Account Policy

This policy describes the rights & privileges associated with having an account on the Department of Astronomy computing network.

Table of Contents

I. Eligibility
II. Services Offered
III. Rules & Restrictions
IV. Account Termination


Every faculty, staff, post-doc, and graduate student is entitled to an account on the departmental computing system. Undergraduate students may receive an account after approval from their adviser. Accounts may also be issued for collaborative work at the discretion of the system staff. All individuals applying for an account must fill out the new user account request form and deliver it to the system staff located in SSRB 221. External collaborators will need to fax a signed copy of the form to (352) 392-5089.

In addition to the rules located within this document, all users of Astronomy computing facilities are bound by the the terms of the University of Florida Acceptable Use Policy. An account may be suspended or terminated for violating these policies.

Services Offered

An Astronomy account provides access to the departmental unix machines, electronic mail, web publishing space, printing, and disk storage for *nix and Windows users.

Disk Storage

All users are initially given one gigabyte of storage in their home directory which is backed up in accordance with our backup policy. The amount of storage a user is given in their home directory may be increased at the discretion of the system staff if valid academic need has been demonstrated. Users have no restrictions on the amount of data stored on various local /scratch disks and the /astro/data hierarchy, however they should be aware that these drives are not backed up.

Because network backed up disk storage is an expensive and limited resource, we ask that users be prudent with their disk usage. Although the system staff are committed to providing the resources to allow faculty, staff, and students to perform their work, requests for storage allocation increases from users may be denied if it is determined that many of the files stored are unrelated to the users work.

As a general rule of thumb, users should store files that are critical to their work in their home directory. File types that should not be stored on the network home space include music files, movie files, and application programs.


The department no longer provides email services. In order to leverage campus resources and decrease our equipment budget we switched over to the UF mail system in the summer of 2013. Faculty and staff will use the UF Exchange email system while students will use gatorlink mail. If you experience problems with email, please contact the UF Computing Helpdesk at 392-HELP.

Web Publishing

All users within the department have the ability to create and publish their own web pages. The URL, or address, for your web-page is Users interested in creating their own web-pages may wish to review the University of Florida Acceptable Use Policy as it relates to personal web-pages.

Computing Access

An Astronomy account provides users with access to a computer on their assigned desk. Students who lack assigned office space may use the computers in SSRB 221.

Users unfamiliar with Unix environments may wish to read our Handbook for New Users.


An Astronomy account provides access to the various printers in the department. Because paper, toner, and other printer supplies cost money, users should restrict their printing to work related items.

Users should NEVER run their own acetates through the color printer as this could damage the printer making it inoperable for others. If the color printer is out of transparency film, please send an email to admin at

Gatorlink Accounts

The University of Florida provides a Gatorlink account to every faculty, staff, and student at the university. Gatorlink accounts provide limited e-mail, internet dialup access, and access to the CIRCA computer labs. Additionally, there are some services at the university, such as the ISIS course registration system, which can only be used with a gatorlink account. You must have a gatorlink account to use

Gatorlink and Astronomy accounts are two separate accounts. If a user is having problems with their gatorlink account, they will need to contact the UF Computing Help Desk either on the phone at 392-HELP (392-4357) or by visiting their offices in 520 CSE.

Rules & Restrictions

In addition to the University of Florida Acceptable Use Policy, the Department of Astronomy has various rules regarding the legitimate use of system accounts. Accounts may be suspended, or terminated, at the system manager's discretion for violation of these rules.

The system staff take these issues very seriously. Violations of these rules may result in an account being suspended or terminated.

Account Termination

Users that are no longer directly associated with the department, but continue to collaborate with faculty and staff, may continue to use their Astronomy account. An example would be a student that has completed their terminal degree, but continues to work with faculty within the department.

Users that are no longer associated with the university, or collaborating with researchers in the department, have no rights to access to Astronomy computing resources. In the event that the system staff deem an account should be removed, the system manager will attempt to provide at least thirty days notification that the account is scheduled to be terminated. The notification will come through email; it is the users responsibility to check their UF Astronomy account email, or maintain a valid email forward that they check regularly. Accounts that have gone "in limbo," that is accounts that lack valid forwarding email addresses, may be terminated without notice.

When an account is terminated, all data stored within the users network home directory will be archived on external media. Users that wish to receive a copy of this data may send an email request to admin at There may be a charge to recoup the cost of materials, shipping, and labor, associated with this service.