Computer accounts are formally subject to the following rules (retroactively in many cases).

  • General

    Anyone wishing to use computer systems in the UCLA Astronomy Division network must obtain an account as described below, except for:

  • immediate family members of an account holder who use that account on rare occasions (typically from home);

  • guests of an account holder who need temporary network access to their home institution system from our building for the day (``visitors'').
  • There is also one special ``guest'' account reserved for visitors, which is not subject to the same rules as regular accounts (see details below).

    A new computer account must be requested at least a week before it is needed (new accounts are opened only once a week). The request must be made by e-mail (unless logistically impossible), and it must come from a faculty or staff member of the department (or it must be formally approved by one, if it is coming directly from the new user).

    Account holders must follow our basic local usage rules, or they risk losing access to their account, with or without warning (depending on circumstances). In particular, they must respond to requests from the system administrator(s), whether to change their password, make a physical appearance in the computing office, confirm unusual account activity, or adjust their use of computer resources in any other way.

    Most accounts expire at the end of a period determined when they were opened, as mentioned in the welcome e-mail message sent to new users (in most cases, one year after the user leaves the Division; except for staff: one month).

  • Visitors

    Visitors who do not have a UCLA Astronomy account may ask one of their UCLA colleagues to let them use their account briefly the day of their visit (typically, to check e-mail ``back home'' or look up something on the web). In that case, it is important for the visitors to make sure that the computers they are using do not remain unattended without being locked, and that they logout before leaving.

    An alternative to this solution for stays longer than one day or so is the ``guest'' account. This is a special account which is not permanently assigned to any user. It is opened and closed as needed by visitors. The account can be available the same day as requested (resources permitting), but it is safer to announce the need for this account at least the day before the visitor arrives. The only information needed for that is the name and e-mail address of the visitor and the dates of the visit (the account will be closed the day after the visitor leaves, unless requested otherwise). Anyone with a UCLA Astronomy account can request access to the ``guest'' account for their visitor for up to one month.

    Users of the ``guest'' account should confine any personal files to a subdirectory of guest's home directory named after themselves. Disk space is limited to 50/100 MB (soft/hard quota), so special arrangements should be made by the host if there is any need beyond that level. Also, all files are destroyed by the time the next visitor arrives.

    Everything beyond this point does not apply to the ``guest'' account.

  • Opening

    Before an account can be opened, all of the following information must be e-mailed to: You do not need to list the categories; just the data. If one is not appropriate or you do not have the requested data, skip it (although this may delay the request).

    However, if you already have a UNIX account and want just a Windows account with the same username, you can simply come to the computing office (8370 MS) without e-mailing any of that information.

  • full name;

  • desired username:

  • if already holder of an account on Physics computers, please provide username there, and it will be the same here;

  • fewer than 9 characters, starting with a letter;

  • we prefer last name (if not not already taken);

  • if not based on your full name, please explain meaning and reason;

  • you will not be allowed to ever change your username (except when it is based on your real name and your real name changes legally; e.g., when you get married);

  • that username will also be the unique e-mail address you will have in the domain, so choose it wisely;
  • academic status: must be one of: professor, researcher, lecturer, postdoc, graduate student, undergrad, staff, other;

  • physical location (office): must be one or more of: Mt. Wilson, Mathematical Sciences, Knudsen/Kinsey Hall, other UCLA location, other non-UCLA location;

  • work phone number: where account holder can be reached during the day (if not already listed in the Astronomy directory); DO NOT give a home number;

  • account sponsor:

  • new graduate students: department graduate counselor (usually sends a list of names every year) or professor you are working for (if in the middle of the school year);

  • undergrads: professor you are working for, if applicable; otherwise, department undergaduate counselor must confirm eligibility (Astronomy major) in writing (e-mail is fine);

  • all others: name of the Physics/Astronomy faculty/staff member who requests the account and will be (held) responsible for the account holder's use of our computers;
  • systems on which you should have an account:

  • by default, all ``public'' UNIX systems (including GATEWAY);

  • does not include any Windows system unless requested (needed to use PCs);

  • if working for someone with their own ``private'' UNIX computers, on those computers as well (unless request specifies otherwise);
  • expiration date:

  • Most accounts are ``automatically'' closed (see meaning below) approximately one year after the user leaves the Astronomy Division (based in part on our directory information), except for staff: one month after.

  • Accounts for undergrads expire in two stages. Students are required to verify their continued presence by coming in person to the computing office every October. Failure to do so results in the account being suspended (i.e. becoming inaccessible by anyone) until they do. However, if they have not within a year, the accounts are closed (permanently) at the end of the subsequent October without further warning.

  • Accounts for ``other'' users (see academic status above) expire one year from the day they were opened, unless a different expiration date was requested at that time.
  • e-mail address: where account holder can be reached (and notified of availability of account).
  • After that, undergrads ONLY should come to the computing office (8370 MS) to get their initial passwords ``immediately'' after sending the information (i.e. without waiting for a response).

    All other types of users should wait for word from the system administrator that the account is ready to come and set their passwords. Please allow at least a week after your request before inquiring about the status if you do not hear anything back. (However, we are now trying to keep the wait to just a couple of days.) If you cannot wait that long, please explain the urgency of your request in your e-mail message.

  • Closing

    You will receive a reminder that your account will be closed about one month before the actual expiration date. This gives you one last chance to clean up (e.g., transfer files) or to request an extension.

    If you want your account to remain open beyond the expiration date, you must have your sponsor (as defined above) request an extension by e-mail with a brief justification of why you still need to use your account and for how long. (The extension cannot be more than one year.)

    When the expiration date is reached, the account is closed. This means the following:

  • You can no longer log on to any of our computers.

  • You can no longer access your files (or your mail), but others who still have an account can (provided they have appropriate permissions).

  • If you had files on public disks other than in your home directory, you should have moved them off. Otherwise, they will be archived and will not be accessible by others. (You are urged to remove as much as possible from your home directory regardless, since it will become useless.)

  • The files you have on private disks are not touched, unless your sponsor requests their removal (in which case you will receive a notice).

  • Your disk quotas (where applicable) are reduced to near your current usage, so that your account can never occupy much more space that it did at the time the account was closed.

  • The quota on your public anonymous FTP area (/f/pub/$USER) is lowered to your current usage.

  • Your incoming anonymous FTP area (/f/incoming/$USER) is destroyed.

  • Any at/cron jobs you had are stopped.

  • Your existing mail is archived and deleted from the system disk (i.e. it is no longer online).

  • Your new mail is forwarded to your new address, unless you explicitly request that we bounce it (with a mention of your new address) instead. You can request that your forwarding address be updated at any time. Otherwise, the initial forwarding remains in place indefinitely (or until we determine that that e-mail address is no longer valid).

  • You are added to our ``alumni'' mailing list and removed from all others. (This is actually done shortly after you leave the Division.)

  • Your web pages are automatically redirected to your new web site (only if you have provided the URL).
  • You can find out whether an account has been closed through the finger command. If it shows Shell: /bin/false for that user, their account is closed.