Some random information to use a linux machine at HEIA-FR

For all the Lunix fans
About what
  • Linux
  • Ubuntu
  • GPU
  • Python
  • Tensorflow

We all have been struggling to use a Linux machine at HEIA-FR. A reason for that is that there is no official support for Linux machines… So this page is for you to gain some time if you have questions about different Linux related configurations.

  • Which Linux distro to use?
    Well, you all have your preferences indeed. But we really recommend you to opt for a well-known LTS (Long Term support) distribution of Linux. A favorite at iCoSys is Ubuntu 20.04. Why such a recommendation? Well, first LTS Ubuntu will get you the most support everywhere (web, team). Second, if you use one of our nice GPU Nvidia powered workstation, this distro will probably get you the less troubles regarding drivers and libraries.
  • VPN connection to HEIA-FR
    Yes, there is no information on our SI intranet about how to connect your Linux machine on the VPN. Here are some. We recommend to use Cisco Anyconnect. You may download version 4.10.03 here; maybe more recent versions are available elsewhere. Extract the archive with tar xvf anyconnect-linux64-4.10.03104-predeploy-k9.tar.gz, then cd to the vpn sub dir of the folder, then sudo sh It is now installed and when launching the Cisco Anyconnect, indicate the following address:
  • Tensorflow
    The easiest usage of Tensorflow is probably through a Docker image provided by Google. The best advices on installation can be found on the gpu install page of Tensorflow. The only installation you need to perform when using a Docker image is for the NVIDIA drivers. You may install these drivers from the official NVIDIA driver page. You may then install docker and the NVIDIA docker support. Once all this is installed, test your installation launching a Jupyter gpu image with docker run --gpus all -it -p 8888:8888 -v $PWD:/tf/notebooks tensorflow/tensorflow:latest-gpu-jupyter.
  • Web – Chrome
    The Chrome version on Linux seems rock solid. To be downloaded from the Google Chrome web page.
    Messaging – Telegram
    At iCoSys we use a lot Telegram and good news, the Telegram-desktop version for Linux works well. On Ubuntu, it is easy to install it from the Ubuntu Software application.
    Messaging – WhatsApp
    It seems there is no official port to Linux of Whatsapp, but there are many “compatible” clients. The WhatsApp for Linux client from seems a good option.
    Music – Spotify
    Works like a charm. Can be installed from the Ubuntu Software application.
  • Using Switchdrive
    There is no integrated client for Linux but as SwitchDrive is based on OwnCloud, you may simply install the OwnCloud client. To do so follow the instructions here. Then launch the ownCloud desktop client and enter the service address: Then a web page will open for your authentication and you may enter your edu-ID login. Then you can chose what to sync.
  • All languages – Visual Studio Code
    The de facto swiss-army knife code editor done by Microsoft, with a handful of extensions to transform this editor into fully fledged IDE in different languages. Easilly installable from Ubuntu Software tools (search for ‘code studio’ in the search tool).
  • Python – Pycharm
    Pycharm is probably the best IDE when you program in Python. Developped by the company Jetbrains also famous for other IDE (Intellij for Java). Easilly installable from Ubuntu Software tools, either in the Community or Professional version.