Incoming freshmen: Getting started with IT at MIT
June 26, 2018
Phil Johnson
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Laptop and a copy of The Tech in front of a window at Hayden Library overlooking the Charles River
Photo: Phil Johnson

Being an incoming MIT freshman can be daunting. You’re probably getting bombarded with checklists of what to do and buy, from creating your Kerberos account to setting up your dorm room. Don’t worry, Information Systems & Technology (IS&T) is here to guide you through everything you’ll need to know about IT at MIT.

Hardware recommendations

Before arriving at MIT, make sure you have a laptop or desktop computer that meets the demands of Institute coursework. IS&T provides recommended configurations for Apple, Dell, and Lenovo computers and discounts are available through each vendor’s online education store.

Operating systems

Once you’ve confirmed that your hardware meets the minimum requirements, it’s time to check out your operating system (OS). For Macs, IS&T recommends macOS Sierra (10.12) or above, while Windows users should have Windows 7 or later installed. IS&T also provides the Red Hat Enterprise distribution of Linux.

All of these operating systems (and much more) are available to MIT students through IS&T’s software grid.

Loaner laptops

If you don’t have a computer that meets the minimum requirements outlined above, IS&T offers a limited number of loaner laptops to students for academic use. If you need a loaner laptop, request it as soon as possible, as the demand for them is high.

Mobile devices

There is no required mobile OS per se for phones or tablets; IS&T supports the Android, iOS, and Windows 10 mobile platforms. You may also want to browse our discounts on cellphone plans.

Additional resources

For answers to other questions about computing at MIT, check out these resources before you arrive on campus:

  • IS&T’s website: A goldmine of information regarding everything IT at MIT. It even has a Students page to help you get started. There you can find a checklist of things to do as a new student, like signing up for Kerberos, Duo, and more.
  • Knowledge Base: MIT’s searchable database of IT information. You’ll find how-tos and FAQs on almost any IT topic, like how to install a certificate or learn about Kerberos.
  • MIT Mobile appA handy resource offering the latest MIT news, by-the-minute shuttle schedules, dining options, and more. Download it to your phone, and poke around …it’s free!

Finally, be sure to follow IS&T on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and/or Snapchat (username: mit_ist) to get important news and updates about IT at MIT.

Watch for more informational blog posts for incoming freshman and contact IS&T if you have any IT questions or concerns.