ETH Homepage

First Steps at GESS


To get help please of if you have questions, please use our web form


With your ETH documents you have received a login name and initial password. Before you can use your username to access ETH services and resources you have to change the initial password and set two new passwords. The user name and passwords allow access to the following basic IT services at ETH:

– Access to your workplace computer
– E-mail and calendar service (Exchange mail system)
– Central storage (NAS)
– Wireless LAN
– Other services at ETH

Microsoft Office 365 and Teams

To use Microsoft Product (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook , OneNote, Onedrive and Teams) you need the “Cloud Subscription” from the IT-Shop.

You can find a detailed step-by-step instruction for the subscription => here. Follow these instruction only until page 7!

Helpful information about Teams you will find here:  All about Microsoft Teams


Data Management

Data Names and Data Structures

To ensure smooth access to and editing of centrally stored documents via different systems, the following aspects should be considered when naming the documents:
1. The following characters are either not recommended for use or not supported by some systems:
+ % & = ! * . ” / \ [ ] : ; | = ,
2. Data names that are too long or have a directory structure that is too long (more than 256 characters in file path and data name) should not be used.

Central Storage (NAS)

Our central storage system is called NAS (Network Attached Storage) and is accessed via network. Within the ETH this can be done directly, off-campus VPN is required.

Backup and Restore

Data on NAS is backed up daily. Inadvertently deleted, corrupted or overwritten data from the past 6 days can be restored without any outside help. Proceed as follows.

Shared Storage of the Professorship (NAS OU)

Organizational data is stored in this directory. Here professorship data can be shared or made available to other members. Depending on permissions you can either read only or also write. Management and structure of organizational data is handled autonomously by the professorship. Please check this list to find out the path to the data of your group.

Personal Storage (GESS-FS Home)

This storage is not on NAS but on a separate Windows Server called „GESS-FS“. Except for the GESS Administrators, only you have access to this directory. As the NAS, GESS-FS is also backed up and you can get previous versions 6 days back without our help.


An inhouse Dropbox-like service where you can store data in the ETH cloud and sync it to your own machine.
Information about Polybox


E-mail and Calendar Service

The ETH email system is operated in an Exchange Server environment. This allows employees to send and receive e-mails. The calendar function can be used for personal appointments and scheduling. Both services are available via browser (Safari, Firefox, etc.) from any computer at (select “Outlook Web Access”). Mail clients (Apple Mail with Exchange configuration, Outlook, etc.) installed on a personal computers can also be used. You can share your calendar with your colleagues.



GESS contributes at the ETH printing system

For either system consult the printer list to find out the printer name and path to install it on your system.

Here are the instructions how to add a printer: MacWindows.



The easiest way to get network in your office is to use the blue cable. You will get a fast and stable connection to all ETH resources and the internet. If you leave your office you may use the WLAN. You will find several so called SSIDs. Please use eduroam or eduroam-5 and connect with username at, or (z.B.,, and use your network password.


VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network”. The VPN client is software that provides an encrypted, secure and authenticated connection from remote locations to the ETH network. Once the connection is established, one obtains an ETH IP address. VPN is required for a connection to an ETH network drive.
On workplace laptops “Cisco Secure Client” is pre-installed. The same program can also be installed on private computers.
In order to access the D-GESS Network, the following VPN Server for ETH must be entered: «». For SIPO and AFZ staff, please enter either “gess-sipo” or “gess-afz” instead of “gess” (the same applies for the username). In the username field, must be added after your personalized username. If you have to connect to other organizations via “Cisco Secure Client”, their Server can be entered via the «Connect to»-field. Additional information  you wil find here.


General information regarding the user account on workplace laptops

In the D-GESS Windows Setup user account information is stored locally on the computer. The user settings are synchronized via UE-V Technology. The folders “Desktop”, “Documents”, “Favorites”, “Pictures” and “Music” are redirected to the “GESS-FS” Server (Folder Redirection). Windows Laptop synchronize this data automatically to the local drive, so the personal files are available offline. For Macs no automatical service is provided, so Mac users have to manually sync their local data to the server. How to connect: Mac, Windows.


Virtual Desktop Environment

You will find a copy of your Windows desktop environment on a so call Remote Desktop Server (Also suitable for Mac users). Due to the fact that on the Windows notebooks all personal files (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Music and Videos) are synced to the server GESS-FS all these files are also available while working with a RDS session (Scientific Application Server) and the Remote Apps.

You may use RDS for different reassons:

– Running resource intensiv applications (statistics)

  • – Running programms that run for a long time (please reconnect within 3 days)
  • – Running programms while your computer is off
  • – Running software that is not available for your device
  • – Accessing your personal or group folders from a other computer (



There is Software preinstalled on the GESS managed devices. Depending on the OS we use different deployment systems. For Mac we use Jamf and for Windows Baramundi If you need additional Software please contact us with the web form. Together we decide if we use the depolyment system or if you should installed it by yourself. To get an idea which Software is avalable please have a look  at the IT shop. ETH software may be used for ETH purposes on private devices according to these policies. Please use the web form to get software. You may use the IT shop, but only for software that is free of charge. Fee-based packages are provided by ISG CxS-GESS.


Scientific IT

If you need more computational power than your personal device provides please check out our calculation options


Support at GESS

A team of specialists is available to assist the staff at D-GESS with all IT issues. This includes: Consulting for conceptual solutions as well as procurement, installation and support for IT resources described in commodities. Personal devices and installations are not included.

Please find an overview over our services and guidelines.