OpenAFS Client for Macintosh

An AFS client is required for Macintosh systems to directly access the Dartmouth Research Data Storage system (RStor).  To obtain an account and storage allocation on RStor, see Accounts for Researchers (open to anyone at Dartmouth)

Once installed, the Mac user can authenticate to our AFS cell and use the RStor space as a network share.

Installing the OpenAFS client for Macintosh

  1. Download the AFS client installer.   This is a disk image file (.dmg). If you aren't sure which version you are running, click the Apple icon always at the top left of the screen, and then About this Mac and look for Version

  2. If the Disk Image does not automatically mount, find it in your Downloads folder double-click to mount it as a volume named OpenAFS.

OSX 10.6-10-9

  1. Double-click the enclosed openafssetup.command file to start the installer. On 10.8 and newer, you may need to Control-click and select Open, to permit the installer to run.
  2. You will be asked for your password in a terminal window - this is for a wrapper script that makes some customizations to the install.
  3. You will be asked again for your password but this time in the GUI (you must be logged in as an administrative user) and accept the license agreement. Installation will take about a minute.


All versions

  1. When prompted for a default cell name; enter Click through the other screens (OK or Next).

    If it offers to download Xcode, you can decline. On 10.8 and newer, there may be warnings about installing code from unidentified developers. The client will start running immediately.
  2. Eject the OpenAFS volume (drag to trash).
  3. Reboot for the new settings to take effect.

You should now have an AFS 'mounted server' on your desktop (if your Finder preferences include 'show mounted servers'), and a desktop shortcut to your personal space. In the Finder, AFS space appears as afs in your boot volume (e.g. Macintosh HD). In a Terminal window, AFS space appears under /afs.

The AFS client uses some disk space for file caching. This is 100MB by default, but it may be helpful to increase this. Please ask Research Computing for advice on changing this setting.

To do a clean uninstall of OpenAFS client, use the uninstall program that comes bundled with the installer.

Basic Usage

You now have access to AFS space, but you do not have permission to see your own personal files yet. You need to authenticate to AFS by clicking the padlock icon in the top toolbar, and giving it your AFS username and password when prompted. When you are authenticated, the padlock will have no red 'X'. You will now have full access to your files in AFS through the finder or the command line. You now have an AFS token (limited lifetime Kerberos ticket with AFS access privileges). You also have access to any other parts of AFS which your account has been given permission to see (e.g. research group shared space). Your token is good for 25 hours. After that time, the padlock tool will get a red 'X' and you will revert to an unauthenticated user on AFS. The token can be renewed at any time, and longer lifetimes can be arranged.

The desktop shortcuts created in step 8 above will take the Finder directly to your AFS home. You can also drag any AFS folder to the left Finder panel to make a shortcut. This is generally the most convenient way to navigate to shared space.

You can change your AFS password with the kpasswd.afs utility in a Terminal window

% kpasswd.afs afsusername


Article ID: 64637
Tue 10/9/18 12:18 PM
Mon 7/20/20 4:25 PM