About CS Computer Accounts

The Department of Computer Science (CS) maintains a cluster of computers for use in education and research, as well as for departmental administrative uses. This computer cluster is maintained by a group of staff members know as the Lab Staff, and has historically been run under various versions of the Unix Operating System (e.g., Solaris, Linux).

Computer accounts are issued by the Lab Staff - in accordance with CS policies - to authorized individuals to allow them access to the CS computing facilities. Account issuance is generally limited to individuals who have an official affiliation to CS, and who have a legitimate need to use the computing facilities. Such access should in most cases be limited to the above mentioned uses as appropriate for the individual. An individual's account is not permanent, and will usually be discontinued after the individual's affiliation with CS ceases.

CS computer accounts for individuals generally fall within two categories:

Department members:
These include C.S. faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate and undergraduate students.
Sponsored accounts:
These include UTA's and other students of CS classes, research associates, visitors, and guests.

Department members receive their accounts automatically; that is, no further authorization is necessary; others require a sponsor. A sponsor can be a member of the CS Primary Faculty, or the senior member of the Lab Staff. Sponsors must periodically review and renew their sponsorships.

Some computers in CS may have a more restrictive access policy. These include administrative non-Unix workstations, departmental servers, computers reserved for specific research, and privately owned computers. A CS computer account does not automatically authorize access to such facilities; in some cases such restrictions are enforced via physical access and software configurations; in other cases, more of an honor system is observed.

Additionally, there are PC computer labs in CS which are maintained by some faculty members. The Lab Staff do not supervise these computers, nor do they set up accounts for these.

The computer facilities maintained by CS are distinct from those maintained by the Duke Office of Information Technology (OIT), the latter often being referred to as the ACPUB system. Computer accounts issued by OIT for use on the ACPUB system are separate and distinct from those issued by CS for use on CS facilities. It is possible, though to access one from the other via connections to the campus network backbone (DukeNet), provided that one has accounts on both systems.