This machine might get overloaded during the semester so you should avoid it. As of this semester, the Systems group no longer provides physical Linux machines, only Virtual Machines. For a list of those, see below. You can log into those via SSH or virtual desktops (probably especially useful for the Windows users among you).
For general knowledge about the CCIS Systems world, see their knowledge base page. If you are unfamiliar with Linux, you may wish to peruse the following parts of the page:
the topics below the Unix/Linux tab (bottom of the page),
the virtual machine (VM) tab, and
the networking tab for how to log into "headless" VMs.