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Supported OSes in the Department of Chemistry

We aim to ensure the security and integrity of the Departmental network and wider CUDN by encouraging the installation and use of modern operating systems which are supported by maintenance contracts (where applicable) and which may be kept up-to-date with security patches.

It is assumed that all operating systems have had patches and service packs applied. Some operating systems or versions thereof cannot be patched and made secure so do not connect machines running them to the Departmental network.

This following list is not intended to be exhaustive. If you have a particular need or requirement to run an OS that is not listed, please contact the Computer Officers preferably by email to support@ch.cam.ac.uk to discuss the situation.

The following operating systems are either currently supported, or were previously supported but have now become obsolete within the Department of Chemistry:

  • Windows (Intel platform):
    • Windows 2003 Server family (O - 14/07/2015)
    • Windows 2008 Server family (R - 14/01/2020)
    • Windows Vista (all versions) (O - 11/04/2017)
    • Windows 7 (M - 14/01/2020)
    • Windows 8 (M - 10/01/2023)
    • Windows 10 (R)
    • Windows XP and all earlier versions of Windows (O - only to be used under special circumstances, network access will be limited or blocked)
  • Unix/Linux:
    • Ubuntu Xenial [16.04] (R - April 2021)
    • Ubuntu Trusty [14.04] (M - April 2019)
    • Ubuntu Precise [12.04] (O - April 2017)
    • Ubuntu Lucid [10.04] (O)
    • Non Ubuntu desktops - Not supported by Computer Officers
    • Debian/GNU Linux stable (R)
    • FreeBSD 9 (O)
    • FreeBSD 10 (O)
  • Macintosh:
    • MacOS Sierra [10.12] (N)
    • Mac OS X El Capitan [10.11] (R)
    • Mac OS X Yosemite [10.10] (M)
    • Mac OS X Mavericks [10.9] (O)
    • Mac OS X Mountain Lion [10.8] (O)
    • Mac OS X Lion [10.7] (O)
    • Mac OS X Snow Leopard and older [10.6] (O)
    • Mac OS X Server - Not supported by Computer Officers

Policy for new versions of Mac OSX/macOS

Mac OSX version numbers have the form 10.y.z. Generally, the first release of new major versions (where z=0 and y has changed, e.g. going from 10.10.5 to 10.11.0) do not work reliably with the Department's infrastucture. When such a version is released, the Computer Officers will:

  • ask Department Stores to deny purchase requests for Macs that are incompatible with the Department's currently supported version, if applicable
  • once the first point release of the new versionĀ  is available (i.e. 10.y.1 rather than 10.y.0), the Computer Officers will develop an auto-build environment for it (N.B. the 10.y.1 point release is typically released by Apple within 2 months of 10.y.0)
  • once the auto-build environment has been developed, the block on purchases of incompatible Macs will be removed
  • the Computer Officers will then develop a plan to upgrade managed Macs to the new 10.y.1 version (or a later one, if a newer point release is released)

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