IVC Support

E-Mail: ivc-support@inf.ethz.ch

desktop and mobile computing


Basic Information (ISG)

Desktop and Mobile Computing from ISG


All requests for desktop or laptop computers have to be authorized by the the head of the group and/or the assistant. For the actual order just send a ticket to ivc-support@inf.ethz.ch describing the hardware as exact as possible (if you already know where to get it - provide the article number(s) or link(s) together with Leitzahl and Fond number the money will come from).

Network cable connection

make sure your connect your network cables to the wall plugs (UTPs) that are labelled with a small yellow dot. These UTPs are permanently connected, even if not used for some time. All other UTPs can be used but may need a reconfiguration that can only be done by the ETH network group and this may take some time (days). If you need to use one of the unlabelled UTPs then please open a ticket with the Room and UTP number you are going to use.


Select your operation system

Before you can use your Workstation, you have to chose which operating system you want to use. Basically there are three possible ways you can go:

  1. Nobody will prevent you from installing whatever weird operation system you like to use, so go ahead. Off course there also is nobody who will support your self installed system either.
  2. check out the ISG supported operation systems. Please check there for more Information about support etc..The following systems are available:
    • windows 10
    • Redhat Enterprise Linux
    • Fedora Linux
    • Xubuntu (experimental, no dualboot)


the recommended way to install most of the available operation systems is called the OS-Kiosk. Here you can select your favourite OS in a web application and then install it with the next reboot. To do so, your machine needs to be delegated to you and then you can login to the os-kiosk website and control it.
  • the os-kios website is here : https://os-kiosk.inf.ethz.ch
  • it should not be to complicated to figure out how to get your machine delegated to you (hint: the respective email can be found on every page of this site).

Install your operation system using the os-kiosk:

  • login to the os-kiosk website.
    • selectd/configure your OS
    • hint : the institute's standard installation nowadays requires a 500GB windows system partition
  • make sure that your system boots from the network by setting the default boot device accordingly in BIOS setup (this is the default when you get the machine, so if you changed that then you should already know how).
  • when booting from network a blue menu will show up first
  • with the next steps your Harddrive may be deleted completely, please make sure that you are really aware what you are doing and that you have a backup of your data somewhere not connected to the machine you ar currently installing
  • in the blue PXE Menu select the second menu entry, isg: install windows/redhat
  • when asked enter your machine password (usually given to you with the machine)
  • if all went well then your machine is now installing the system you selected within the os-kios

dualboot system (experts only)

  • Follow the steps above to install Windows but do not use the whole disk(always install Windows first)
  • After the windows installation please use one of the available Manual Installers that are available in the OS-Kios.Do not user the standard installers, they will overwrite your previous installation
  • Make sure that you use manual partitioning when installing you OS.
  • delete all partitions except the first one (that is your windows installation)
  • setup your favourite partion scheme for your OS
  • after installation and the next reboot you will find out if that worked out.

Installation Status

the current status of the ISG windows installation can be viewed here: http://wis.inf.ethz.ch/wis

Installation Hints

Enlarge your sindows system partition

  • An IVC workstation usually comes with a windows installation that uses 512GB of the internal HD assigned to the windows system partition.
  • If you need more space and don't need a dualboot installation you may simply enlarge your windows system partion to use the whole disk (use the windows disk utility for that).

Remove/Delete the dualboot linux partitions under Windows

  • if you had a dualboot installtion then you most likely changed the bootloader in the Master Boot Record of your disk from Windows to grub.
  • if not (you booted the linux partion with the Windows bootmanager) you can just delete all the partitions your second OS uses with the windows disk utility and then remove the boot menu entry for it.
  • if yes (you booted windows with grub (or whatever linux bootmanager) you need to reinstall the windows boot manager with the following steps:
    • Backup all relevant data from your machine to an external disk or your iiStore home directory
      the next step will definitely delete all data on your linux partitions and may also delete your windows installation in case of an error. you have been warned
    • Start Windows and make sure you have Administrator Rights.
    • Download and install EasyBCD
      see EasyBCD info at wikipedia for more info and as an IVC member you may download it here
    • Backup the current setting under EasyBCD:[BCD Backup and Repair]
    • Install the Windows Bootloader in the Disks Master Boot Record using EasyBCD:[BCD Deployment]
      • select "install Windows Vista/7 bootloader to the MBR
      • click "Write MBR"
    • reboot windows and make sure that grub boot menu that let you select between Linux and Windows is replaced by the standard windows boot menu.
    • start Disk Management
      • delete all partitions except the first one (windows)
      • use the now free disk space to partition your disk as you like.

Page URL: https://ivc-support.ethz.ch/bin/view/Main/Services0301DMC
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