Posts Tagged ‘Windows’

New Microsoft Licensing terms

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

Last year, the license agreement between ETH and Microsoft has changed. There are some new terms and conditions which are important if you use a Microsoft product from the ETH IT Shop.

If your hardware came with Windows preinstalled from the hardware vendor, you have your own license for MS Office, or you are using non-Microsoft products like Libre Office, then you are not affected by this new license agreement. No further action is needed in this case.

However, if you use any of the following software products from the ETH IT Shop you have to take action:

  • Windows 10 Education
  • Windows 10 LTSC
  • MS Office XXXX (for example MS Office 2016)
  • Microsoft 365
  • Microsoft Teams
  • ETH Exchange Mail (

either on a managed Windows workstation from ISG or a self-managed workstation or notebook.

In this case you need to request access for a free Microsoft Cloud Subscription in the IT Shop. See here for instructions. If you already use MS 365 or MS Teams, maybe you already have the Cloud Subscription and no additional step is necessary. This can also be verified in the IT Shop. Remember that you need renew the subscription every year.

The new Microsoft license agreement allows only 1 MS Office XXXX (for example MS Office 2016 or Office 2019) installation per user. If you need installations on multiple computers for example in labs, use MS 365 instead.

Note that you will have to take action if you're affected. You cannot sit this one out. The Informatikdienste license team will be coerced by Microsoft to enforce license compliance, and they will contact you if you don't get your Cloud Subscription.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us in our Matrix chat #D-PHYS ISG Helpdesk or by email

Thank you for your attention, and kind regards.

Revised Adobe license at ETH

Friday, October 25th, 2019

Adobe has forced ETH to move from impersonal serial numbers to Adobe Cloud accounts, linked to your full name and personal email address. All previous installations will stop working after November 30th 2019. ETH encourages users to switch to one of the many alternatives to Adobe software. You may also consider using the free Adobe Reader to open PDFs, as many don't need the features of the paid Acrobat Pro. If you really need to keep using Adobe software, you have to migrate to the new personalized license. The detailed usage conditions and disclaimer regarding the Adobe Cloud will be visible when ordering the software in the IT Shop.

Unfortunately the central IT services only provided the new installers two days ago, meaning that everyone is forced to have migrated within 5 weeks. We tested the Windows and macOS installers and explain the activation and installation of Adobe programs in our readme.

Impact on managed workstations

The change in the Adobe licensing also affects our ISG D-PHYS managed computers. Given that all Adobe licenses must now be personal, we can no longer order the licenses for you. This, in turn, implies that we must exclude all Adobe software from our yearly software license accounting. Starting with the current 2019/2020 period, we will not charge you for Adobe products, as you will have to pay them directly yourself while ordering from the IT Shop.

All managed Windows and macOS computers will be migrated to the new Adobe Creative Cloud on

Wednesday, November 20th

In case you need to keep using Adobe software, we advise you to already order the license from the IT Shop. Starting on November 20th, you will need to log in with your personal Adobe account and install the programs, as explained in our readme. Feel free to get in touch with us, if you want us to migrate your computer before that date.

The end of Windows 7 is coming…

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

The time has come to upgrade your Windows 7 computer to Windows 10
since extended support for Windows 7 ends on January 14, 2020 (Windows lifecycle).

Why can I no longer use Windows 7 on the ETH network after the end of 2019?

Only operating systems with security support by the vendor are allowed to connect to the ETH network.

Unsupported operating systems that no longer receive security updates render the computer vulnerable to threats like viruses, malware or hacker attacks and also pose a threat to other computers on the network.

What should I do now?

  • If you are using an OEM computer with preinstalled Windows 7 for your daily work, please update it to Windows 10 by the end of this year, at the latest. The easiest way is to use the "Microsoft Media Creation Tool" available here.
    This process is called "inplace upgrade". All applications and configuration settings should be kept.
  • If your computer is installed with the Windows 7 Enterprise license from ETH IDES, order Windows 10 Enterprise from the IT-Shop and use it for the upgrade.
  • If your computer is located in a lab and needs to be highly available to collect measurement data, there is the possibility to use a Windows 10 LTSC version instead of the Enterprise version. Please contact your IT administrator within your group. He should be able to help you or can get in touch with us if he needs additional help. More details about the LTSC version are described on our readme page.
  • If you think that you cannot upgrade your computer, please refer to our readme for possible solutions or contact us.

Note that at some point the network security group of Informatikdienste will start scanning for remaining Windows 7 computers at which point we will be forced to disconnect them from the network.

LTSP Clients And The LTSP Server “plimpy” Upgrade

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

We will upgrade our LTSP server "plimpy" the next Wednesday, 24 June 2009 starting at 7 pm. Please save all your open documents and log out until that time. The machine should be ready again the next morning. You don't have to back up your data on /scratch since we will do that. Find the details on the software changes here.

While performing the upgrade to Debian "lenny" we will switch to a 64 bit kernel since finally also Adobe flash player, the last missing mission-critical app, is now available for 64 bit Linux. Unfortunately Adobe still doesn't ship 64 bit Linux versions of Adobe Reader (formerly Acrobat Reader). You can still fill Adobe Reader PDF forms and even create and edit PDF documents on the Windows RDP Server "ramora" which you can access via the ETH Zurich menu, Microsoft Office (or the full-screen login, see above link).

Windows logins from any D-PHYS Linux box

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Some weeks back we announced Windows logins on our Linux thin clients. If you're on one of our regular Linux machines and still would like to use some Windows-only program from time to time, you can of course get the same functionality by running rdesktop directly.
Please read our wiki page to learn how this is done.