Self-Managed Laptop Support Offering

This document describes the offering for service and support of self managed laptop computers used by faculty and staff in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences running approved operating systems.  Laptop computers, due to their portability, are not typically connected to the network at all times. The CLAS Linux Group can only provide a fully managed Linux load to computers that remain on the network at all times, due to the way we patch and maintain software.

Definitions & Requirements

The CLAS IT Group staff place priority on the stability, reliability, security, of the computer configurations and software installations.  The CLAS IT Group team has limited resources and will support only one version of the Windows or Macintosh operating system at a time.  Dual boot machines or laptops with Linux are not supported by the CLAS IT Group, though we will install software on the Windows or Mac OSX partition if it is already partitioned.  For a system to qualify for support it must satisfy Microsoft’s or Apple’s published minimum system requirements for the supported version of Windows, and either:

  • all system hardware must be on the hardware compatibility list provided by Microsoft or Apple for the supported version of Windows/OSX, or
  • the hardware configuration must be approved by the CLAS Linux Group

When the CLAS IT Group staff updates the version of Windows/Mac OSX it supports, all laptop computers will be reevaluated to determine eligibility for support.  To maintain their support status, users may be required to upgrade their computer systems.  If the system is not properly upgraded, the CLAS IT Group staff will drop support of the system. 

The laptop computer must be a University of Iowa-owned computer. 

The administrative password for the laptop will be shared the CLAS IT Group and by the user.


The following services are provided to Windows/OSX laptop computer users:

  1. The CLAS IT Group will install the current version of any or all of the following:
    • Microsoft Office
    • FastX
    • SecureCRT (Windows Only)
    • SSH Client (Windows Only)
    • University standard for Anti Virus (Windows Only)
    • WSFTP (Windows Only)
    • Firefox
    • Outlook
    • Other properly licensed software by request and as resources permit
  2. The CLAS IT Group will assist with configuring wireless networking for the UI Wireless network.  User selection of the proper wireless card and wireless coverage is beyond the control of the CLAS Linux Group staff.
  3. The CLAS IT Group will configure the Windows/OSX Firewall if applicable and encrypte the laptop as required by policy.
  4. The CLAS IT Group will ensure that all software is patched to the latest version, and configure Windows/OSX to “Notify” when updates are available when we deliver the system to you. Because laptops are often used with limited internet connectivity, automated patching is not practical.  After we turn the laptop over to you, security updates will be the responsibility of the userThis includes OS patches and application patches like browser plugins (Flash, Java), Acrobat, etc.
  5. Troubleshooting/maintenance/repair of the software installed by the CLAS IT Group will be limited to 30 minutes as time permits, or a full wipe/reload up to once every six months. If the CLAS IT Group team determines that a wipe/reload is in order, we will make a good-faith effort to back up the local data but cannot guarantee a successful backup/restore.
  6. The CLAS IT Group will configure the Outlook email client to connect to the University mail system.  Other mail services are the responsibility of the user.
  7. The CLAS IT Group will configure file and printing to the CLAS Linux file server and print queues.  These services will only work when connected to the University of Iowa wired or wireless network (or via the UI VPN).
  8. Warranty support. The CLAS IT Group will call in Dell or HP Laptops purchased with three year on-site warranty contracts.  The laptop must be left with the CLAS Linux Group for this service.

User Responsibilities

  1. The user will be responsible for keeping the installation media, licensing information and driver CDs that came with the laptop. The CLAS IT Group will not perform any troubleshooting/maintenance/repair without the original installation media for the application in question.
  2. The user will be responsible for security on the laptop.
  3. Backup of local hard drives.  Users are strongly urged to save all data onto the CLAS Linux Group file server which is backed up nightly.  The CLAS IT Group discourages saving any data to the local hard drive.  The CLAS IT Group staff will not be able to repair or restore local files in the case of hardware failure or system problem.
  4. The user will be responsible for complying with the University of Iowa data retention policy located at
  5. The CLAS IT Group will not perform any off warranty repairs.
  6. Never unplug the wired managed computer in your office.  Use the wireless network or work with your department to arrange additional wired connections.

Best Practices

  1. The user will login as a non privileged user and only login as the administrator if required.  Ideally, the username of the user will match the Hawk ID to facilitate easy file transfer/drive mapping.
  2. Use the UI VPN (Virtual Private Network) service any time your laptop requires email or network file service connection to your University mail or h: drive or other network drives.  See UI AnyConnect VPN Client for details.
  3. Use a hard to guess password and disable any unneeded services.
  4. Use encryption software for any sensitive data.
  5. For Windows users, install and run Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer to check for security updates.

See the security best practices page for more ideas

Acceptable Use

All users must adhere to the University of Iowa Acceptable Use Policies as published at  Any activities performed on the computer that violate the University of Iowa Acceptable Use Policies may result in loss of network access.