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These instructions are intended for the situation where you have administrator access to a new Ubuntu machine and are establishing your own user account and connecting to the NPS network.  For example, if you are an ME4823 student with a new class laptop.

New User Account

*The computer does not know about your NPS user account or credentials.

You will need to give yourself a local administrator user account on each machine in the lab; for now just worry about  one machine. 

  1. Login to the computer using the  "Field Robotics Lab" (frl) account with the standard password.  This is an administrator account.
  2. Access the "User Accounts".  Click on Dash (upper left corner)

    to search for "System Settings" - click on System Settings


    and then on Users Accounts to bring up a window like this...


  3. Add your own new account
    To add an account you need to click on the upper right corner of the User Accounts window where it says Unlock. You will then be prompted the frl password. 
    Then click on the plus sign "+" in the lower left to add yourself.  It is recommended that you use your NPS username.

    Make sure to change the Account Type to Administrator.  Add your full name and make a username that you would like to use.

  4. Enable the account.
    When you return the the User Accounts window and you have your new account selected, you will notice that under Login Options -> Password it says "Account Disabled".  Click on "Account Disabled" to set your password.
  5. Logout
    Now logout of the frl account (click on upper right corner of the screen)
  6. Login with your new user account.

Wired NPS Network Connection

Connecting to the NPS network can be a challenge.  Typically getting the wired connection to work is easier than wireless.

  1. Register the MAC address for the computers wired Ethernet adaptor.  
    1. Find the MAC address.
      You can get the MAC address from the machine you are working with in a variety OS-dependent ways (or there might be a sticker on your machine).  For example, on Linux you can use the ifconfig command.  Under "eth0" (or eth1) the "HWaddr" is the MAC address for the worked network adapter.  For example, the MAC address for eth0 shown below is "40:8d:5c:55:55:54"
    2. You will need to submit a request for MAC address authentication through the NPS wiki (MAC Authentication for Wired Network Devices Request).  One note about this is that I have found it challenging to use ITACS form on the wiki.  Most of the time when I click on the "Computers" button on the wiki to submit the request, nothing happens.    One way around this is to logon to the JIRA https://jira.nps.edu.  This seems to make things work for me.
    3. You should quickly (~5 min) get an email confirmation from JIRA saying the MAC address has been registered.
    4. Connect your network cable.  Issue the 'ifconfig' command again and see if the computer was assigned an IP address.  In the image above, my computer has the IP address 172.20.80.228, indicating I've successfully connected to the NPS wired network.
  2. Import DoD certificates in Firefox
    I have found that to use the internet I need to install the DoD certificates before the NPS network will allow me to connect outside of nps.edu
    1. You will need the actual certificate files.  For the ME4823 laptops, these certificates should be on the computer in the directory /home/frl/NPSCertificates
      Otherwise, you will need to download them on a connected computer and then transfer them to the computer you are setting up.  You can download the certificates from the NPS wiki at DOD Root SSL Certificates.  Note you will need to right-click and use the save-as to save the actual files.
    2. Follow these directions Installing DOD Root Certs for Firefox
    3. Restart Firefox.
  3. Test connection
    1. A low-level way to test your connection is with the ping command.  You should be able to ping the nps.edu domain, even if you don't have the certificates installed.  Success looks like this...
    2. Now see if you can access the outside network.  You can try pinging Google's DNS server at with the ip address 8.8.8.8.  Success looks like this...

Wireless NPS Network Connection

Connecting to the NPS Wireless network has, in my experience, be more fragile.  Here are the ITACS directions: NPS ERN on Linux (Ubuntu)

It seems to work most of the time, but not always.

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