CU CS Standard Development Environment

As part of the CU CS Foundation Program, the department develops and supports the use of a standard development environment (SDE) for all CS courses. The goal of this environment is to provide all CS students with the tools they need to complete their CS courses and to prepare students for CS development work in the real world.

CU CS Virtual Machine

The simplest method for getting up and running with the SDE is to use the CU CS Virtual Machines. A Virtual Machine is a simulated "computer" that runs as a program on your real computer.

Instructions for downloading and installing the CU CS VM can be found at

CU CS Apt Packages

Students wishing to set up native Linux systems running the CU SDE (i.e. not use the VM) may do so by using the packages hosted in the CU CS Apt repository. Each CU core course (and many of the optional courses) have associated Apt packages that will automatically install all required software for the course in a single, simple, step.

Currently, we provide packages for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus). These packages may also work with other versions of Ubuntu or other Linux distributions supporting the apt/deb package format, but YMMV.

To use and install the CU CS Apt packages, follow the directions at

CU CS Education Laboratory (CSEL)

The Computer Science Education Laboratory (CSEL) is a CU Linux lab that runs a copy of the CU CS SDE. The lab consists of both physical machines that students can use in person, as well as remote serves that students may SSH into to do work. The CSEL is available for use by any student enrolled in at least one CU CS course.

More information on the CSEL is available at


For more information or additional assistance, please contact