The Social Science Data Services provides a variety of shared computing environments in support of quantitative social science research in the Division of Social Sciences (DSS). See the software availability matrix to determine which packages are available on our various platforms.

NOTE: THESE SYSTEMS ARE ONLY AVAILABLE TO DSS AFFILIATES. Many of the same applications are available through the IET Virtual Computer Lab,


The SSDS statistical labs are intended for divisional faculty and graduate students who do not have access to equipment or software appropriate to their quantitative computing needs, or for users who need proximity to the SSDS staff for consulting purposes.  The main lab (SSH 102) is equipped with 9 Dell Optiplex 7010 minitowers with i5 quad core 3.4 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM memory, 250 GB hard drives, DVD-RW, 22" LCD monitors with scanner and printer.  A second smaller lab (SSH 111) provides data access and scanning equipment.

All Division of Social Sciences faculty and graduate students may use their campus loginID to access SSDS computers.  If your loginID does not work, submit a ticket to DSSIT.

Remote Desktop Server -

For users with occasional need for access to statistical applications packages for projects appropriate to desktop computing, the SSDS provides a Remote Desktop Server named "".  This new system is a Dell R820 with four 8-core 2.4GHz Intel Xeon processors, 512GB of memory and 6TB of storage running Windows 2012 R2.

To use the remote desktop server:

  1. Request an account on the SSDS Remote Desktop Server. (Only Affiliates of the Division of Social Sciences at UC Davis wil be granted accounts.)

  2. Macintosh users will need to install Microsoft Remote Desktop from Apple.  The Windows client is built-in.
  3. If not on a Division of Social Science networked computer, establish a DSS VPN connection.
  4. To execute applications on painter, log on to the following web page and select the desired program:
  5. MacOSX users may receive a certificate error pointing to, but this can be ignored.  If the application does launch, go to your download folder and launch the file with the .rdp extension manually by double-clicking.

Note: The Remote Desktop Server has been tested with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari and while it will probably work with other browsers, if you have problems please use one of these instead.

UNIX Server -

For large longer-term projects, for example where datasets exceed the available storage capacity, or methods exceed the computation capabilities of desktop systems, or where project datasets must be accessible to multiple users, the SSDS maintains a central research UNIX server.  The SSDS is currently managing a new Dell R820 with four 8-core 2.4GHz Intel eon processors, 512GB of memory and 6TB of storage running RedHat Enterprise LINUX called "".

  1. Create an account on the SSDS UNIX Server. (Only Affiliates of the Division of Social Sciences at UC Davis wil be granted accounts.)

  2. Your new account will be created on the server “” (  Usernames and passwords will be now handled by campus Kerberos, so your username is now your campus ID and your password is the campus password.

  3. is a Dell R820 with 32 CPU cores, 512GB of RAM, approximately 6TB of useable disk space, running Redhat Linux Enterprise version 6.  Please remember, the SSDS UNIX system is still a SHARED SYSTEM and users should limit their number of jobs so others can carry out their work as well.  Please report any suspected abuse to the SSDS staff (  System policies and user guidelines can be found on the SSDS web site:

  4. You MUST connect to the DSS VPN before connecting to the UNIX system if you are off campus or using a campus wireless connection (Moobilenet, Moobilenetx, Eduroam).  You can find the details here:  Keep in mind that once connected ALL traffic from your machine will go through the DSS VPN server, so only connect when you are working on sapper.  Upon establishing a VPN connection, you can use any standard SSH client to connect to the server.

  5. Quotas are in effect on the UNIX system.  If you exceed your quota, the system will warn you to reduce your file space for a grace period of 10 days.  You may exceed your quota by no more than 5GB during the grace period.  After that period, you will be locked out and you must contact to have your account re-enabled.  The default quota is 10GB for all users, and request to increase quotas are evaluated on a case by case basis.  You may check your quota with the command “quota –s”.  Files saved in the /scratch subdirectory are not counted towards your quota, so any temporary work files should be stored there.

  6. Upon receiving an email that your account has been created, you should make sure that you can log on to your account, and that you can access your files.  Please report any problem directly to the SSDS systems administrator.

High Performance Computing

The SSDS also has cycles on the San Diego Supercomputer as part of the Triton Shared Computing Cluster or TSCC.  To learn more about this resource consult the SDSC Web site.  To determine whether your project is a suitable candidate for processing on the SDSC, contact

Cold Room

The Data Service has a cold room appropriate for use of restricted access or confidential data.

Additional information

All SSDS computer users are bound by the SSDS Computer Usage Policy and the UC Davis Computer and Network Acceptable Use Policy.