Applications

 

Adobe Creative Cloud

 

All MIT faculty, students, and staff can access the Adobe Creative Cloud suite by entering an @mit.edu address at https://www.adobe.com and authenticating through Touchstone Authentication

Note: If you already have an Adobe Creative Cloud account using your @mit.edu address, you will see two options when you log in to adobe.com:

  • Personal account - This is your non-MIT licensed account, using your personal email address and password.

  • Company or school account - This is your Touchstone-enabled MIT account, using your Kerberos credentials.

If your account was provided by MIT, use the Touchstone-enabled “company or school” account. If you paid for your Adobe subscription youself, it will continue working under your personal account as long as your subscription remains current.

 

More information about MIT's Creative Cloud Offering can be found here: https://ist.mit.edu/adobe/cc

 

 

CAD Related Applications

Autodesk [Mac, Windows]

Most all Autodesk applications are available to students free of charge. Please visit:
https://ist.mit.edu/autodesk/suite

Draftsight [Linux, Mac, Windows]

DraftSight is a full-featured product, available on all platforms for free:
https://www.3ds.com/products-services/draftsight-cad-software/

Mastercam [Windows]

Mastercam is available to all members of the MIT community, for educational/teaching purposes only. More info here.

Rhinoceros [Mac, Windows]

Rhino 6 and 7 licenses are available to all students in the Department of Architecture at no charge. Licenses should not be shared outside the Department.

To download a STOA-issued license (certificates required):

  1. Download the latest free 'evaluation' copy of Rhino 7 from McNeel: https://www.rhino3d.com/download
  2. Install Rhino
  3. When prompted for a license, select "LAN Zoo" and fill in the Zoo server address. For more detailed installation instructions, see here. 
  4. For the address of the Zoo server, click here.
  5. Important: The above link to the license requires valid MIT certificates.  Please test the validity of your certificate here, if you are having trouble accessing the above link.  If your certificate is not valid, please download CertAid to configure your certificates.
    • Should you have further difficulty accessing the license page despite having valid certificates and being a member of the Department of Architecture, please contact stoa@mit.edu.  If you need guest access to the license, and you are taking a course with the Department of Architecture, please provide your course number and instructor.  If you are a member of the DUSP or CRE communities, please contact cron@mit.edu or creit@mit.edu respectively.

      As the STOA license requires a connection to the MIT network (i.e. a VPN connection if off campus), the licensing server may not be available in countries where VPN services are restricted. If this situation applies to you, personal licenses can be purchased here: https://www.rhino3d.com/sales/north-america/United_States

V-Ray for Rhino [Windows]

 

V-Ray for Rhino licenses are available to all students in the Department of Architecture at no charge. Licenses should not be shared outside the Department.

 

  1. To install V-Ray for Rhino, click here to access the installer. The vendor, Chaos Group, may require you to create an account in order to access the installer. 

  2. Launch the V-Ray installer, and follow the instructions listed here
    1. When prompted, select 'Advanced' rather than 'Install'.
    2. When prompted for 'local' or 'remote' under "Need help setting up licenses?", select "Remote". 
    3. Connect to the GlobalProtect VPN, then click here for the licensing server information. ​​
    4. Enter the server settings, then click 'Install'.

 

Important: The above link to the license requires valid MIT certificates.  Please test the validity of your certificate here, if you are having trouble accessing the above link.  If your certificate is not valid, please download Certaid to configure your certificates. If you need guest access to the license, and you are taking a course with the Department of Architecture, please provide your course number and instructor. As the STOA license requires a connection to the MIT network (i.e. a VPN connection if off campus), the licensing server may not be available in countries where VPN services are restricted. If this situation applies to you, personal licenses can be purchased here: https://www.rhino3d.com/sales/north-america/United_States

Climate Studio for Rhino [Windows]

Climate Studio for Rhino is available to all students in the School of Architecture and Planning at no charge. Licenses should not be shared outside the School.

To download a STOA-issued license (certificates required):

  1. Download a copy of Climate Studio: Climate Studio for Rhino
  2. Install Climate Studio
  3. The next time you launch Rhino, it will detect the Plug-In and prepare it for use.  This may take some time.
  4. For the information to enter as the License Key, click here.  Save these settings, and then reboot your machine before proceeding.
  5. Important: The above link to the license requires valid MIT certificates.  Please test the validity of your certificate here, if you are having trouble accessing the above link.  If your certificate is not valid, please download CertAid to configure your certificates for Chome, Internet Explorer, Edge, and/or Safari.  For Firefox, please click here.
  6. Should you have further difficulty accessing license information despite having valid certificates and being a member of the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, contact stoa@mit.edu.  If you need guest access to the license, and you are taking a course with the Department of Architecture, please provide your course number and instructor.

As the STOA license requires a connection to the MIT network (i.e. a VPN connection if off campus), the licensing server may not be available in countries where VPN services are restricted. If this situation applies to you, personal licenses can be purchased here: https://www.rhino3d.com/sales/north-america/United_States

 

Render Farm Services [Mac, Windows]

 

Using a Commercial Service

 

There are many commercial rendering services students can use for larger projects. Services that we've received information on include:

 

There are lists of renderfarm services maintained at:

  • www.rendercore.com
    • Supports 3D Studio Max and VRay.
    • Does not support Rhino or Maxwell.
    • Price starts at $0.15 per CPU core per hour (a standard CPU core is 3GHz).
    • Recommended by another major Architecture school.
  • www.renderrocket.com
    • Supports 3D Studio Max and VRay.
    • Does not support Rhino or Maxwell.
    • Prices start at $0.35 per CPU core per hour.
    • $0.20 per CPU core per hour with student ID and prepaid account. Other discounts may be available.
  • www.rebusfarm.net
    • Supports 3D Studio Max, VRay and Maxwell.
    • Does not support Rhino.
    • Prices start at $0.022 per GHz per hour.
    • Volume discounts available.
    • Located in Germany so tech support will be best midnight to 9:00 AM EST.
  • http://www.3dlinks.com/3D_Render_Farms.cfm
  • http://rentrender.com/all-render-farms-list/

 

GIS Related Applications

QGIS : Open Source GIS

Download latest version here: http://qgis.org/en/site/forusers/download.html

ESR ArcGISI

Terms

  1. You agree not to share this software with anyone.
  2. You agree to all other specific terms in the license agreement.
  3. You must run this software whilst on MIT campus or connected to MIT network via VPN.

ArcGIS Download

Note: ESRI products are Windows only. If a Macintosh user, you can run them either under BootCamp or VMware, or over a Citrix connection

Windows users can download and configure ArcGIS from this page: http://ist.mit.edu/arcgis/license. After downloading, please follow instructions found on same page. 

 

As the STOA license requires a connection to the MIT network (i.e. a VPN connection if off campus), the licensing server may not be available in countries where VPN services are restricted. 

 

MATLAB

Mac OS X & Windows

Students can download and install MATLAB to their personal computers, following the instructions found here: MATLAB

More information, including troubleshooting steps, can be found here: MATLAB Landing Page

Linux:

  1. Ensure you are on a fast network connection to internet (DSL, Cable)
  2. Start up a terminal
  3. At the prompt, type: ssh -X username@athena.dialup.mit.edu
    • Replace "username" with your Athena username and input your Athena password if asked to do so.
  4. At the prompt, type: add matlab
  5. At the prompt, type: matlab &
  6. At the MATLAB prompt, type: desktop

When through:

  1. Select 'File', then 'Quit' from MATLAB window
  2. In terminal window, type: logout

 

Microsoft Office Suite

Procurement

Every MIT student is entitled to install Microsoft Office on one personally owned machine. Students can download the software from the Microsoft Campus Agreement for Office download site: https://msca.mit.edu/cgi-bin/msoffice (certificates required).

 

Troubleshooting

 

If the Activation Wizard stalls or continues popping up after installation, make sure that your computer is configured properly for MIT and you're connected to the MIT VPN if you are off campus.

 

 

 

Operating Systems

Mac OS X

MIT does not distribute macOS licenses to students. Apple distributes its operating system completely FREE of charge through the 'AppStore' (found on your Macintosh in /Applications). 

Windows

MIT provides licenses to students for Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise. We ask that you use Windows 10 64-bit if possible.

To register for a license and download the installer:

  1. Make sure your computer is ready for installation immediately (all necessary backups have been made and you have enough spare time). The installer will work for only a few days after downloading. If it expires or you delete it, you will have only one chance to download it again.
  2. Make sure you have all the drivers the computer requires, on a USB or external hard drive. This is especially important for network drivers since there will be no way to download new drivers without network access.
  3. Visit https://msca.mit.edu/cgi-bin/windows for download (web certificates required). Get the ISO file unless you know for sure that you need something else.
  4. Transfer the downloaded image to the USB, and boot from the USB to install Windows.

If you are connected to the MIT network either on campus or on the MIT VPN, Windows will connect to Microsoft to activate itself automatically, when first installed and every 6 months thereafter. This activation is necessary for Windows to continue functioning. On graduation, you'll receive an email about how to convert your Windows license to a permanent license. 

Follow IS&T's guidelines for Windows activation

 

VMWare, Virtualization, and Bootcamp

Requirements

  1. Must have at least 16GB of RAM (the more the better)
  2. Must have an SSD (solid state drive) with at least 75GB of free disk space

Boot Camp / VM

Boot Camp allows one to boot the computer into either Windows or the Macintosh OS. Under virtualization, the computer is always booted into the Macintosh OS, which then (with the aid of virtualization software) runs the Windows OS inside of a Macintosh window. Please see below for advantages and disadvantages of each.

Boot Camp: Advantages

  1. Free
  2. Maximum performance when running Windows

Boot Camp: Disadvantages

  1. Can run only 1 operating system at a time. One needs to either boot the computer into Windows or boot it into OS X
  2. Takes hours to install Windows OS and suite of Autodesk/ESRI applications.
  3. Requires separate backup routine

Virtualization: Advantages

  1. Free 
  2. Easy and fast to install
  3. Very fast Windows boot times, made almost instantaneous when starting Windows VM from a 'suspended' state
  4. Can reset the VM to any past state with click of a button. For instance, if (when) Windows starts misbehaving, rather than mucking with the Registry and/or reinstalling Windows, applications and restoring files from backups, simply click "Restore" button to return the VM to known good state.
  5. Easy to transfer files between Macintosh and Windows environments through 'shared' and 'mirrored' folders (and of course copy/paste between Macintosh and Windows windows).
  6. Why stop with a single VM? Create as many as you like for almost every OS under the sun.
  7. Option to run the VM in a resizeable Macintosh window, or have it take over entire screen or have the VM display only those windows belonging to running applications (hiding the Desktop, Start Menu and other OS features entirely)
  8. IS&T offers several ready made VMs that are preconfigured with basic software packages

Virtualization: Disadvantages

  1. Approximately 10-15% performance hit--more for certain applications with heavy hardware requirements
  2. Requires lots of RAM in host computer. We recommend 16GB.
  3. Requires fast hard drive. SSD (Solid State Drive) required.
  4. Some software, such as Rhino, does not run properly in a VM

Which to choose

If one needs compatibility for Windows programs and high performance, then Boot Camp is your friend. 

If convenience is more important than raw performance, virtualization is more convenient.

 

Boot Camp Installation

Bootcamp Installation How-to from Apple - https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201468

Windows 10 Enterprise licensing information, please select the 64-bit version  - http://ist.mit.edu/windows/10/enterprise

 

VMWare Installation

  1. Install VMWare Fusion from the link here: https://ist.mit.edu/vmware-fusion
  2. Start VMWare Fusion. It may inform you that an update exists. If so, agree to download and install it.
  3. If you wish to use the Windows VMs provided by IS&T:
    1. Download the ready-made Windows 10 VM by clicking one of the following: Student, Student w/ Solidworks, Base Windows 10 (certificates required)
    2. Create a folder named 'Virtual Machines' inside your home directory
    3. Move the unzipped WindowsVM from step a) into the 'Virtual Machines' folder
  4. If you wish to build your own Windows VM from scratch:
    1. Download Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit from here (certificates required). Be sure to download 'Windows 10 Enterprise DVD image 64-bit (ISO format)'
    2. Run VMWare application. Create new VM. Take care to uncheck "Easy Install" as you will be installing from "Disk Image". When prompted, select the ISO downloaded in a. above
    3. Windows installation begins. When through and Windows reboots for the last time, select from menu: Virtual Machine > Install VMWare Tools
    4. Install all 'Critical' or 'Recommended' Windows updates immediately!
  5. Proceed to 'VMware VM Configuration' below.

VMware VM Configuration

Now that you've installed VMware Fusion, downloaded IS&T's VM, or created one from scratch, it is time to configure it. See below:

  1. VM Backup: Omit the VM from your current Macintosh backups (Time Machine, CrashPlan etc). Follow instructions for your specific backup solution to *omit* the ~/Virtual Machines directory from the backup set. If you do not do this, the backup software will attempt to backup your VM every time-- leaving all your other files on computer without backup (as well as filling up your backup devince in no time). As we shall see later, the files you create when using the VM will be saved outside the VM to either the Desktop or Documents folder on your Mac. As a result, they *will* be backed up even thought the VM itself is not.

  2. Add VM to VMware Fusion Library: start VMware Fusion then select 'Virtual Machine Library' from 'Window' menu. Drag the VM in ~/Virtual Machines to the Library window. When successful, you will find the VM listed in left hand pane of Virtual Machine Library window

  3. VM Hardware Configuration: we need assign (virtual) hardware properties to the VM before using it. We will set these to not more than 50% of your computer's physical resources. To check your computer's hardware specs: Apple Menu > About this Mac > System Report. Take note of amount of 'Memory' and 'Total Number of Cores'. Now with your VM selected in the left hand panel of the Virtual Machine Library window, click once on the VM to select it, then click on the wrench icon in the upper right corner of window. Click 'Processors & Memory' and set 'Processors' and 'Memory' to 1/2 that of your computer's physical hardware (it is possible that the VM is already properly set). Close window. Consult 'Help' menu for more important details

  4. VM Document Sharing Configuration: though the VM is a completely self-contained Windows environment with its own storage (C: drive, Desktop etc.), we do not want to use this storage for documents created/edited within our VM. Rather we want to use your Macintosh's Desktop and Documents folder for saving files created/edited within your VM. There are 2 reasons for this: 1) these folders are already being backed up using your Macintosh backup software of choice and 2) you would then have access to the files form both Macintosh and Windows VM environments. To share your Macintosh Desktop and Documents folder with the VM, click once on your VM in the Library left panel to select it, then click on wrench icon in upper right corner of window. Click on 'Sharing' then > Enable Shared Folders. Beneath 'Mirrored Folders', click 'Desktop' and 'Documents' (and any others you wish to mirror). You can share any folder on your Macintosh by clicking '+' and specifying the folder. We strongly suggest you share any network folders as well, such as Dropbox or OneDrive, GoogleDrive etc. This way you have access to all these files from within the VM without having to install/configure Dropbox etc inside the VM. Close window when done. Consult 'Help' menu for more important details

  5. VM Snapshot: an extraordinarily powerful feature of VMs is the ability to 'snapshot' them. A snapshot captures the VM's exact state at time of capture. You can store multiple snapshots and restore to any snapshot in seconds. This is particularly useful if you are about to install new software, Windows updates or just have your VM in a state you would like to be able to return to if anything were to go wrong. To create a snapshot: select your VM in the 'Virtual Machine Library' window, then click on the camera icon. You can figure out the rest form there. We recommend you create a snapshot now to preserve the customisations we've made above. Consult 'Help' menu for more important details

  6. VM Run: we are now ready to run the VM. Double-click the VM in the 'Virtual Machine Library' window or click on the 'play' button in upper right of window. Windows will boot and run like a regular PC. Note that we already installed Office 2019 and ArcGIS for you, so you are ready to get to work immediately. Consult 'Help' menu for more important details

  7. Viewing the VM: The VM can be viewed in full-screen mode (control+left-arrow/control+right-arrow to toggle between the VM and your Mac), or as resizebale single window. Slect your preference fomr the 'View' menu. Note: if the VMware Fusion menu is hidden, then simply move your mouse to top of your screen, remove your hand from mouse so cursor reamins perfectly still for couple seconds, then menu will appear

  8. Quitting VMware Fusion: when you are through using your VM, you do not need to shutdown Windows within the VM. Simply select 'Quit VMware Fusion' from the Vmware Fusion menu (or command+q). This will suspend your VM. When you next start the VM it will resume exactly where you left off. Consult 'Help' menu for more important details

  9. Printing, Networking, VPN: by default, all networking, VPN connections, printers on the Mac are passed through to the VM without nay further configuration. So if you need a VPN connection (ArcGIS requires it), simply start the VPN on your mac and then start your VM

  10. Performance Tips: quit all non-essential applications before starting VMware Fusion. Keep from launching inessential Macintosh apps for the time your are running VMware Fusion. Fusion/Windows need a lot of resources to run. So do not cripple it by running Chrome with 20 tabs open (for instance). Similarly, when you no longer need to use your VM, quit VMware Fusion! This will free up resources for your other apps. Consult 'Help' menu for more important details

 

Research Applications

 

Please find below software packages often used for research. Note that access to many packages are restricted by faculty, and some applications are not available remotely for Fall 2020. Please contact the faculty member listed should you require access.

 

Software
Group
Contact
Link
Special Instructions
ArcGIS Architecture N/A link N/A
Bongo (Rhino plug-in) Architecture N/A link N/A
Cradle Architecture: Building Technology Norford link N/A
Dymola Architecture: Building Technology Norford link N/A
Fluent Architecture: Building Technology stoa link Contact stoa@mit.edu for license server
Karamba Architecture: Building Technology N/A link On first launch only:
  1. Start Rhino by clicking on "C:\Program Files\Rhinoceros 5 (64-bit)\Plug-ins\Karamba_1_x_x_Rhino5Plugin.rhp"
  2. If prompted for license, Test the connection to arch-zoo.mit.edu and apply
    MATLAB Architecture N/A link N/A
    Rhino Architecture N/A link N/A

    Render Farm (commercial)

    Architecture N/A link N/A
    MASSACHUSETTS GREEN HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING CENTER MGHPCC link link Research Computing at scale for MIT.  Unlimited cores, RAM, batch processing and more. Linux/UNIX primarily. Some familiarity with Bash shell helpful

     

     

    Other Applications

     

    Stata

    For information regarding installation and licensing for Stata, see here.

    Enscape3D

    Enscape3D offers free educational licenses for students and faculty.  For information regarding installation and licensing for Enscape3D, see here.

    Unity

    Unity offers free educational licenses for students and faculty.  For information regarding installation and licensing for Unity, see here.

    Twin Motion

    Twin Motion offers free educational licenses for students and faculty.  For information regarding installation and licensing for Twin Motion, see here.

    Lumion

    Lumion offers free educational licenses for students and faculty.  For information regarding installation and licensing for Lumion, see here.

    Bluebeam

    Bluebeam offers free educational licenses for students and faculty.  For information regarding installation and licensing for Bluebeam, see here.

    Blender

    Blender is open source and free to use by all.  For information regarding installation and licensing for Blender, see here.

    CRADLE scSTEAM v14

    This software is available to students of Prof Les Norford. To gain access to this software, make a request to Prof Norford, then once it's been granted, click here.

    Notes:

    • valid MIT web certificates are required for download
    • for detailed installation instructions, please consult 'STOA_README' included in download package
    • for this software to run, you be on the MIT network. If off-campus, please use your VPN

     

    DYMOLA

    This software is available to students of Prof Les Norford. To gain access to this software, first make a request to Prof Norford, then once it's been granted, click here.

    Notes:

    • valid MIT web certificates are required for download
    • for detailed installation instructions, please consult 'STOA_DYMOLA_README' included in download package
    • for this software to run, you be on the MIT network. If off-campus, please use your VPN