All of our services are available free of charge to members and any interested JHU-affiliated groups. If you are a Hopkins student who is not an ACM member, but are interested in using one or more of the services described below, feel free to contact us anyway.
Our services are student run, and as a result we cannot guarantee 100% reliability for any of the systems discussed below. That being said, we do our best, and we’ve done our best to engineer the systems with a certain amount of redundancy wherever possible.
(If you are a user of our systems and would like to help us make things more reliable, we are always looking for more volunteers to help maintain them).
Also, please note that it is your responsiblity to abide by JHU computer usage policies when using our systems.
Your ACM Email Address
We offer all of our members firstname.lastname@example.org email addresses. When we create your account, we’ll set up forwarding from this address to an email of your choice, but if you want to send email from this account you can do that from mail.acm.jhu.edu or by configuring your email client to point at imap.acm.jhu.edu:143 and smtp.acm.jhu.edu:587.
We also offer mailing lists to all Hopkins groups (and members, as needed). We use mailman, one of the most common pieces of traditional list management software, as an alternative to the JHU IT provided mailing lists.
Storage and Hosting
All of our members are provided 20 GB of backed up storage and 1 TB of “scratch” space (that we don’t make any promises to keep backed up) in our OpenAFS cell. AFS is a distributed filesystem, meaning that if you install an OpenAFS client on your own computer, you will be able to access your files from anywhere in the world– not just our own systems.
Student groups are given 40 GB of storage space, as well as a 1 TB scratch volume.
AFS has a robust permissions and group architecture; members may create their own groups and control access to their files.
As part of the provided storage, we allow members and groups web hosting. If you put
/afs/acm.jhu.edu/user/name/acmsys/public_html (or just
/afs/acm.jhu.edu/group/name/public_html/ for a group), they will show up on the
If you want to run more complicated web services (like CGI scripts), talk to us and we can make that happen too.
Desktops and Shell Servers
We run a number of Linux workstations in the office for our members to use. (Your home directories on these machines is the 20 GB AFS volume mentioned above). We tend to be very flexible when it comes to installing new software on those machines, so if they are missing some software that you really need, just ask!
At least one of them (at the moment, this is eridani) also dual-boots Windows 7 as well.
Members can also SSH remotely into the desktops and shell servers; The recommended
machine to SSH remotely into is currently
We provide mirrors of a number of open-source projects. For example, we mirror the package repositories of a number of major Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Debian, Arch, and Fedora.
Compute and Virtualization
Members (upon request) and groups can log into our Openstack instance and create virtual machines! Thanks to a lot of donated hardware, we’re running a number of compute nodes in our server room that Openstack will allow you to schedule virtual machines on. By default, you are limited to ten VMs running in the cluster, but if you really want more, just ask.
All members are given a single public IP address (reachable from the outside world) that they can point at a virtual machine.
We also run a Sandstorm instance that our members can log into. Sandstorm is a “one-click installer for web applications”, and provides many packaged web apps that users can install, run, and then share with others. So if there’s some web application that you really want to use, Sandstorm provides a great (and secure) way to set it up without having to delve into the somewhat more complicated world of setting up your own virtual machine.
As an example, take a look at this game of BrowserQuest, running on our Sandstorm instance.
We run a number of other services in our local ACM “cloud”, such as the following.
We run a Gitlab instance for our members. We host git repositories there for all the various code and projects the ACM has worked on, and also allow members to create both public and private repositories for their own projects.
We also run Gitlab CI (very similar to Travis CI, if you’re familiar with that) that will let you schedule builds and run tests for your projects.
You may also know Jupyter as “iPython”. Jupyter is a web application designed for scientific computing that lets users run code and make plots in their web browser using a variety of languages designed for scientific computing and data processing (such as Python, R, Octave, and so on).
The ACM runs a Jupyter instance for its members.
We run a MediaWiki instance that all members are allowed to edit, if you’d like to contribute documentation, quotes, miscellaneous facts about the ACM, or random other information.
Quassel and IRC
We have an IRC channel, #jhuacm, on the freenode.net network. There’s a link to connect in the sidebar, but you can also point your IRC client at irc://chat.freenode.net and join the channel #jhuacm.
To allow members to persist their IRC connections when idling, we run a Quassel instance. Quassel is a distributed IRC client; there is a “core” (running inside our cluster) keeps your connection to the remote IRC server alive that the various graphical clients connect to. In addition to the desktop IRC client, there’s also a mobile client (for both iOS and Android) and a web application.
At the moment, quassel accounts are available on request; they do not currently get auto-created.
We also (as the choice of BrowserQuest as an example for Sandstorm might suggest) tend to like to play video games in our “free time”.
The ACM runs both a Minecraft and Minetest server in the cluster; if you’re interested in this, or in us running other game servers, feel free to ask on #jhuacm IRC or drop by the office and ask someone in person.
Full documentation on these services is available on our wiki (linked on the sidebar).
If you have any questions not answered by this page or the documentation, please send us an email at admins AT acm.jhu.edu, hop on IRC (#jhuacm on chat.freenode.net as mentioned above), or come bother us in person.