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Computer Science
Instructional Laboratory


User Files

We do not maintain user files on the Macintosh computers.

Do not assume that your files will continue to be available after you logout. Accounts and files on the computers are wiped nightly, when the computers are rebuilt. Files may continue to be available throughout the day, but they may also be removed more frequently.

If you wish to keep files stored on a central system, we advise using your University account. Request a Computer Science Linux account to use the Linux computers. Use a browser (or another file storage service) to transfer files to https://webshare.uchicago.edu/. Store your files on your own media as a backup. It is never a good idea to keep files in only one place.

We do not guarantee the privacy and security of files stored on lab machines. Until the machine is rebuilt, any files saved on the visitor account will be visible to other users.

Priority of use

CSIL is open to anyone with access to the John Crerar Library. Because this is an instructional facility, users must yield to others with higher priority. Here is the priority order.

  1. Students attending a lab session.
  2. Computer Science students doing academic work.
  3. Users doing academic work.
  4. Users doing non-academic work.

If you are using a computer with a scanner attached but don't need the scanner, yield to users who do need it. You may be logged out if you leave a computer unattended for longer than 15 minutes (so that another user can use it). Please do not ask other users to leave their stations. Instead, ask a CSIL staff member to help you.


Printing is done by Unified Printing Solutions (UPS). CSIL doesn't provide additional printing services. Please send concerns to .


The lab is a public space intended for work. Keep this in mind and limit noise. However, collaborative work is permitted. If you need to listen to something, use headphones. Headphones are available at the front desk.

Clean up your trash before leaving and maintain a tidy work environment. Do not leave belongings unattended or infringe on others' workspaces. If you you create a mess, notify a CSIL Tutor for assistance with proper cleanup.

Lost and Found

For a limited period of time, we keep unattended items (including flash drives) at the front desk. See a tutor to retrieve them. The lab is not liable for misplaced valuables.


Don't attempt to fix computer malfunctions yourself, no matter your level of expertise. See a tutor at the front desk if there is a problem.

You are allowed to use your own portable devices and peripherals with CSIL computers. However, the following activities are prohibited:

  • Unplugging, rewiring or otherwise modifying the configuration of CSIL equipment.
  • Tampering with, vandalizing or otherwise damaging CSIL equipment, including uses of equipment not covered under their respective warranties.
  • Moving towers, monitors, scanners and other CSIL fixtures without the explicit permission and oversight of CSIL staff. Mobile whiteboards may not be moved out of the labs without permission.
  • Use of the AV systems without the explicit permission of CSIL staff.

Do not modify files outside of your home directory. See a Tutor at the front desk in order to install specific software, fonts, etc.

Lab machine software is freeware or is licensed to CSIL and the university. Illegally copying software is not tolerated and results in the loss of usage privileges. Violators are also subject to legal action taken by the University or the licensors.

Do not attempt to damage or render CSIL's equipment inoperable by physical or computational means. This is strictly prohibited.

Use Restrictions

Unless directly approved by the Director (Bill Sterner), we prohibit for-profit use of CSIL resources by a person, persons, or company.

We prohibit using CSIL resources to hack, crack, subvert Digital Rights Management or for other illegal purposes. Violators will be reported to University and law enforcement authorities.


Food and beverages are allowed in the the John Crerar Library and CSIL.


Users are liable for all damages they cause. Smoking is not allowed. Pets are also not allowed (except for service animals). All of the John Crerar Library's regulation apply in CSIL. We reserve the right to change our policies without notice.

Lab Hours

Autumn, Winter, Spring

9:00 AM–12:00 AM
9:00 AM–10:00 PM
10:00 AM–10:00 PM
noon–12:00 AM


9:00 AM–10:00 PM
9:00 AM–5:00 PM
noon-5:00 PM
noon–10:00 PM

(The Lab is closed for all University holidays and during all interim periods.)

Lab Contact Information

Phone Number
(773) 702-1082