Every students is required to bring a laptop with them to every class.

An Apple or Ubuntu Laptop is strongly recommended for DSE 200.


  • Any Apple or Ubuntu laptop purchased in the last three years.

Preferred Operating Systems

  • Apple: Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan).
  • Ubuntu: Desktop version 16.04 64-bit.

Students with Windows Laptops

Having a Apple or Ubuntu laptop will provide the best experience for this course. We will support Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux for DSE 200. Many of the DSE 200 course demonstrations and assignments rely on Unix commands that are not available on Windows. Windows users will also experience path and environment related issues. We recommend that Windows users use Ubuntu Linux in a virtual machine for DSE 200.

A laptop with a quad core i5 processor and 8GB of ram is recommend in order to have an acceptable experience running Ubuntu in a Virtual Machine.

VMWare Workstation is recommended for running Virtual Machines on Windows. VMWare offers a 30 day free trial. The regular price of VMWare Workstation is $250 but VMWare offers an $150 educational price for students.

VirtualBox is free but does not offer all of the features of VMWare Workstation and the user experience is less polished than VMWare Workstation.

Install images of Ubuntu can be downloaded for free.

Other courses may have different Computing Requirements