Working from home
Depending on what operating system you use, you will need to have a particular piece of (free!) software on that machine to properly connect to and work with the UNIX systems.
Mac users will need X11 or XQuartz. X11 is generally installed with OS 10.5 through 10.7; 10.4 users will need to install it. 10.6 and above users will want to install XQuartz. Information on each is at the X11 page.
Windows users will need MobaXterm to connect. This program contains both the terminal program and the X-Windows protocol in one free package. Note that at present Duke's public machines most likely do not have MobaXterm installed -- people wishing to use Duke's public machines to do work on Linux systems are thus advised to log in using the Mac boot and run X11 as noted above.
If you are working from a machine that is connected to the internet, but not on the Duke internet, you will need to use a VPN connection to validate your existence. See more information on that at Connecting by Virtual Private Network. Information on installing MATLAB on a personal computer can be found here. In general, software can be accessed through Duke's OIT page.
For Mac users only - the very first time you open the terminal window, you need to type
xhost + to tell your computer to allow incoming graphical windows. Windows users will not need to perform this step.
To connect to the virtual Linux machines, simply open your terminal window and type
ssh -XY NetID@login.oit.duke.edu
where NetID is your NetID.