From UTAS Radio Astronomy Group

Computers: Ares
IP address:
Processor:Intel Xeon 2.4 GHz
HDD:4 x 200GB IDE (as 3 RAID devices), 36GB SCSI
Operating system:Kubuntu Dapper
Location:Office 461, School of Maths & Physics
Purpose:Primary Astro Server

Using ares

ares is responsible for many of the basic computing functions within the group. It acts as an LDAP authentication server, it hosts our webpages and creates the telescope live pages, it sends and receives mail, hosts the home and data directories, and is the only astro computer accessible from the outside world without needing a VPN connection. This wiki entry will describe in detail all the functions of ares, how they work, and how to administer this computer.

User accounts

Each person in the astro group at UTAS has a user account on ares. These user accounts are managed through the LDAP protocol, to allow other machines in the astro group to share authentication info for ease of administration.

Before getting into how to create a user account, you need to know about the groups that exist in the LDAP directory. The primary group is the rastro group, which every member of the astro group is a member of. This allows the home directories of all group members to be readable by all other members, as each home directory is owned by the rastro group. The rastro group has a GID number of 260.

There are a few other groups to be aware of. For access to the TPAC share (which will be described further below), there are 3 groups: ravlbi, rainter and rapulsar.

Web pages

ares runs an Apache2 web server that is accessible from the outside world. There is a set of administrator-only editable web pages, but each user can set up their own web site without administrator approval or assistance.

Telescope Live pages

The live pages for both the Mt Pleasant 26m and the Ceduna 30m are produced on ares, using data sent from machines at the observatories. This section describes the entire process used to generate the live pages, what can go wrong, and how to diagnose and fix problems.


ares runs the sendmail mail server, the dovecot mail client, and SquirrelMail webmail client.




Retrieved from
Page last modified on November 28, 2008, at 08:16 AM