Accounts for Researchers


A research computing account consists of an account on the central file server and login privileges on one or more Linux computer servers  that all share the same AFS accounts for user home directories. Accounts are available to any member of the Dartmouth community. Users may also access the file servers from their own personal workstations. Sponsored (non-DND) accounts can be created in special cases.

Applying for a Research Account

To request an account on:

Your account will be created within two business days. You will receive an email message with the details of the account that has been created, including the login and initial password, the computers where the account has been activated, and how to get help. Accounts for faculty and staff are initially set up with initial disk space quotas. However, research quotas can be increased according to needs (see DartFS) and on a hardware cost-recovery basis. All accounts on central systems are backed up on a regular schedule as a protection against accidental deletion of files. However, backup files are not kept indefinitely. Please consult the backup schedule for details.


Connecting to a UNIX system requires you to log in to the system. The login process involves entering your username (also called login name) and password. If you have an account on the Research Computing systems, your username (and password) will be the same on all of the systems.

You will be assigned a username that consists of the first letter of your first name and your last name, up to a maximum of eight characters. For example, John Smith would have the username jsmith.

If you have forgotten your username or password on the Research Computing systems, you can request a password reset by sending an email from your Dartmouth email account to asking to have your username or password sent to you.

Disk Quotas

Disk quotas are imposed on all central UNIX systems to divide up the disk resources fairly, and to protect the systems against runaway programs filling up the disks and preventing other people from doing their work. The quotas are flexible and can be changed upon request, especially for special short-term projects. If the disk quotas seem restrictive, remember that this is guaranteed disk, backed up nightly, and maintained by full-time staff. The effective cost is therefore much higher than a disk you can purchase for your own use.

Each user is assigned a disk quota for their shared space (AFS). They may also be assigned additional space local to particular computers (for data files or scratch space) or additional AFS volumes for special projects. The command to check your quota on any system is quota [directory].

By default, the user's home quota is reported. If a directory is named, the quota relevant to that directory (if any) is reported. If local disk quotas are in use on the system, all quotas assigned to the user are reported.

Requesting Additional Disk Space

If you think you are out of disk space, follow the steps below.

  1. Make sure you are out of disk space by using the quota command.
  2. Remove any unnecessary files.
  3. Compress any unused files (note: gzip often works better than compress):
    • To compress a single file named data1, use compress data1 or gzip data1.
    • To compress all files in a directory that have the string data in their name, use compress *data* or gzip *data*.
    • To compress all files in a sub-directory named old_data, use find ./old_data -type f -exec compress {} \; or find ./old_data -type f -exec gzip {} \;.
  4. To request a larger quota for your account, send email to requesting an increase on your disk quota.

Trouble Logging In

The most common reason users cannot log in is that they have forgotten their password or their user name. To fix the problem you are having logging in to your account, follow the steps below.

  1. Check your user name.
  2. You can request a password reset by sending an email from your Dartmouth email account to asking to have your username or password sent to you.

Request a Password Reset

To request a password reset, you must send e-mail from your Dartmouth email account to

E-mail for a password reset request must be sent from a Dartmouth e-mail account (i.e. do not send the request from Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.). If you send a password reset request from a non-Dartmouth e-mail account, you will be instructed to resend the request from your Dartmouth account.

When your password reset has been completed, you will be notified of the new password through an email message.


Article ID: 64619
Tue 10/9/18 12:17 PM
Tue 11/12/19 10:35 AM