Software Support Levels

Computing and Information Services provides four levels of software support to members of the Brown community. Each application made available by CIS is assigned one of these support levels, regardless of whether the application is made available on the software web server, in the public computing clusters, through the Computer Store, or by other means. Any application not explicitly assigned a support level will have a level of "No Support." 

You can find the support level on the right side of every software page on, under the download links.



These are the core applications used by Brown University students, faculty, and staff. Supported applications have few or no known incompatibilities with Brown's computing environment. Every effort will be made by the Help Desk to find a solution to problems with the application, including a screen-sharing session or escalation of a ticket for vendor support. Help Desk staff may receive training in these applications as appropriate.


These are secondary applications, which may not be the preferred choice of the University, or which are known to have some incompatibility with Brown's computing environment. Help Desk staff have some knowledge and training in these applications, but may not be able to solve problems due to problems with the applications themselves. Depending on the nature of the problem, a screen-sharing session may be scheduled. Help Desk staff may refer users to self-support sites, Brown instructors, vendors, or departmental support for additional solutions, or recommend upgrading to a Supported Application.

Installation Only

These are applications that are packaged by CIS for distribution, but are not utilized by the entire community. Help Desk staff will assist users in installing the application for supported operating systems. Help Desk staff have not received training on the application and do not support the functional operation of the application, but will refer users to self-support sites, Brown instructors, vendors, or departmental support.

No Support

Brown provides external links from the Software Distribution website, but unsupported software is not packaged by Brown and is not hosted on Brown's software servers. Help Desk staff will refer users to online support sites, vendors, or departmental support.

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