Account and Network

Why do I have 3 computer accounts?

CERI operates two computer networks and the University operates one. You have an account on all three. Except for those with older accounts, your username is the same on all three but your password may be different.

Your University account is used for things like umdrive, postoffice, web for faculty, staff, or students, etc. You may also use this account to log into Tiger labs.

CERI operates two networks: one for Microsoft Operating Systems (PC's) and one for Sun Solaris Operating Systems (UNIX). All computers on these networks are administered by CERI computer staff. Some computers are administered by their owners and are not part of the network (though they may be on the internet). The PC lab is located in room 104 of 3892 Central. The Sun lab is located in room 111 of 3876 Central.

How do I change my password? What do I do if I forgot my password?

If you forgot your University password or just wish to change it, refer to the instructions at

If you forgot your CERI password but can still get a browser one of the networks (PC, Sun, or University), submit an ARS at and request that your password be reset. If you can't get a browser, leave a voice message for Chris Watson at 4661.

To change your password on the Sun network, get a window with a unix command line and use the passwd command.

On the PC network you can use a gui or a dos prompt.

For the dos prompt (e.g. click start->run and type cmd) use the passwd command.

For the gui, click Settings->Control Panel->Users and Passwords. Highlight your user id for the CERI domain. Follow the instructions on the Users and Passwords gui.

What is a group/workgroup?


We have two different types of groups on the UNIX network. One determines who can login to what Sun workstations. For example, everyone can login to the machines in the Sun Lab because we have a group set up that includes everyone. In several cases, machines are dedicated (e.g. for GPS processing) so only people within a particular group (e.g. a GPS group) can login to those machines.

The other UNIX group governs file permissions. Every file has an owner (e.g. you) and a group (e.g. user). You can control read, write, and execute permssions to govern who can and can't read, write, or execute your files (note, execute permission is required on directories to cd into them). For example, we have an fdl group for folks who need to maintain datasets within the fdl disk partition. You can be in multiple groups (see chmod, chgrp, and newgrp commands).

PC. Well if anyone understands Microsoft Workgroups please clue me in so that I can document it here.

What computers can I use?

Computers for general use are in the two computer labs.

Sun Lab: segovia, tesuji, aji, arwen, baggins, tetemeko, bbking, and pisgah.
PC Lab: Lorien, ENT-CERI, Treebeard, Isengard, fangorn, and balrog. The PC Lab also has 3 sun workstations: precious, numenor, mithril.

What computer am I using?

UNIX: use the hostname command. It is also common to use the hostname as part of your command prompt (e.g. withers@smeagol).

PC: Start->Settings->Network and Dial-up Connections->Network Identification (though I'm sure there must be a gazillion other ways to find out).

How do I log in from home?

The University has over a hundred phone lines and modems you can use for dial-up access. Use this url for instructions:

If you have broadband access, then you can use ssh to one of the Suns. Please note that access is blocked to all unknown hosts and networks. If you are attempting to access from an unknown host or network you will get an access denied error. To correct this, submit an ARS requesting remote access and provide the hostname or ip adress along with the network or domain (e.g. from which you wish to login. If you are going out of town and know you will need remote access please obtain the appropriate information, if possible, ahead of time in submit it in an ARS.

If anyone is aware of Microsoft tools for this, please tell me and I'll add it here.

Back to FAQ.