All FAQs

Why does Firefox/Thunderbird not start ("is already runninng)?

In case Mozilla Firefox or Mozilla Thunderbird are not starting and printing the error message "... is already running", please check in the following directories:

  • for Firefox : C:\Users\NAME\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\"CrypticDirectory"\"
  • for Thunderbird: C:\Users\NAME\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Thunderbird\Profiles\"CrypticDirectory"\

that there is no file named parent.lock -- in case one of these files exists, the above cited error message appears, and Firefox/Thunderbird won't start.


"CrypticDirectory" is something like l32jkqlk31.default or 34juhjks7.default.

Category: Windows

My apple computer has a hardware problem

If the name of the computer is apple34 or higher please do the following:

* Call us (040-41173-361) and ask for the delivery note number of the computer
* Call 01805 24 19 31 (Festnetzpreis 14 Cent pro Minute, höchstens 42 Cent pro Minute aus Mobilfunknetzen) and tell them the serial number and the delivery note number of your computer
* The call center will ask for your contact details (mail address and phone number) and write you a mail with instructions
* The instructions will be to print a packaging label attached to the received mail and write the incident number which they gave you on the phone on that label
* Package the computer savely and add an error description inside the package. Label it with the package label and send it via the office (Geschaeftszimmer)

If you have any questions ask us: help-it@we dont want

For computers with a name lower than apple34 contact us via mail: help-it@we dont want

Category: Others

How do I get icons at taskbar/quicklaunch on KDE (Squeeze/Wheezy)?

First activate the Quicklauncher as follows:

At the bottom right corner, click on "panel tool box" -> Add Widget
At Tab "Application Launcher" you can choose "Quicklaunch" drag and drop this Icon on the Taskbar, now you've got a new section on the Taskbar.

Now you can drag and drop applicationitems from your startmenu to the new section at the taskbar.

CIS contributed software can be found within: CIS-Software

Category: Unix

Windows password policy

  • Password minimum length: 8 signs
  • Not contain the user's account name or parts of the user's full name that exceed two consecutive characters
  • Contain characters from three of the following four categories:

    • English uppercase characters (A through Z)
    • English lowercase characters (a through z)
    • Base 10 digits (0 through 9)
    • non-alphabetic characters (for example, !, $, #, %)

  • Password History: 24 passwords
Category: Windows

How can I print with Windows 7 (CUPS via Samba)

Everyone who has a valid account for the ZMAW domain can install the printers he/she wants to use by him-/herself on any supported Windows system connected to the ZMAW network.

  1. Click on start
  2. Type "\\" into the search box 
  3. Press "Enter"

Now you see a lot of printers, just double click those you want to use.

Of course you can change the default settings according to your needs (single/double sided, etc.)  
If you don't have a valid ZMAW account, but you need one for printing, please contact CIS.

Category: Printer
Expert: Help-it

How do I restore files/access the backup in my home directory?

The backups of any file and directory in your HOME are stored in a hidden '.snapshot'-Folder.

You can access it by

cd <any directory in your home>/.snapshot/

There you find one directory for each snapshot, named by their dates.

Category: Unix
Expert: Help-it

module command unavailable on Sun Ray: “module: not found”

If you are not using the default tcsh shell, for example bash or csh, the command “module” may not work. First you have to use the default GNOME terminal:

Applications → Utilities → Terminal

If the command still not works, you have to ensure that your shell is executed as login shell. Change settings for the terminal window:

Edit → Current Profile → Title and Command → “Run command as a login shell” has to be checked




This will only work in GNOME default terminal.

Category: Unix
Expert: Help-it

How to establish SSH Tunnels with Putty?

You can get Putty at Opens external link in new window

Basic Setup

Start Putty

After typing in the Servername you can save the connection as seen in the pictures below:

Click the save button then you will get this view:

With this configuration you get a basic ssh connection to the given server i.e. but without tunneling any port.

Configure tunnels

browse to the "SSH" section and then to "Tunnels" in the putty window:

i.e. you want to tunnel the port 1235 from the host to a local port 1234. Fill in the information and click add.

Saving Configuration

to save the config and open the connection proceed like suggested in 


After clicking open you will get a commandline interface which promts for your credentials.

As long as this Window is not closed the SSH tunnel stays opened.



Here are some frequently asked configurations for portforwarding and tunneling

Portforwarding for License server:

(i.e Matlab)


Portforwarding for Terminalserver (WTS2 is down):

Category: SSH, Windows
Expert: Help-it

I lost my Firefox History and Bookmarks, how can I get them back?

Please close firefox (to check if it is still running use the command "ps -C firefox") and execute the following lines in your terminal:

rm $HOME/.mozilla/firefox/*.default/.parentlock;
rm $HOME/.mozilla/firefox/*.default/places.sqlite
rm $HOME/.mozilla/firefox/*.default/places.sqlite-journal

If this does not help, you could try to export your bookmarks. Just go to Bookmarks->Organize_Bookmarks->Import_And_Backup and backup the bookmarks. Close your browser and import the backuped file to restore your bookmarks (same way as above). Please read the information on this page:

If all this does not solve the problem we could get your bookmarks from the backup.

Category: Others

How to connect to Windows Terminal Server


MPI-M users should watch under
Access to WTS3 is only allowed for University users.

Connection from outside the office network? Opens external link in new windowRead the FAQ How to establish SSH Tunnels with Putty



To connect to the Terminalservers from Linux machines, please use the rdp script from /client/bin.

The call is: rdp



Your Unix Home directory will be mounted automatically on login and will be available as drive H:.


Default Parameters

The default display resolution is 1024X768. You can change the resolution with the -g Option, e.g.: rdp -g 1280x1024, something like 1280x944 should let the host systems taskbar viewable.

You can select another user with the -n Option, e.g.: rdp -n m228499




Note, that connecting local drives via the -r:disk option is buggy and therefore NOT recommended (neither from internal, nor from external machines).




To connect to terminalserver from Windows 7 machines, you should use "Remote Desktop Connection" from Start -> Programs -> Accessories. For login procedure, you have to give "ZMAW\<unix-login>" (for example "ZMAW\m228499") as the username.

From internal machines, just connect to Using a terminalserver from a Windows machine makes only limited sense (but could be useful to use Adobe Acrobat Professional without a local copy installed).

However, most scenarios about accessing wts3 from a windows-client probably cover using restricted ressources like the library from outside the ZMAW-Network.

Category: Windows, Unix

SVN from outside ZMAW

As allow requests only from special IP-address-ranges for most repositories, ssh tunneling is required to get a connection when using svn from home.

The following steps are required under Windows:

  1. open the SSH client (already preinstalled by CIS on windows notebooks)
  2. if not already existing, generate a profile for the login to the ZMAW network (
  3. In the configuration of this profile, edit properties for tunneling

    • ... Source Port: 8080
    • ... Destination
    • ... Local, Auto

  4. For more information read FAQ "How to establish SSH Tunnels with Putty?"

That's it basically. Open a SSH connection to the ZMAW network as usual. Then you are able to access the RemoteSensing repository via localhost/svn/RemoteSensing/. Just type your user name and password and you are there! It is recommended to use an SVN client under windows. Probably the best one is currently Tortoise. You can enter the above mentioned URL alsothere and will get access to the repository.

For Linux users,  try "ssh -L <userid>" (ZMAW) to access repositories at

Checkout with "svn checkout localhost/path_to_repository". Not that you'll get an invalid certificate warning when tunneling, as the certificate used for the SSL encryption is valid only for the real hostnames, but not for "localhost".

Category: SSH, Windows, Unix

How can I change my password

To change your password means to change your password for the whole network including Unix/Linux and Windows systems.


Your mail password is not affected immediately, it will be set to the same value the night after your password change.



If you have a workstation in your office you can use this for the password change, or you can use one of the login servers or for invoking the passwd command (this doesn't work at DKRZ server!):


Example (Debian Linux):> passwd
Enter login(LDAP) password:
Retype new password:
LDAP password information changed for user
passwd: password updated successfully



Use Putty to connect to or and log in with your credentials, then follow the "Linux" instructions.


Windows & Linux

To change your password you could also use the DKRZ User Portal. Open luv<dot>dkrz<dot>de in your favorite browser. Please replace <dot> with a real dot. For security reason we do not provide a link to the portal.


A SECURE PASSWORD should have at least 8 characters, one capital, one small letter, at least one number and one special character. It is of benefit to us all to set a secure password.

Category: Unix

How can I change my default shell

1. Open luv<dot>dkrz<dot>de in your favorite browser. Please replace <dot> with a real dot. For security reason we do not provide a link to the portal.

2. Click on 'User' and then on 'change login shell in LDAP'

3. Choose your new login shell from the drop down menu

4. Enter your password and click 'submit'

5. Sign out on the top right corner

Category: Unix

SunRay session frozen or broken?

If you are not able to logout please hit ctrl-alt- and two times Backspace.

This will reset your session on the server.

If this has no affect, note the mac-address and error code and write us an email at

Category: Unix
Expert: Help-it

Are there DIN A3, DIN A0 and transparencies printers?

Yes there are!

A0 printers are: d0028-c0, z0322-c0PR

A3 printers are: d0030-c3

In any case please contact: Opens window for sending emailhelp-it (tel: 41173-361 or 42838-6661) if you want to send a plot to d0028-c0 first.

z0322-c0PR is managed by the PR & Graphics team of MPI-M, Bettina Diallo and Norbert Noreiks - please contact them for printing to z0322-c0.

Category: Printer
Expert: Help-it

How can I use USB-Sticks on SunRays?

USB-Sticks on SunRays

After plugin the usb-stick it should be detected automatically and the system will mount it.

If you don`t see any window with the content of the usb-stick, check if the stick is mounted with the "utdiskadm -l" command and cd to the Mount Path. If the stick is not compatible with the SunRay it is not listed.


darr:~$ utdiskadm -l
Device          Partition       Mount Path
------          ---------       ----------
disk7           disk7
disk7           disk7p1         /tmp/SUNWut/mnt/<accountname>/noname

Category: Unix
Expert: Help-it

How can I print with Mac OS X

Open the Print & Fax utility in System Preferences.

Add a new printer.

Choose Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) and enter


Queue: printers/z0121-m1 (i.e. - enter the printer you need)

Name: z0121-m1 (i.e.)

Location: z0121 (i.e.)

Print Using: Select Printer Software...
Now you have to search for the printer you wish to install. In case it is not shown in the list please search for the appropriate driver on the Apple Support Page.


Note: In case any windows appear asking you to give specific options for the chosen printer leave the default settings.

Category: Printer

How to copy files to an office pc from outside the institute

For Linux:

a) From outside the ZMAW you can directly reach login1 and via ssh or scp, only. Copy the files to your home on login1 or login2, then you find your files in your home on your office pc.

Example: scp "your_data" "your_usernumber""a_directory_inside_your_home"

b) To copy files to /scratch on your office pc, you need to set up a ssh tunnel and then scp or sftp to your office pc.

ssh "your_usernumber"

after login the tunnel is active and you can transfer data using a new shell

sftp -oPort=4321 "your_usernumber"@localhost
scp -P 4321 "your_usernumber"@localhost:my_file



For Windows:

1) Create a new tunnel with Putty. Read the FAQ "How to establish SSH Tunnels with Putty?"

2) In the configuration of this profile, edit properties for tunneling

  • ... Source Port: 22
  • ... Destination Host:<machinename>.<network> (i.e.
  • ... Local, Auto

3) Press "open" and log in with your credentials

4) Start WinSCP and add new connection information:

  • Protocol: scp
  • Host: localhost
  • Port: 22


5) Connect and log in again



Category: SSH
Expert: Help-it

Why does Firefox/Thunderbird not start ("is already running")?

In case Mozilla Firefox or Mozilla Thunderbird are not starting and printing the error message "... is already running", please check in the following directories:

  • for Firefox: $HOME/.mozilla/firefox/"CrypticDirectory"/
  • for Thunderbird: $HOME/.thunderbird/"CrypticDirectory"/

that there are no files named lock and .parentlock -- in case one of these files exists, the above cited error message appears, and Firefox/Thunderbird won't start. Use ls -al for viewing and remove the files with rm.


"CrypticDirectory" is something like l32jkqlk31.default or 34juhjks7.default.

Category: Unix
Expert: Help-it

How can I use Software depending from the zmaw license server - like Matlab, IDL or Compilers - from home?

Within the ZMAW-network a lot of softwares licenses are hosted on and tools like matlab, idl or several compilers do work properly, if their corresponding environment variables are set correctly like

The license server is not available outside the ZMAW-network and external access is blocked from a firewall.

What you can do to be able to use software requesting a license on is to establish a tunnel through a secure shell connection.

For Linux

ssh-tunnel to licenseserver (using matlab as an example):

ssh -L -L <username>


matlab -c 1955@localhost &

Other applications and their corresponding ports are (changes are underlined!):

idl: ssh -L -L <username>

nag fortran (< v 5.0): ssh -L -L <username>

fujitsu fortran: ssh -L -L <username>

pgi fortran: ssh -L -L <username>

intel fortran: ssh -L -L <username>

mathematica: ssh -L <username>

For Windows

1) Start Putty and follow the instructions found in FAQ "How to establish SSH Tunnels with Putty?"

2) In the configuration of this profile, edit properties for tunneling

  • ... Source Port: 1955
  • ... Destination Host:
  • ... Local, Auto


Now you should have configured a tunnel to the ZMAW license-Server flexLM on Port


For using matlab you need an additional tunnel for the Matlab vendor demon:

  • ... Source Port: 1957
  • ... Destination Host:
  • ... Local, Auto

To tell matlab, it should search for a license server on the tunneled local port, you need to enable some startoption.

Rightclick the link you use to start matlab and choose "properties", go to "Shortcut" extend the field called "Target" as follows

"[YOUR_MACHINES_PATH_TO_MATLAB]" -c 1955@localhost.

Click "OK" to save.


Everytime you want to start matlab, you have to establish a ssh connection to a machine inside the ZMAW-Network - we suggest to use


After that you have done so, start matlab through the prepared Startuplink and you should be able to work.

This works in a similar matter for other tools

Category: SSH, Windows, Unix
Expert: Help-it


When connection to hosts using SSH you might get something similar to the following message, and the connection is refused:

Someone could be eavesdropping on you right now (man-in-the-middle attack)!
It is also possible that the RSA1 host key has just been changed.
The fingerprint for the RSA1 key sent by the remote host is
Please contact your system administrator.
Add correct host key in /pf/m/m123456/.ssh/known_hosts to get rid of this message.
Offending key in /pf/m/m123456/.ssh/known_hosts:321
RSA1 host key for xxf has changed and you have requested strict checking.


There are two possible reasons for this message. The first one is rather simple:

The machine was re-installed, and when doing so the host key changed. Use the following command to remove the old key:

ssh-keygen -R <hostname>


Another reason a different host key is displayed is an attack on our machines. So in case the computer has not been reinstalled, you should contact CIS (in case it is one of our machines) or the system administrator of the remote machine and inform her about the warning.

Category: SSH
Expert: Help-it

Putty and X-Win32

You are allowed to use X-Win32 and putty at home: ssh as everywhere in a non-commercial usage and X-Win32 via license of the MPG. At least when your computer is part of our net (136.172.*.*) and thus the license is applicable. (Without license key you can only use a demo version for two hours.)

In principle X-Win32 and ssh X11 tunneling is working from your pc at home. But the X protocol needs a relative high bandwidth.

  1. You are no longer able to use a simple X11 connection to login1 resp. login2 with X-Win32 configured by x-config. None of the underlying services (rexec, rsh and XDMCP) is available any longer.
  2. Start putty.
  3. Configure putty for tunneling to as follows: Opens external link in new windowHow to establish SSH Tunnels with Putty?
  4. Enable X11 forwarding in putty under Connection -> SSH -> X11. Select "Enable X11 forwarding"
  5. Connect to login1/login2 via ssh and type xterm at the prompt. If nothing happens have a look at the messages of X-Win32 (click right at the blue X directly beside the clock at the status bar of your windows system) and try it again.
  6. Putty and X-Win32 work together automatically: That means the X session is tunneled via ssh and thus encrypted. Only at your pc putty will send the data via the X protocol to the X port of your windows system. For X-Win32 it looks as if xterm is not running at the remote host but at ( is the internal IP address of every computer provided by TCP/IP).
Category: SSH, Windows

Why can't I log in to Linux?

Are you over diskquota? You have 15GB quota (a storage limit for your files) in your home-directory.

If you are over quota you will not be able to log in with X11 (graphic mode), like any application trying to store data in your home will not work. You can still log in in text mode (either locally or i.e. on and free some space.

To display your quota use the command:



On Linux machines you have the possibility to switch to a console in text mode by pressing "CTRL-Alt-F1", ..., "CTRL-Alt-F6". Log in locally and start cleaning up. When you are done switch back to the graphical login by pressing "Alt-F7".


Another possibility is to ask a colleague if you may use his/her machine for cleaning up: open a terminal (shell) window, and change to your user account with this command:

su - <your account>


Not over quota?

Opens internal link in current windowContact us!




Category: Unix
Expert: Help-it

Why am I asked for a password when accessing e-journals?

We don't have any passwords for any e-journal. Access is always granted on the correct IP-address. Which has to be from within the ZMAW Network.

There is only one exception: Spektrum der Wissenschaft.

If you are prompted for a password while accessing a journal-database you are likely outside the institute or for another reason outside our network-address-range.

However there are possibilities to get access to the e-journals or databases from outside our IP-range:

  1. use a Browser on the Windows Terminal Server.
  2. start a Browser from
  3. Tunnel the connection throught a machine from the ZMAW IP-domain (e.g.



Category: Others
Expert: Help-it

What is disk quota and how can I check if I exceeded it?

The disk quota is a limit that restricts the disk usage for your home directory. There are two types of quota: The block quota specifies the maximal amount of disk space you may use and is set to 15 GB. The second quota type is known as file quota or inode quota, which limits the number of folders or files that can be created. We only set a block quota.

To show your quota use the command "quota". It shows your current block and file usage as well as the specified quota above. Example:


Disk quotas for user <UID> (uid <UID-NUMBER>):

Filesystem: blocks    files   quota   limit    grace
/ifs/home   7.766 GB  22315   14.0 GB  15.0 GB  7 days


There is a softquota and a hardquota. If you get over the softquota (above "quota") 14GB, you'll get a warning everytime you log in also we send you an E-Mail as a reminder to clean up your home directory but you can still work normally. However, if you get over the hardquota (above "limit") 15GB or stay over the softquota for over a week, you won't be able to log in with X11 (graphic mode) and all applications writing in your home directory won't work either. (New files cannot be created and files cannot be saved)

In this case, you can still log in in text mode to clean up.


Note: Some programs like firefox and thunderbird even corrupt all settings for the user (bookmarks, saved emails, preferences, ...) if they cannot save them on exit.

Category: Unix
Expert: Help-it

How can I find out which files in my $HOME use the most diskspace?

If you want to find files that waste space on your account you have several possibilities. As these commands work for the directory you are currently in, please make sure that you changed to your home directory before (cd ~).


With the following command line you will get a list with largest files/directories first (unit kilobytes):

du -ks .??* * | sort -nr | more

Or a little more sophisticated (this may take a while, type d is directories):

find . -type d -exec du -ks {} \; | sort -bnk 1

For files (this will take even more time, type f is for files):

find . -type f -exec du -ks {} \; | sort -bnk 1

You can also try

du -h --max-depth=1

instead of du -ks where max-depth=1 means only the directories in the present working directory, e.g. without subdirectories, and where -h means human-readable.

Category: Unix
Expert: Help-it

How can I use ssh and scp without supplying a password every time (agent, passphrase and keychain)?

You'll need a public/private keypair with a passphrase which you can then give to the ssh-agent. After that ssh/scp doesn't ask for a password for all connections to machines where your $HOME is accessible.


1. Change to your .ssh directory:

cd ~/.ssh


2. You'll need an rsa key. If you already have such a key, you can use that of course. If not, please create one with (keep all the standard settings):

ssh-keygen -t rsa

After the key generation do:
cat >> authorized_keys
chmod 600 authorized_keys

Test if the new key works: try

You should be asked for the passphrase of your new ssh key instead of your normal password.


3. Type ssh-add and when asked give the passphrase of your ssh key.

After that you should be able to ssh without having to type your password or passphrase.

That's it, you are done.

Category: SSH, Unix
Expert: Help-it

How can I keep interactive tasks running when I log out?

This can be done by running these tasks in a "screen".

  1. Create a new screen by executing the command 'screen'
  2. You are inside the screen now. Execute the task you want to run.
  3. Type "CTRL+a" then "d" to detach from the screen. Your task will keep running even if you log out now.
  4. To reatach to the screen type 'screen -r'. If there is more than one screen running, you need to supply the process ID (PID) of the screen you want to reatach.

Refer to 'man screen' for further information.

Category: Unix
Expert: Help-it

How do i find the nearest printer?

Our CUPS naming scheme explained by giving an example:
d0123-c2 is the second color printer from the room 123 in the DKRZ.

  1. One letter (d: DKRZ, c:CliSAP, e:IHF Elbstraße, g:Geomatikum,s: schäferkamp, z:ZMAW) for the building
  2. Four digits for the room number
  3. One letter (c:color, m:monochrome, t:transparency) for the printing type
  4. One digit for the printer number

Category: Printer
Expert: Help-it

How can I print with CUPS via commandline?

To print a file (ASCII or ps) from the commandline just use lpr.
The Syntax is: lpr -P "printername" "filename"
For example type: lpr -P p0047-m1 test.txt (printing test.txt to p0047-m1)

For more commandline options see the CUPS User Manual

Category: Printer
Expert: Help-it

What do I do with an empty ink/toner cartridge?

In every building there is at least one recycling-box where you can place your used cartridges.

Bundesstr. 53: Z121, Z136, Z223, Z251, Z322, Z423, Z346, Z437
Bundesstr. 55: G1724, G1624
Grindelberg 5: ground floor

What do you have to do:

As toner is poisonous please put the old cartridge back into the bag/cardboard-box the new one shipped with. Put the cardboard-box into the recycling-box and you are done. (At the Geomatikum write 'empty' onto the cardbox and put it in the printer room next to the printer, we take it with us the next time we are there.)

When the recycling-box is full we will call a company to exchange it. As a bonus we do not have to pay for this service but get some money for some of the cartridges. Thus it is a good deal for the environment and the institute.

Category: Printer
Expert: Help-it

General guidelines for the use of the A0 Poster Plotter d0028-c0.

  1. Please check that the plot file is OK before sending the job to the queue. A good test is to print into a file and to check the resulting PostScript-File with a PostScript viewer (gv, ghostview, etc).
  2. It is not advisable to print posters noticeable bigger than DIN/ISO A0 (84,1 x 118,8cm).
  3. The file name should always start with your account name, e.g.: So please name the files accordingly before printing, otherwise it may be impossible to determine who sent a specific job.
  4. The staff handling the plotter uses a special queuing system. This means looking in the normal queue will only show you that the queue is stopped or empty. This is absolutely normal. It is not possible for you to see the job in the queue.
  5. Before submitting the print job please get in contact with the staff, the best way is via e-mail: help-it@we dont want which should contain the following information:

    • Your name
    • Your user name (beginning with the letter "m" or "u", e.g. m123456)
    • Your phone number
    • poster output format (A0, EGU, A1)

  6. You can get status information, problem reports and probably some hints to resolve such problems.
  7. One submission of your poster is enough. If it is not printable you will be informed.
  8. Even with the high speed of the plotter it is highly recommended to send your poster in good time. That means, if you need your poster for a fixed date be sure to plot it some days before the deadline. This is far more important if a conference is imminent.
  9. You will find your output in a wallbox at room d0017 DKRZ.
Category: Printer
Expert: Help-it

How can I use the A0 Poster Plotter d0028-c0 from Windows?

Installation of the A0 plotter "d0028-c0" with Windows.

  1. See "How can I print with Windows 7 (CUPS via Samba)?" for printer installation in general.
  2. In this case select  d0028-c0.
  3. After installation check that "properties" -> "general" -> "Printer settings" -> "Advanced" -> "Paper size" says "ISO A0". If it does not, please change it to "ISO A0".

Printing from Microsoft Office:

  1. Page size for each Office program should be "A0" or user defined W: 841 mm x H: 1189 mm (= 33.11 x 46.81 inch)
  2. It is important that the option "fit to page" is selected and that the file name begins with your ZMAW user number (u* or m*)!

VERY IMPORTANT: Before submitting the plot please read the other FAQ regarding the plotter: "General guidelines for the use of the A0 Poster Plotter d0028-c0"!

Category: Printer
Expert: Help-it

Help Desk office hours

Monday - Friday:

09:30 am - 11:45 am

12:45 pm - 17:00 pm