COE supports Linux terminal logins on our powerful Linux Gateways, and also Linux graphical workstations in our COE VLAB.

We have the following linux software installed on our gateway machines:

clang -v 3.5
clang++ – version 3.5
m2s – version 3.4
matlab -version R2018a
spim -version 9.0.5
gcc version 4.8.5

NOTE 1: For other offerings available on the gateway machines, browse to /COEnet/Linux
NOTE 2: There are additional programs installed by default on Centos7.

Setting Up Cadence on the ECE and COE systems

Before you can start Cadence, there are a few configuration files that are needed in your home directory. These files determine the environment in which Cadence runs, and what libraries are to be included in your current session. These files can be edited to suit personal preferences. They are presently written for use with the csh or tcsh Unix login shells on the ECE and COE systems and is given for the NCSU kit.

If you are using a personal machine rather than a COE computer lab machine, you need to install the follow software:

  • Xming (to enable cadence to display windows on your machine), and
  • putty (to allow your machine to connect to a COE computer lab workstation).

Cadence is a software system that requires the X11 windows display system to work properly. If you are working on a Linux machine in the COE computer labs (located in 274 Snell Engineering) you can skip to step X. Otherwise you will need to install the following programs: Xming and putty

Step 1: Login your ECE or COE(Unix) Account.
If you are using COE account , login the cadence server. (type in terminal ‘ ssh -Y -l username gateway.coe.neu.edu’)

Download setup_hspice_ new.csh and activate it ( source setup_hspice_new.csh ).

Step 2: Make your working directory using “mkdir” command in the Unix machine

Step 3: Download “cadence_setup.cshrc” in the course homepage and copy it in your working directory. You may also use the file located in /ECEnet/Apps1/linux/cad12/tools called eda_script.csh

Step 4: Activate the “cadence_setup.cshrc” file in your working directory.
(source cadence_setup.cshrc )

(You can check a few files in your working directory after the Step 4)
The “cadence_setup.csh” and “setup_hspice_new.csh” have to be activated whenever logging in you account.

Step 5: Run Cadence

Type icfb &

Be careful! Cadence has to be run under your working directory.

Please send email to help@coe.neu.edu to request a change in your login shell. Send the email from your COE account, and specify the shell you want selected from the list below.

The following shells are available on COE Linux hosts, and are suitable choices for your login shell:


Additional shells are available on most systems. Type “cat /etc/shells” at the command prompt to see shells available on the host you are logged in to. You may change shells after logging in by typing the name of your desired shell at the command prompt.

To connect to the COE Linux gateway, you must be connected to the NU GlobalProtect VPN if you are off-campus. The destination hostname is “gateway.coe.neu.edu”. “Gateway” is a load-balancer automatically connecting you to a specific Linux host. Many users use pine to read and send emails from a remote login session.

Using SSH to login

Secure Shell (SSH) is a protocol that you use to log into other machines securely via a text terminal session.

SSH is built-in on Macs. Windows users can get free client programs to create SSH sessions at one of the following locations:

Open a Terminal window and type

ssh -Y -l username gateway.coe.neu.edu 
(substitute your username)

Enter your COE username and press enter, which will then prompt you for your COE password.

If you are not familiar with unix here are some commands that will come in handy:

pwd —–> this will show you the “present working directory”
ls ——> this is a listing of your current directory
cd —–> this will “change directory”

Linux Graphics

If you need a Linux login with graphics, you have two options.

  • You can use the Linux pool in the VLAB.
  • You can log in to the Gateway as above, and use X11 remote graphics. Be sure you are on a reliable broadband connection.


  1. You need to have two programs to be able to run Matlab remotely:
  2. First, you need to make sure that your ssh client allows X11 connections. To do this, you need to go to the configuration section (pressing the button that looks like two cogs usually works), select Tunneling and then check the “Tunnel X11 Connections” box.
  3. Start your X11 windows display manager (Xming, for example)
  4. Start your ssh client program (Putty, for example), connect to gateway.coe.neu.edu and login with your COE username and password. Our load balancer will connect you to a Linux workstation.
  5. You can now run any program on the system. If the program understands the X11 protocol, it will create a new window on your PC. You can also
    run the program in the background by ending the command with a ampersand:
X11program &

Windows Troubleshooting

If you don’t get a display, type this command:


If that command gives only a blank line as output, you have skipped one of the steps mentioned above. Be sure to allow X11 tunneling in your ssh client program (step 2 above). All Unix commands are CaSe-senSITive.

The software you need is already installed on your Mac.

  1. Start X11: go to the Applications folder, open the subfolder Utilities, and double-click on X11.app. It may not open a window; in the Dock, you should see an icon of a white square containing a black X.
  2. Open a terminal window: click on the X icon in the Dock to bring X11 to the foreground. At the top of the screen, you’ll see X11 .. Applications .. Edit .. Window .. Help. Pull down the Applications menu and choose Terminal. This will open a small white terminal window with “xterm” in the title bar.
  3. Log in to the gateway. In your xterm window, type the line below, where <username> is your COE username. (The character after the hyphen is a lowercase L.)
    ssh -Y -l <username> gateway.coe.neu.edu
  4. When prompted, type your COE password.
  5. You can now run programs from the command line. If your program understands the X11 protocol, type:
    X11program &

    to start the program and run it in the background. You should get a X11 window display after a few seconds.

Mac Troubleshooting

If you get an error message about X permissions when you try to start Matlab, try this: Open a second terminal window (see (2) above). In this second terminal, type

xhost + hostname.coe.neu.edu

Now redo step 5 to start the program.

General UNIX/Linux Help

UNIXhelp for Users is quite old, but you may still find it useful as an introduction to UNIX/Linux.