For those that have access to campus, the ubuntu lab computers have the required software already setup. This page is for those that will be participating remotely or who would like the convenience of a local setup.
This page covers two major topics:
- Installing the tools needed for this class to run natively on your own computer (recommended).
- Using the Linux Lab computing environment virtually (not recommended).
Installing Tools For Your Home Environment #
Please take the time to read the following important notice before looking for tools for your home environment.
Like most other computer science courses at ANU, this course is designed on the assumption that you will use the environment provided by ANU (physically or virtually). ANU staff provide technical support for both virtual and physical laboratory environments, and we have done our best to ensure that that environment works well in every respect. When the lab systems are not working, you should inform your tutor and report the problem via the ANU Service Desk.
All practical work for this course can be completed using freely available tools that run on most operating systems. For your convenience, we provide basic installation instructions below.
Please understand that your personal computing environment is not supported by ANU.
We cannot support your personal computing environment because each environment may differ in ways that are outside of our control.
If you plan to use your own environment, please follow these steps:
- Use the advice provided on these web pages to identify the appropriate tools, and how to install them.
- Complete the Lab 1 exercises in week one and bring any questions that arise to any of the week one labs.
- Use Piazza to seek help from others in the class.
- Seek help from your tutor during your scheduled lab.
- Seek help from your lecturer via Piazza or before and after lectures.
- Seek help from the Computer Science Student’s Association (CSSA), who explicitly set out to help their members with matters such as setting up home computers.
All of the software tools you need are provided as part of the standard environment in the Linux labs but are also freely available for Linux, Windows and MacOS X, so if you wish to work on your own computer, you can easily do so. Please read the notice above before following the instructions below.
If you are using Ubuntu, you can install all necessary software from the CECS Teaching Labs Repository.
We will do our best to support anyone using these standard tools. You are welcome to use alternatives (such as a different IDE, etc.), but you should not expect any support when you run into trouble using non-standard tools. For that reason, we strongly recommend that you stick to the supported tools unless you are confident in your ability to resolve any problems that may arise with non-standard tools. Furthermore, as the lab tests will be conducted in the lab environment, you will need to be proficient with the standard tools for the lab tests, regardless of which tools you choose to use at home.
Step-by-step Video Guides #
In addition to the written instructions below, we provide several videos to guide you through the process:
If you wish to develop code on your own computer, you should ensure that you have the Java Development Kit (JDK) version 17. After downloading the correct version of the JDK for your platform:
- Unzip/untar/install the JDK to an appropriate location, e.g.
*please remember this path as we will use it later.
- Set the
PATHenvironment variable to include the
bindirectory of your JDK installation.
- Set the
JAVA_HOMEenvironment variable to the top-level directory of your JDK installation. (On macOS, it’s under
<Your installation location>/Contents/Home/)
- Verify the version of your installation by typing
java -version(the output should start with
openjdk version "17"or something similar, depending on the build).
The JavaFX java library needs to be installed as a separate module to the JDK. To do this, you must download JFX for your operating system.
- Go to the JavaFX release page and scroll down to the “Downloads” section;
- Apply the filter based on your operating system:
- Make sure JavaFX version matches the JDK version, which is in this semester, 17;
- Choose your operating system;
- Choose your architecture. On most Linux distributions and Windows systems, it’s very likely to be
x64. However, if you are currently using an Apple Silicon Mac (e.g. with an M1 CPU), do make sure you select
aarch64for the 64-bit ARM instruction set;
- Finally, select
SDKas the type.
- Download the build.
After downloading a version of the JavaFX Software Development Kit for your platform (the version number must match the JDK version, i.e. 17):
- Unzip the JavaFX SDK to an appropriate location, e.g. (you can use a different location, but if you do, you must set your
- Set the
PATH_TO_FXenvironment variable to point to the
libdirectory of your JavaFX installation, e.g.:
<The path to your JavaFX installation>/lib
<The path to your JavaFX installation>\\lib
<The path to your JavaFX installation>/lib
- Verify your installation by compiling and running the
HelloFX.javaexample as described in the JavaFX installation instructions.
IntelliJ is a powerful commercial IDE. We use its open source Community Edition (download here), and at home you may either get a free student license to use the “Ultimate Edition”, or else use the open-source “Community Edition” (download links for macOS, Windows, and Linux) (There is no significant difference as far as this course is concerned; the Community Edition is perfectly adequate). JetBrains has extensive online documentation, including some great video tutorials. We strongly recommend you start with their introductory video on Running IntelliJ IDEA for the First Time. The introduction to using version control systems in IntelliJ is also very helpful.
IntelliJ for the first time you will be asked to configure the Java SDK. The Java SDK’s location will be machine-specific (and the following paths may be different from yours). If you have followed our previous steps, on macOS you will find it at
/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk-17.0.2/; on Windows it will most likely be
C:\\Program Files\\Java\\jdk-17.0.2; on Linux, it should be under
/usr/local/openjdk/. If you can’t see it in those places, try using the file finder of your operating system to search for
If you did not set up the SDK when you first started IntelliJ, you can set it up afterwards by navigating from
Project Structure... select the
Project tab under
Project Settings, and then select
Project SDK. Navigate to the location of your Java installation (as per the paragraph above).
You must also set a path variable to point to your JavaFX installation directory. Select
Appearance and Behavior ->
Path Variables and then add a new path variable (select the plus sign) with name
PATH_TO_FX and value equal to the path to your JavaFX installation lib directory, as we did before in the JavaFX part.
We use GitLab and Git. For this to work, you must have Git installed on your computer. You should find this already installed on most macOS and Unix platforms (type
git --version at the command line to check). However, you will most likely need to install it yourself if you’re using Windows. Follow the instructions on the Git downloads page.
If you run into trouble using Git from within IntelliJ on Windows, select
Version Control ->
Git, then manually set the
Path to Git executable (should be something like
C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Git\\cmd\\git.exe).
Using the Linux Lab Virtual Environments #
The School of Computing offers an option for virtualizing our standard lab environment on your own computer, and another option for remote access to the lab environment. We highly recommend that you install tools yourself (above), but if for some reason that is not possible, you may elect to use one of the following options.
Virtual Box #
The School of Computing supports a virtual machine installation of the lab environment using Virtual Box. Note that running software in a virtual machine often has a significant memory and computational overhead, so it is advised to install attempt to install the software natively first.
Accessing Lab Computers Remotely #
In addition to the above, you can directly access the Linux lab computers. You are unlikely to need to do this in COMP1110, but it is there as an option if you are comfortable working on the command line. While it is possible to tunnel an X-session across SSH to run GUI applications like IntelliJ IDEA remotely, the experience will likely not be great.
Support and Help for the Linux Lab Environment #
Since GlobalProtect and VirtualBox are all ANU-supported software platforms, if you run into trouble, you should use Service Desk to log an issue.