Software for SFU Researchers — RCG Handbook

Software for SFU Researchers

SFU has a campus license for Maple that covers faculty and staff at SFU. Students must purchase their own license. [Maple software download]

A wide range of other software packages are available through ITS.


Software for FASnet Workstations

MATLAB and Maple

Linux: your environment already set up for this. Run matlab or maple in any shell.

Windows: contact your school’s helpdesk if these are not already installed on your workstation.

Environment Modules

For software not installed on your workstation, you can quickly load and run popular software from our collection of environment modules.


Linux: just run luatex, pdflatex, or any other command bundled with TeX Live.

Windows: contact your school’s helpdesk if you need TeX Live installed.

Compiling Esoteric Software

Contact us with your software request. Be sure to include a URL where we can find the software’s source code.

SFU Vault

On RCG Ubuntu workstations, choose Applications => Accessories => ownCloud Desktop Sync Client. Enter when prompted for a server address.

There is also a command-line client. To use it in the same directory the graphical client uses:

mkdir ~/ownCloud
owncloudcmd --user mysfuid ~/ownCloud


You are free to install Dropbox on your own workstation. No root privileges are required. Instructions: Dropbox Headless Install via command line

Dropbox is not installed by default because:

Services like Dropbox make it easy to access the same files from anywhere, but they are not “enterprise grade” as they cannot be provisioned by SFU administrators, governed by SFU policies, or be integrated with SFU resources like your SFU Computing ID to enforce security and privacy.

Source: Cloud Computing FAQ, SFU IT Services

Sublime Text

Sublime Text requires a license for continued use. If you have purchased a license, you can download and run it from your home directory without sudo privileges.

Free alternatives already installed on our Ubuntu workstations include vim, emacs, Atom, PyCharm, VSCode, and pluma (formerly known as gedit).

Flash and Adobe Reader on Linux

Adobe ceased all Linux development in 2014.

We cannot provide newer versions of Flash on Linux.

Adobe Reader works on CentOS 6 but fails on Ubuntu 16.04 due to SSSD, which we use to provide integration with campus Active Directory.

Please use one of the newer, more up-to-date PDF viewers already installed on your Ubuntu system:

If you absolutely must have access to Adobe Reader, use X forwarding to run it from another CentOS 6 host in your lab.