There are a number operating systems (OSes) in use on campus. In addition to desktop operating systems, there are network operating systems that host many campus services and embedded operating systems in network equipment and portable devices such as PDAs.
It is the responsibility of the Office of Information Technology and the Distributed IT Support Staff to know which operating systems are in use on campus and provide support for those listed in the Level 1 and Level 2 support categories.
Why define support levels for operating systems?
There are many types and versions of operating systems available. It is not physically possible or practical to provide adequate support for them all.
The University supports a subset of all possible operating systems based on it's experience with specific versions and their suitability for University use. This is based on a need to provide quality support and should not be construed as a condemnation of the suitability of any manufacturer's product for a particular purpose outside of the University's environment.
In addition to proper support for campus applications and services, an operating system must properly support the campus network environment. Some operating systems fail muster at this point because they were designed for use in a home environment rather than on a large business network.
All operating systems in use on the campus network must pass initial and periodic review for suitability for University use. OIT reserves the right to prohibit the use of any operating system on University-owned machines or personal machines connected the campus network at any time.
Level 1 operating systems
The Level 1 support category is defined as "best effort". The operating systems in this category represent the mainstream in the marketplace and the vendors provide consistent support for their products. These operating systems are designed to operate on business networks and support the services and applications that the University uses in it's day-to-day operations.
If you want to take full advantage of the IT services that the University provides, it is recommended that you use an operating system in this category.
Level 2 operating systems
The Level 2 support category is defined as "limited support". Operating systems in this category may not be capable of fully supporting the services and applications that the University uses in it's day-to-day operations, so support will be provided as resources and capabilities allow. In some cases, operating systems in this category were not designed to operate on a business network or were designed for home-use only.
Level 3 operating systems
The Level 3 support category is defined as "unsupported", however connectivity is allowed with prior permission or registration with the Distributed IT Support staff. The Help Desk and Distributed IT Support staff are under no obligation to maintain operating systems in this category.
The University does not design it's services to accommodate operating systems in this category, however the operating system may still be able to take advantage of University services by using configuration information published for supported operating systems.
Maintaining connectivity, or the operation and functionality of operating systems in this category is not assumed or guaranteed. Changes in situation or the environment may cause these operating systems to stop working or be moved to the Level 4 category. It is the responsibility of the operator to maintain a functioning system and keep current with operating system and security patches.
Level 4 operating systems
The Level 4 support category is defined as "not allowed". Operating systems in this category have documented issues or it is no longer practical to provide support, therefore they will not be allowed to connect to the campus network.
Current list of supported operating systems
For a current list of supported operating systems, see the minimum configuration document.
Changes in support status
The Office of Information Technology periodically reviews operating systems in use on campus to determine their suitability and compatibility with campus services. As conditions warrant, OIT decreases support for some operating systems (or specific versions of operating systems) and increases support for others.
When a new operating system is supported, it starts out with Level 2 support until it matures and the manufacturer and vendors improve support for hardware, software, and applications. Some OSes may never reach Level 1 support status.
As new versions of OSes that are already supported are released, previous versions may move to reduced levels of support.