Is my Mac compatible with High Sierra?

If you have the following model of Mac, you can download and install macOS High Sierra:

  • Mac Pro (mid 2010 or newer)
  • iMac (late 2009 or newer)
  • Mac mini (mid 2010 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (mid 2010 or newer)
  • MacBook (late 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (late 2010 or newer)

If your Mac is older than any of the models listed above, it isn’t compatible with macOS High Sierra.

Setup ARCGis in VirtualBox:

New VM settings:

30 GB Hard drive (flexible allotment)


Reedit after saving:

Increase cores to ‘2’

Set ISO file (wind10) for virtual cdrom drive

Change chipset to second option

Start VM

Run through defaults, Select ‘Custom Install’.

For product key, go to page link in dreamspark receipt in email.

After windows 10 installation completes.

Insert ‘Guest additions’ CD from virtual box. This will install paravirtualization drivers for improved scaling.

Now you are done.

Map N drive on Mac

For a Mac it must be set up and configured for you to have access to the network drive.

You have to open finder and then in the top menu click on GO and then click on connect to server.

In the box that pops up enter smb://COLOSTATE;ename@acns.colostate.edu/wcnr-network

Hit the plus next to the box and it will save the address for you

Then hit the connect button and in the box that pops up for your user name enter ‘COLOSTATE\ename’

Some times with newer versions of the OS it will take just the user name without the ‘COLOSTATE\’

And then use your WCNR password

You can select the option to save user name and password then click on the connect button and this should get you connected to the N drive.

Map N drive Windows

Click on File Explorer the little folder on the task bar

In the left hand column find the icon for This PC and right click on it and select Map Network Drive

In the box that pops up change the Drive letter to N

Then in the folder path enter \\acns.colostate.edu\wcnr-network

check the boxes for reconnect at sigh in and also connect using different credentials then click finish

in the box that pops up there is a box for user name and password right under that it will say the domain name

If the domain says COLOSTATE then all you need to do is enter your WCNR user name and password, most likely the same as your eid

If the domain says something other than COLOSTATE then the user name has to be COLOSTATE\your user name

This should connect up the N drive for you

Connection to Linux applications via X-Window system:


Windows client would use Xming (http://sourceforge.net/projects/xming) and a SSH client such as PUTTY (http://www.putty.org/).

“​​Launch Putty and enable X11 forwarding by enabling Enable X11 forwarding under the Tunnels options. The Tunnels options is located here: Under the Category panel expand Connection, then expand SSH and finally click on Tunnels.”


Setting up X window sessions:

The X-Windows system allows you to tunnel Linux applications to your mac. It’s kind of (not really) similar to virtual applications on a Microsoft RemoteApp server.

X-Windows relies on an x11 library (installed by default on Mac computers) however it needs an application to grab the tunnel information from terminal. Here is how we suggest doing this:

  1. Install xQuartz (https://www.xquartz.org)
    1. This will require a reboot of the computer when completed.
  2. Remote to a linux workstation/server that has a graphic interface installed (not all servers do) using the following syntax:
    1. ssh -X username@servername.warnercnr.colostate.edu
    2. please note the capital ‘X’ tag.
  3. Provided there are no errors this should look just like a regular ssh session. To test it attempt to run an X-window application.
    1. Type ‘gedit’ and hit enter. You should have a notepad-like application run.
  4. Other X-window applications include: gedit, gimp, mathlab


  • Open terminal “ssh –XC <servername>”

Once connection has been established per above OS specific directions, type in the name od an X compatible Linux application such as ‘gedit’ or ‘mathlab’.

Device Replacement Guidelines

WCNR IT suggest the following guideline to assist in decisions regarding the replacement, repair, and estimated lifecycle of Apple devices.

Estimated Lifecycle:

All computer devices have a finite lifetime. This lifetime can be determined by OS and software support of the hardware or simply the age at which the hardware is most likely to fail. When planning lifecycle costs for your department be mindful of the following:

  • OS X/macOS versions are typically backwards compatible approximately 6 years. After this time, the hardware will not support the newest OS, security updates or even some applications.
  • Consumer harddrives have a general life expectancy of 4 years with normal use. At 3-4 years there is an uptick in the likelihood of harddrive failure.

Replacement vs Repair:

WNCR IT is committed to providing cost and time effective sustainable solutions for our clients. Below list additional guidelines when deciding on replacement vs repair.

  • 4-5 years of service from a computing device is typically an apt time to consider replacement. At this time frame:
    • Likelihood of hardware failure increases.
    • Substantial device improvements are usually available after 4-5 years. (Faster disks (SSD), faster RAM (DDR4), etc)
    • Provides advance planning time for new OS or applications in case of compatibility concerns.
  • If the repair is minor, 3-4 years is an ideal time to consider small upgrades to gain additional use. Small upgrades include:
    • RAM upgrades
    • Harddrive upgrades (spinning disk to ssd)

Important Considerations:

  • As your device falls out of warranty and grows in age it is important to consider the following:
    • Probability of data loss increases. If you do not already have a backup plan in place please contact WCNR IT for available options and assistance setting one up.
    • Probability of downtime increases, should a critical device component fail the device will be out of service of an extended period of time. Factors include cost/shipping of parts, service/repair time, type of failure.
    • Lastly, please do not hesitate to reach out to WCNR IT for advice regarding your computer equipment. We can assist in troubleshooting further the nature of device issue to determine if it is software or hardware based. Additionally, we can assist in the resolution of most software issues.

Mac Vs Windows Purchasing Decisions

When making purchasing decisions it is always important to make cost-effective solutions that will support your workflow. This document is to help cover key points when deciding between an Apple or Windows workstation. This is by no mean comprehensive but will hopefully cover any major considerations.

Comparing Oranges to Oranges:

When picking a computer, the easiest way to compare or contrast the systems are typically by reviewing hardware specifications. These specifications include:

  • processor type (eg intel i5, i7)
  • RAM type (DDR3, DDR4)
  • RAM size (4 gb, 8 gb, 16 gb)
  • harddrive (ssd or spinning disk)
  • Screen size or resolution

Other considerations include:

Warranty length:

All computers are subject to hardware failure either through manufacturing or utilization. Be mindful of warranty length to safeguard against unexpected repair costs.

Lifecycle cost

On average computers last approximately 4 years (this is applicable to both Mac and Windows computers). During that length of time the Total Cost of Ownership includes initial cost, software, hardware upgrades, warranties, and accessories for the device.

Software compatibility:

Windows computers have the largest range of compatibility with applications and various document formats. This is largely due to the majority of business networks running Microsoft products.

Mac also has compatibility but with slight differences or workarounds sometimes required. Microsoft Office can be installed on Mac however it is not developed/release as frequently and may lag in features. Many statistical applications only work in windows and may require the Mac to have a Windows subsection. This can be inconvenient to some clients that rely heavily on these applications essentially adding extra steps to their workflow.

Summer 2016 Lifecycle cost estimates:

Windows Laptop (~$700): HP ProBook 440 G3. Intel i5, 500 GB hard disk drive, 8 gb ddr3 (with 3 year warranty)

Apple Laptop (~$1200): MacBook Pro Retina 13″ 128GB. Intel i5, 128 gb SSD, 8gb ddr3 ram (with 1 year warranty)

Windows Desktop (~$603.00): 3.2ghz intel i5, 4 gb ram, 500gb disk (with mouse/keyboard and 3yr warranty, no monitor)

Apple Desktop (~$1050.00): iMac 21.5” 1.6ghz intel i5, 8gb ram, 1tb 5400rpm hard disk (With monitor and 1 year warranty, no mouse/keyboard)

Bottom line:

It’s difficult to decide between all the amazing computer options available these day.

From a personal standpoint be mindful of the applications you consistently use and documents you share with your coworkers to get work done. Choosing a platform that fits your workflow can make everything run more smoothly.

From a departmental budget standpoint, all computers (Apple or Windows) have a suggested lifecycle of approximately 4 years.  Windows computers are sometimes cheaper with respect to modular replacement (replacing desktop only) and length of warranty (usually 3 years). Apple computers are also excellent machines provided they fit your employee’s workflow and the department is conscientious of the differences.  Please note it is by no means makes good budgetary sense to use an Apple computer while constantly using a Windows emulator or virtual machine to get work done. These are types of workarounds are computationally less efficient and add to the cost and complexities of ownership.

If I’m not compatible, should I buy a new Mac computer?

WCNR is subject to University IT Policies and Standards. As such, please refer to the University Standards for Desktop Software found here: https://www.acns.colostate.edu/media/sites/100/2016/08/Desktop-Software-Standards.pdf

As of the time of this email, OSX 10.10 (Yosemite) or older is out of Support and hardware that cannot be upgraded to 10.11 (El Capitan) or above should be considered for upgrades.

Apple notes that OS X El Capitan runs on the following Mac categories:

  • iMac (Mid-2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)

How do I find my Mac’s model and year?

Apple provides helpful instructions here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201300

New Employee Information

– Once the new employee has an eID (eid.colostate.edu) please have them visit https://accounts.warnercnr.colostate.edu to create a WCNR account. They may set any password, however most folks just utilize their eID password.

– Department Share access:
In order to provide permissions to the share we require approval from the Data Custodian. This is usually the PI for the research project or a department head. Once we have received written approval we can process your request. If you have any questions or trouble finding the data custodian please reply back.
If you are a department head or PI making this request for someone, please provide their Name and eID if you have not done so already.

– N Drive Resources:
Each employee with an active WCNR account receives N drive access. This drive contains departmental shares as well as ‘My Files’. This 30 GB directory is not shareable and is private to each employee. We strongly encourage the use of our Network storage for important or shared data as it is regularly backed up.

– New Computer Requests:
Please consult your local IT staff for any purchasing recommendations. All new Windows computer requests should include Windows Professional to ensure optimal network compatibility. All new Mac laptops typically require the purchase of an additional dongle for video or network support.

– Using your local computer:
Please contact us for questions regarding your local computer or additional software. Please remember your local computer’s data is not backed up. For data backups please consider utilizing our N: Drive storage or a paid subscription Crashplan.

– Safety tips:
If you receive and email or see a web page that appears untrustworthy please remember to reach out to us before clicking, downloading, or installing. IT staff will never request your username or password.

SSH client options

Here are some ssh client options:


Note: Windows 10 update 1809 includes the ability to install an OpenSSH feature which allows the use of SSH and sFTP/SCP directly from the Windows command line.

Installing OpenSSH on Windows 10

Open SSH client is only available on Windows 10 build 1809 and beyond. To check your windows version open the start menu and type ‘winver’ and hit enter.

To install OpenSSH:

Installing OpenSSH from the Settings UI on Windows 10 1809

OpenSSH client are installable features of Windows 10 1809.

To install OpenSSH, start Settings then go to Apps > Apps and Features > Manage Optional Features.

Scan this list to see if OpenSSH client is already installed. If not, then at the top of the page select “Add a feature”, then:

  • To install the OpenSSH client, locate “OpenSSH Client”, then click “Install”.

Once the installation completes, return to Apps > Apps and Features > Manage Optional Features and you should see the OpenSSH component listed.


After OpenSSH is installed you can now open PowerShell to use the features it provides.

To secure copy from a Linux computer to your Windows computer:

In PowerShell type:

‘scp <username>@<sourcecomputer>:<path to source file or directory> <destination path>’

For example:

scp eid@linux.warnercnr.colostate.edu:~/file.txt C:/Users/eid/Documents/

The above example will copy file.txt in the eid user’s file in the home directory on the N drive to the Documents folder of the user on the windows computer.

Windows Portable Drive Encryption

Windows has a built-in encryption program called ‘Bitlocker’.

We want to stress that you should backup any data you plan to encrypt. Keep in mind that if you forget the encryption password, the data will essentially be  lost.

Steps to get your portable hard drive encrypted on a Windows 10 system:

    • Go to the “Settings” app (you can search for it)
    • Select the “System” option
    • Go down to the “About” pane
    • On the right side, there should be a “BitLocker settings”
    • You should now see all the hard drives within and connected to the computer. Find the hard drive you wish to encrypt click on it and select “Turn on BitLocker” for that drive. (Your drive should show up under the “BitLocker To Go” heading, with the rest of the portable drives)
    • BitLocker will then request for a password. This will be the password used to access the data after encryption.
    • It should now begin encrypting your data on that drive. This process can take a long time. It took me about 35-40 minutes for my 30GB thumb-drive test.

That’s it! The drive should be encrypted now. You can give it a test by unplugging it and plugging it back in. When you go to look inside the drive it should ask you for the password.

Windows 10 tar command

Windows 10 version 17063 or above now comes with ‘tar’ packaged in the OS by default. To use it, right click the start button and click: ‘Windows Powershell’ the try using one of the examples below:
**Note: There’s a ‘Windows Powershell Admin’ but you shouldn’t need that.**

Using ‘tar’ to create a tar.gz file:
tar -cvzf “path to tar file destination” “path to source file or folder”
tar -cvzf “C:\Users\fatiw\Desktop\My Account Info\my_archive.tar” “C:\Users\fatiw\Desktop\My Account Info”
tar -cvzf “./Win10-RSAT-tools.tar.gz” “.\Win10-RSAT-tools”

Using ‘tar’ to extract a tar.gz file:
tar -xvzf “path to tar source file” -C “path to destination folder”
tar -zxvf archive name.tar -C path to extraction location
tar -zxvf archive1.tar -C “D:\Apps”

**Note: Windows uses ‘\’ type slashes. tar will extract in current working directory by default, this can sometimes be messy.

Sharing Files

For small files (under ~25MB) most modern email clients may already allow the sending and receiving of attachments. For files larger please see the relevant section for your use case below:

Sharing Files from CSU to CSU:

Sharing Files from CSU to an unaffiliated 3rd-party:

Sharing Files from an unaffiliated 3rd-party to a CSU: