Frequently Asked Questions: About the SRCF

What is the SRCF?

The SRCF is the University of Cambridge's Student-Run Computing Facility. We provide web hosting, shell accounts and various other computing services to members of the University and groups such as University societies. We are not formally supported by the University Administration in any way; instead the service is maintained by a group of volunteers.

What sort of systems do you run?

We primarily use Ubuntu Linux as it is free (in all senses), stable and relatively easy to maintain.

The SRCF's primary server, pip, hosts the majority of our services and data: web (Apache), shell, users' home directories, databases (MySQL and PostgreSQL), etc. It has two six-core 2.1GHz Intel Xeon E5-2620 CPUs with 64GB of RAM and four 4TB SATA disks. This is currently running Ubuntu 16.04 (xenial) (we normally upgrade once every year or two, in the summer).

Most of our other services run on our virtualised cloud known as thunder. This comprises assorted physical servers running the free version of XenServer and a back-end storage server, alto. Several of these machines were graciously donated by Third Light Ltd.

Virtual machines in public service include:

Until 2006 we had just one server in use, kern (a dual Athlon 1.6GHz PC with 2GB of RAM and 400GB of disk). Before that we used to run on an ancient Intel Pentium running at 166MHz with 128MB of RAM. How times have changed :)

You guys are doing a great job. How can I help you out?

We always welcome donations — as we don't charge for our services, it's the only way we can afford to buy new hardware to keep up with the demand. If you want to make a donation, please visit this page and it'll tell you what to do.

If you want to donate some time and experience to help us out, then why not join our support team? This is an email-based help list for problems not requiring administrative access to the SRCF server. If you have experience of using a website or other services on the SRCF, and want to help out, then send an email to to be added to the list. Many thanks in advance to all who volunteer!

How many users do you have?

There are currently 3126 users (members with active shell accounts).

How many members do you have?

There are currently 9380 members of the society (membership is for life).

How many societies do you host?

We currently host 1920 society accounts, of which 948 are no longer maintained.

Membership graph