The above links will assist you in finding out what types of rooms we have available for you to reserve based on your groups needs.

You've got questions, we've got answers.

On this page:
Supported operating systems Windows

Windows 7, Vista (Enterprise or Ultimate), and XP Professional are the recommended Windows operating systems at IU. Adopters of Windows 7 and Vista may experience some application compatibility and hardware driver support issues, and UITS thus recommends that you first be sure your applications, devices, and hardware are fully supported by the respective vendors. For details and to run a compatibility scan, see Windows 7 compatibility starts here or Windows Vista Compatibility Center. UITS strongly discourages using Windows 95, 98, Me, or 2000 for reasons of security and full access to IU resources.

For more, see Recommended Windows operating systems at IU.


UITS recommends Mac OS X version 10.5.8 or greater, and strongly discourages use of older versions of Mac OS; older versions may have compatibility issues with some university online resources.

Mobile devices

iPhone, iPad, Droid, and other mobile devices can access the wireless network and use some online services at IU; however, not all online services have been optimized for these devices and their smaller screens.


IU has a license for students, faculty, and staff to use Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Numerous community-based distributions, such as Ubuntu Linux and Fedora Core, may prove suitable for some as they tend to offer more recent hardware drivers. For more about Linux distributions, see

UITS also mirrors many popular Linux distributions.

Note: The Dell wireless bundle, which is a Broadcom chipset with Broadcom drivers, won't work with the IU Secure wireless network on laptops running Linux.

The Linux distributions installed on most netbook-class computers, such as Asus Eee PC and the Acer Aspire One, will not work with the IU Secure wireless network. These distributions are very limited in the software available to them and they do not tend to support the wireless security levels IU has in place.

The Dell devices that come with Linux use Ubuntu, which supports connecting with IU Secure, but will have difficulties if purchased with the Dell wireless bundle. Additionally, installing Ubuntu 10.04 on the Eee PC should allow you to connect to IU Secure.

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New computer hardware minimum recommendations

To use all the technology services available at IU, UITS suggests the following minimum hardware components for a new purchase. IU students, faculty, and staff can take advantage of special computer deals; see ComputerGuide: Deals by vendor. Also, on this page, see Do I need an Ethernet card, wireless adapter, or modem?

  New Windows laptop New Mac laptop
Processor: 1.73GHz or higher Intel or AMD 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory (RAM): 2GB 2GB
Hard drive: 120GB Ultra SATA 250GB SATA
Network card: 802.11b/g/n wireless card Wireless built in
Optical drive: 24X DVD-ROM/CD-RW 8x dual-layer SuperDrive (DVD-R DL/DVD-RW/CD-RW)
Operating system:

Windows 7 Enterprise
(recommended), Windows 7
Ultimate (recommended),
Windows Vista Enterprise,
Vista Ultimate, or XP
Professional with Service Pack 3

Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
  New Windows desktop New Mac desktop
Processor: 2.2GHz or higher Intel or AMD 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory (RAM): 2GB 2GB SDRAM
Hard drive: 120GB SATA 350GB SATA
Video card: Non-integrated and DirectX compatible NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
Optical drive: 24X DVD-ROM/CD-RW 8x dual-layer SuperDrive (DVD-R DL/DVD-RW/CD-RW)
Operating system: Windows 7 Enterprise
(recommended), Windows 7
Ultimate (recommended),
Windows Vista Enterprise, Vista
Ultimate, or XP Professional with
Service Pack 3
Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

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Minimum requirements for existing hardware (i.e., a computer you already own)

If you own a computer you plan to bring to campus, it should meet certain hardware requirements to function effectively within the IU computing environment. Do not use these specifications for a new computer purchase; instead, see the New computer hardware recommendations above.

  Minimum Windows requirements Minimum Mac requirements
Processor: 1GHz or higher Intel or AMD 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo
Hard drive: 40GB Ultra ATA 80GB SATA
Video card: DirectX compatible with 128MB RAM ATI Radeon X1600 with 128MB RAM
Optical drive: 8X DVD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM
Operating system: Windows XP Mac OS X 10.5.8 (Leopard)

If you use a computer with the above specifications, you may find it sluggish when opening more than one program at once. If you need to only check email and do simple word processing, you may find these minimum hardware specifications adequate.

UITS strongly recommends that you use Windows 7, Vista, or XP Professional, or Mac OS X 10.5 or higher. When using older operating systems, you may find it difficult to use certain IU network services.

Note: When bringing your own computer to IU, be sure to bring all your software installation media and documentation.

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What type of computer should I buy: Windows or Mac?

Both operating systems are well supported at IU. The most useful software packages (i.e., word processing, spreadsheets, communication software, and web browsers) look similar and perform well on both platforms. Some academic programs that rely heavily on business-oriented software are better served by the Windows platform, but some programs that rely heavily on graphics and multimedia software are better served by the Mac platform.

Consult your department to see what is recommended. IU has a diverse environment; choose the computer you prefer, or the one that best fits your budget. Be sure you use the New computer hardware minimum recommendations to make your purchase.

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Should I get a desktop computer, a laptop, or a netbook?

A netbook is a type of mobile computer, defined by size, price, horsepower, and operating system. They are small, inexpensive, and have limited functionality. Unfortunately, the distributions of Linux bundled with many netbooks do not work with IU's wireless network, IU Secure. Most netbooks running Windows are compatible with IU Secure.

Laptops allow you to take your work with you and connect to IU Secure, available in most areas on campus. IU's minimum hardware specifications for used laptops are the same as for used desktops. Other factors that you may want to consider when making your decision include:

  • Comfort: Desktop systems are easier to work at when you spend long hours on the computer. A laptop keyboard can be hard on your hands and posture. A desktop system is easier on your eyes, arms, back, and hands simply because of positioning and the ergonomic design of most keyboards, mice, and monitors. However, you can use equipment such as a docking station, extended keyboard, second monitor, and external mouse to make it more comfortable to use the laptop for extended periods of time.

  • Footprint (desk space): Surprisingly, a laptop can have a rather large footprint, depending on the model, and could take up as much room on the desk as a desktop keyboard, mouse, and monitor, especially when compared to today's flat screen monitors.

  • Mobility: If you need to take your computer to class or on the road, then of course a laptop is the best choice. Keep in mind that you might have to connect and disconnect all peripherals each time you take your laptop with you. If this might be a problem, consider a docking station. Many students plan to carry their laptop to campus every day, but change their mind after the first few weeks.

  • Cost: Laptop computers are more expensive than desktop computers, especially if you buy external equipment such as a docking station and second monitor. In general, hardware for desktop computers is easier and less expensive to service and upgrade.

  • Energy use: Laptops typically use less electricity than desktop computers; see How can I minimize my computer's impact on the environment?

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Do I need to have a printer in the dorms at IUB?

You do not need to bring a printer to campus, as printers are available in the Student Technology Centers and Residential Technology Centers (STCs/RTCs), but you may find it convenient to have a printer in your room. If you don't bring a printer to school and you live in campus housing, you can use the Printer Configuration Utility to configure your computer to print to the network printers in your residence hall or apartment building.

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Do I need an Ethernet card, wireless adapter, or modem?

If you live on campus, you must have an Ethernet card installed in your computer and an IU Network ID before you can use the campus network cable in your dorm room. Each double-occupancy dorm room on campus has one phone jack and two Ethernet jacks. If your computer does not have an Ethernet card but does have a wireless card, you should be able to access the Internet over the wireless network from your dorm room.

If you live off campus, you may have a choice of using an Ethernet connection offered by your leasing agent or getting cable modem or DSL service. These options both require a network card to connect. Contact your leasing office about available Ethernet connections. To set up cable modem service, contact a local cable company; to set up DSL service, contact a local phone company.

If you live off campus and will not be using an Ethernet connection provided by your apartment complex, DSL, or a cable modem service, you must have a 56K V.90 modem in your computer in order to dial into the IU network.

Mac and Windows systems have built-in Ethernet cards; many models also offer modems.

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What wireless protocols will work at IU?

Secure wireless access is widely available at IUB, IUPUI, and IU East over 802.11 b/g. Many access points also support 802.11n in the 5GHz spectrum.

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Which Ethernet switches should I use?

Routers are only allowed in selected areas on campus; see At IU, may I add a wireless access point to my campus housing residence, classroom, or office? However, Ethernet hubs, repeaters, and switches are a cost-effective way to provide network connectivity to multiple devices via a single data jack. Unfortunately, improperly implemented switches can result in network problems for an entire building or even, in some rare cases, an entire campus.

To prevent network problems, end-user Ethernet switches on the IU network must meet the basic requirements published by UITS. For an explanation of these requirements, and for testing instructions, see At IU, is my Ethernet switch compatible with the campus network?

UITS recommends the following Ethernet switches:

  • D-Link 8-Port 10/100/1000 Desktop Switch
  • Netgear Prosafe 8-Port Gigabit Desktop Switch
  • Linksys Business Series 5-Port 10/100/1000 Gigabit Switch
  • HP ProCurve 408 8-Port 10/100 Switch

For detailed information, see At IU, what switches are recommended for use on the campus network?

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Can I have my computer delivered to my residence hall at IU?

Note: Although the university will take all reasonable precautions, IU cannot assume liability for your personal possessions, including computers shipped to the residence halls.

Note: All shipments must arrive no sooner than three days prior to your moving in.

To have your computer delivered to your residence hall or on-campus apartment, specify the following delivery address when ordering your computer:

Indiana University
Your Residence Hall
Bloomington, IN 47406
Attn: Your Name
Your Residence Hall
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Attn: Your Name

Replace "Your Name" with your full name and "Your Residence Hall" with the name of the building you will be living in (e.g., Teter Quad). Your computer will be shipped to that building. If it arrives too early, it will be rejected and returned to the sender. If it arrives no more than three days prior to move-in, staff will place it in your room. Although you will have to set up the computer yourself, Technology Center Consulting (TCC) will be available to assist you in getting your computer connected to the campus network.

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Can I get special computer deals as a student?

Yes. See ComputerGuide: Deals by vendor for information on deals with a wide variety of manufacturers, such as Apple, Dell, HP, Sony, and others.

At IU Bloomington, you can also visit the Computer Connection in IMU M074, call 812-855-2995, or send email to .

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What software do I need to buy?

IU has software licensing agreements with different software companies, allowing IU to distribute software at a discounted educational price. For more, see At IU, how can I get university-distributed software?

As an IU student, you are also eligible for free downloads of many software packages including those offered by Adobe and Microsoft. See for more information. Given that, you need not purchase any Microsoft packages (such as .trial. or .student edition. versions). Nor do you need to pay for any anti-virus packages since they are also available for download at no additional cost.

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Rich Media Cluster, with the Adobe Software Suite, (After Effects, Photoshop, Flash, and more) offers a software suite developed to complement the visual presentation of student research and scholarly work of all of IUPUI's students, faculty and staff. Adobe CS5 software delivers the outstanding performance and visual richness required to succeed in today's media culture.


Last updated by on 09/22/2011