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Accessing Updated Development Tools

One common concern with running enterprise level Operating Systems in an educational environment is the fact that these systems focus on stability rather than having the newest version of everything. This can be a concern for our students who want to explore the new features in their favourite programming language. Luckily Redhat (the Linux vendor we use) has made some of the newer compilers and interpreters available for use along side the standard ones which are installed in the system. However, due to the fact that these can not replace the ones which are in the standard distribution there are a few things you must know in order to access these tools.

When you want to use the tools you will have to run a special command which will adjust your shell environment so that it will find the newer version of the desired program. This script is called `scl` and to see what alternate versions are currently installed on a system you can run `scl --list`. 

Currently, Sandcastle has GCC 4.9 (fully supports C++ 2011) and Python 3.5 available through this mechanism. 

To access GCC 4.9 you would need to log into Sandcastle, and then run `scl enable devtoolset-3 bash` which will start a new bash shell that will use the GCC 4.9 compiler instead of the standard 4.4 version.

To access Python 3.5 you would need to log into Sandcastle, and then run `scl enable rh-python35 bash` which will start a new bash shell that will use the Python 3.5 interpreter instead of the standard 2.6 version.

If there are other tools that are missing required features you may email a request (along with rational behind the request) to labadmin@cosc.brocku.ca.
(Please note that due to the way PHP is configured this will not allow work for updates to that language)