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Athena Workstations

What is an Athena workstation?

An Athena workstation is a physical computer that allows users to interact with Athena , MIT's campus-wide Linux-based computing environment. It can be identified by a picture of Kilian Court on its login screen and the words "Welcome to Athena". MIT students, faculty and staff can gain access to an Athena workstation in one of many Athena Clusters or Athena Quickstations that are distributed throughout the MIT campus.


Use of these Athena facilities is restricted to MIT students, faculty and staff. Users are expected to abide by the Athena Rules of Use .

Operating systems

Most of the Athena workstations are running Ubuntu Linux and Debathena , Athena's latest software client. A few workstations are running Mac OS and MacAthena .

WinAthena, or, is MIT's central Windows domain. It is no longer supported by IS&T and there are no workstations running WinAthena.

Athena Clusters

Athena Clusters are computer labs consisting of Athena workstations (ranging from under a dozen in some cases to over a hundred in the Student Center cluster) and usually one or more Pharos printers . Some clusters have group workspaces with electronic whiteboards and large LCD displays with laptop connections. They are located throughout the MIT campus and their locations can be found on the MIT map .

To enter these facilities, you need to know the cluster lock combination. The combination changes annually on October 1st. To find out this combination, enter the following command at your athena% prompt:

tellme combo

You can also find out the current status of the Athena clusters by visiting or entering the following command on your athena% prompt


For information about individual Athena cluster, click on one of the following links:

Athena Cluster W20-575
Athena Cluster 14S-0xx - Hayden Library
[archive:Athena Cluster 38-370]
Athena Cluster 56-129
Athena Cluster 4-167
Athena Cluster 66-080
Athena Cluster 7-238 - Rotch Library
Athena Cluster 10-500 - Barker Library

[archive:Athena Cluster 66-080]
[archive:M12-182 Clusters]
[hd:M38-370 Cluster]

Athena Quickstations

Athena Quickstations are workstations that have all of the capabilities of an Athena workstation but are meant for quick activities such as checking email and printing documents. Users are encouraged to limit their usage to within 10 minutes, after which messages will prompt the user to log out. A few Athena Quickstations have printers located next to them.

Locations of Athena Quickstations can be found in Where are Athena Quickstations located?.

See also

Getting Started with Athena

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

August 04, 2016

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