Institute of Biotechnology

About us

Contact information

Institute of Biotechnology
P.O.Box 56
(Visiting address: Viikinkaari 5d)
00014 University of Helsinki

Tel +358 2941 59921
Fax +358 2941 59366

University of Helsinki Business
Identity Code: FI-03134717

Director and administration
Telephone and email directory

How to find us
Transportation and map of Helsinki

flamma virtual desktop

Helsinki Institute of Life Science

Biocenter Finland logo


BI's computing helpdesk

The helpdesk staff consists of two regular staff members normally on duty from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays.

Using your own computer in the Institute
The policy of the University is that only such computers that are under central administration (i.e. under full and exclusive control of the professional IT staff) may be connected into the proper network of the University (details in Finnish: Oma kone yliopistolla). User-owned computers may, however, be connected into a separate HUPNet/Eduroam network for basic Internet access; see HUPnet for details.

The University, including also BI IT Services, doesn't provide support for privately owned computers besides instructions available at Back to top

Contacting Helpdesk

helpdesk (at)

All computer support requests should be sent to the University's general helpdesk address, see above; alternatively, you can also call extension 55555 to reach Helpdesk call center.

Helpdesk staff will first determine whether they can resolve the issue immediately themselves, or whether the case should be redirected to respective specialist team. You will get an automated response mail only at the moment the case has been assigned to such specialists; there is no automated response if the case is still being investigated at the first level, so please notice that lack of auto-response doesn't indicate that it would be lost or still unread.

Back to top

Why use the helpdesk?

E-mail sent to our private addresses easily gets lost amidst all the other mail we receive. In addition, requests sent to personal addresses are not automatically transferred to other support people in case of vacation, illness, or other cases where that one person might not be reading their e-mail. The purpose of the helpdesk system is to collect all support requests into a database from which all staff members can immediately see what kind of help is needed, look up old problems and their solutions.

Back to top

Message and reply titles
When you send email to the helpdesk address, the subject should indicate what your message is about. A subject line that describes the problem concisely right away increases the chances of the right people picking it up immediately.

When a request is connected a with prior case, you should include the identifier from the old case in the subject line. The identifier is the string [Helpdesk HY-nnnn], including the square brackets. The number is case-dependent. The helpdesk system attaches your message to the correct thread in the database based on this information alone.

Email clients will normally pick the correct subject when you reply ("Re:" added by the email client does not matter), so usually you won't need to pay any specific attention to this matter.

Similarly, if a new help request is not connected with a prior case, the subject should not include an identifier from any prior cases. Otherwise the message will be attached to a thread in the database that is unrelated to the new issue, which is confusing and makes it harder to look up old information.

Back to top

BI IT administrative personnel
Depending on the nature of your support request, your case may either be handled by Helpdesk remote support people, Viikki Campus local support specialists, or the BI IT administrators.

Please note that our personal email addresses are for private matters only. For all computer support issues, please use the address above.

Helpdesk Iikka

Iikka Salo

System Administrator
Biotek-ad server operations and maintenance, user account issues, software licenses, etc.
tel. 2941 59575
location Biocenter 1, room 1014

Helpdesk Heli

Heli Koskimäki


Systems Analyst
UNIX, AFS and backup services
tel. 2941 58939
location Biocenter 1, room 1014


and Service Centre of the IT Department

tel. 55555, email
User account desk at Viikki Campus Library

Back to top

Frequently asked questions
The IT department of the University provides

that covers most frequently asked questions, such as expired/forgotten passwords, remote connections, campus licenses, setting up mail client on your home computer, and much more. It is usually a good idea to consult these pages and try to solve the problem on your own before contacting the helpdesk staff. Unfortunately the English version is still somewhat less comprehensive than the pages in Finnish. Additional information can also be found on these pages, and in the University intranet, Flamma.

A word about changing your password

Please notice that there are some special requirements for complexity that you should be aware of before trying to change your password.

Unfortunately, there is so far no documentation in English, but the documentation in Finnish on the topic specifies passwords of

  • 8 to 14 characters in length
  • containing both UPPERCASE and lowercase letters and numbers
  • NOT containing any two consecutive characters of either the user ID or the user's real name
  • and not being a repeat of anything used previously.

Back to top

Group specific home pages

Typically each group in BI has it's own web pages, or in case you are establishing a new group, you can ask BI IT administrators to provide you an update key and space for them. Updating procedure is described on this page.


Password protected web pages

It is possible to protect aforementioned web pages with a password.  Each directory (tree) to be so protected must contain a .htaccess file (the name must be completely in lowercase and does really begin with a period) whose mandatory content is shown below.

Require valid-user
AuthType Basic
AuthName "This message is shown when asking for the password"
AuthUserFile locationofpasswordfile

There must also be a separate password file created with the htpasswd program. The name of the password file can be anything and the file can be stored either in the same directory with the .htaccess file, or in any other directory that is visible to the Web server.

The location of the password file must be indicated in .htaccess in its complete form, with the complete directory path. This is prone to errors because there is no way for users to see the Web server's view of the directory trees. The basic location of Web page files (the W: drive as far as AD users are concerned) corresponds typically to the server's directory /www/[groupname].

It is also noteworthy that in Windows systems the file systems are not case sensitive, but under the Linux operating system that the Web server uses file systems are case sensitive. If the system does not seem to be asking for any passwords when it should be, or if all password queries fail, this is one of the things that should be checked.

Back to top

Related links