hardware offered on a best-effort basis
  • Remote access to the workstation is supported

debathena-cluster

  • Suitable for an unattended public workstation
  • Identical to the configuration of the public Athena clusters
  • Includes access to all Athena software and provides automatic security updates and bugfixes as well as automatic operating system upgrades
  • Local file storage and local software installation is not possible, as the hard drive may be reformatted during the upgrade process
  • A wired Ethernet connection with a static IP address is required
  • No support for peripheral devices or non-standard hardware
  • Customization of the workstation is not possible
  • Remote access to the workstation is not supported

For more information on these and additional metapackages, see:  Q: Which Debathena metapackage should I install?

3. Install the software

If the workstation in question is already running a current release of Ubuntu or Debian Linux, you should use the Debathena installation script. For instructions and to obtain the script, see Installing Debathena.

If you do not already have a current release of Ubuntu or Debian Linux, we recommend you use our PXE network-based installer. For more instructions, see Installing Debathena via PXE.