IT Services for students


The PC laboratories in Polly Vacher provided by the Department of Computer Science are

  • Room G56 – 74 PCs with Windows 10 and Linux operating systems in dual boot. The room provides two break-out areas with PCs to support student learning in a less formal environment which can be used as meeting areas for group work.
  • Room G45 – 36 PCs with modern specifications, i.e. Core i5, 16G-RAM, and 500G-SSD
  • Final year project students room G43 – 8 PCs with Windows 10 and Linux operating systems. Discussion/meeting areas are available in the lab.
  • MSc Student Study room G44 – 3 PCs with Windows 10 and Linux operating systems. It is mainly used by MSc students. Discussion/meeting areas are available in the lab.

The labs provide various printing facilities. 

For projects, we provide further IT resources:

  • Multimedia CAVE
  • Virtual reality facility including special hardware such as
    • Oculus Rift
    • EMOTIV Insight EEG device (donation by an alumnus)
  • The specialist wireless provision also allows additional local networking to support specific activities, for example, connectivity to mobile robots.

We are generally flexible and support students individually providing hardware and software depending on the needs of projects.

Services provided to students of the Department

The Department of Computer Science offers additional services and software to the students of computer science.

  • We offer the CSGitlab for hosting Git Projects; you can create and manage your own projects and share it with your peers.
  • The PCs in G56 can be accessed remotely allowing everyone to enjoy the computers with the high spec. This can be done using the Remote PC software or see the video.
  • To access system images similar to our lab configurations from remote, you may use:
  • Testing WiFi (UOR-SSE) to connect robots and other devices. The network is only available in Polly Vacher. Speak to Nick Gurr for access (he is located in the room embedded in G56).
  • A virtual machine containing most of the software for computer science students.  See the documentation in the Google Doc here.
  • Virtual machines for hosting final year projects. A VM in Linux or Windows is provided and can be modified. It is available to the internal UoR network only. Speak to Nick Gurr for access (he is located in the room embedded in G56).
  • External web hosting via cPanel useful for final year projects. At the moment, there is no automatic signup procedure, please email to Anthony.
  • There is additional storage capacity on the laboratory machines
    • 400 MB Windows home directory (can be increased on request).
    • 10 GB central data storage available via Windows
    • 1 0GB Unix home directory

Access to Software

The department manages a software catalog of the software we use for teaching and explicitly supports the laboratory machines. Besides this, it allows access to various software free of charge:

  • Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teaching providing access to various MS products for free, for example:
    • Windows 10
    • Windows Server
    • Visual Studio
  • Office 365 software suite from Microsoft
    • Provides Word, PowerPoint, etc. in the Browser
    • Additionally, calendar and Mail via Outlook on the web
    • To use, login to install on a windows machine also login on Office365. On the landing page where all apps are listed, you can click “download office 365” and then install it on your machine

Services provided by the university

The central IT of the university provides services to all students:

  • Access to an additional number of PC labs providing 24/7 access
    • PCs include a base configuration of Windows 10 Enterprise with Office 2016, Anti-Virus and Printing
  • Wireless access via Eduroam
  • 5 TB OneDrive storage space as part of Office 365
  • The Reading Academic Computing Cluster (RACC) is a Linux cluster consisting of 500 cores which provide resources for interactive research computing and batch jobs submissions.

Access to Software

The university IT manages a variety of software generally using an AppStore called Apps Anywhere which can be accessed from the university-internal network. The universities software store provides some additional commercial software for free and often with price reductions


It is important that you report IT issues of the lab PCs as soon as possible via the IT self service portal which you can use to report issues, faults, ask questions and also give feedback. There is some support for software and installation via the self-service portal. IT manages a general IT knowledge base.