Computing FAQ

  • Hardware: Computers
  • Software: General, Anti-virus, Firewall, Microsoft, Adobe
  • Services: CalNet, Email, File Storage, Course Websites, Lab Websites, Backup Services

For answers to any questions not listed below, send email to BDS IT Support,


Computers - Where is the best place to buy computers?

  1. The campus has negotiated special prices for recommended configurations of Macs and PCs (Joint Administrative Computing Standardization Program - JACS)
  2. The Dell and Apple Punch-Out Catalogs in BearBuy


General - What software is available to campus users?

Berkeley has licenses for Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec and others.  For more information see the Full Catalog.  Non-site licensed software can be purchased with a discount from SHI (see Punch-Out catalog in BearBuy).

Anti-virus - What anti-virus software should I use?

Campus minimum security standards require that all computers have anti-virus software.  The campus has licenses for System Center EndPoint Protection.  

Firewall - What Firewall software should I use?

Campus minimum security standards require that all computers have firewall software.  Although the campus-licensed System Center EndPoint Protection includes firewall software, we recommend you use the built-in firewalls in Windows (for Vista, 7 and 8) and Mac OSX.

Microsoft - Where can I get Microsoft Office and other Microsoft Software?

As a part of the Operational Excellence–sponsored Productivity Suite project, Berkeley has signed a campus license agreement to provide the most commonly used Microsoft software to all faculty, staff, and students at no cost to individuals or departments. Visit the Microsoft section of the Software Central website for information and to download the software.

Adobe - What Adobe software is available and where can I get it?

The Operational Excellence project has also provided Adobe software. Visit the Adobe section of the Software Central website for information and to download the software.

BDS Computer Support Recommendations for Labs- BDS Computer Support recommends that Labs in the Life Sciences obtain a site license for Adobe and Microsoft products rather than using the personal licenses available to faculty, staff and students.  There are several steps that must be followed in order to obtain site licenses but the good news is that they are free for UC owned machines. 

Evaluate your lab's needs for Microsoft and Adobe products. 

Have your department Faculty/Manager/MSO/Director send email to with

  • MICROSOFT DEPT IT in the subject line
  • department name and authorizer
  • names and email addresses of persons to be granted access
  • list of product requested
  • estimated number of machines on which you intend to install, by platform (e.g., 20 Macs and 56 PCs)

They will send you back an email with a token for creating your account on that will have access to software available to UC Berkeley and license keys for the products you requested.  Use that token to create you account on SHI and then download and install your software.

Adobe CS6 will be downloaded from a share on a Campus server.  A link will be sent in an email and you will use your calent id to access the share.


CalNet - What is CalNet and how to I get and account?

Calnet is a central authentication service used to authenticate users for most campus and department online services such as email and software download.

Email - Where do I get an email account?

The campus provides emails services to members of campus with bMail (Google Apps for Education).  To create an account, goto and click on Create Account.

File Storage and Sharing - Where can I store my files and how to I share files with co-workers and collaborators?

The campus has several options for storing and sharing files. For more information see the overview chart.

  1. Box.Net - Berkeley provides campus members with 25GB accounts with, a cloud storage and sharing service.  You can store files with the service, sync them with your computer and set up shared folders for others to access files. See:
  2. bDrive - As part of its bConnected service (Google Apps for education), Berkeley members have 5GB of file storage.  See:
  3. CalShare - Fee based service for complex requirement or sensitive data.  See:
  4. bCourses - Although primarily designed for course websites, Berkeley members can set up project websites on bCourses to facilitate collaboration.  Services include Wikis, Discussions, etc.

Course Websites - Where can I host a course website?

We strongly recommend you host your course website on bCourses.

Lab Websites - Where can I host a lab website?

Contact for information.

Backup Services - How should I backup my computer?

UC Backup is a campus service. You can read about the details here: If you decide you want to sign up for UC Backup, we need to submit the application for you. Send email to and we will get back to you with more information.