user rules

We like to maintain liberal policies for our users, but we do have a few user rules:

  1. Use the system in good faith. Please don't try to override existing security. The Computer Science (CS) network is maintained by one sysadmin and a few student helpers. Please be considerate in your use of the CS computers and network. If you are unsure about something, ask first (email local-staff or just go talk to Jeff).

  2. Give computer science top priority. Someone wishing to use a workstation for a computer science project has priority over anyone who is using the system for non-CS tasks, such as reading news or sending electronic mail. All academic users should feel free to ask students doing non-CS tasks to relinquish their machine. The UNIX machines are a computer science lab, not a campus computing facility.

  3. Respect other users' directories. You should not browse through other users' directories unless they have given you specific permission to do so. In other words, /home/user directories are private. To ensure the privacy of your own files, be sure to set the permission flags accordingly (e.g., chmod 700 /home/myusername). Type man chmod for further information or see our chmod help page.

  4. Please protect your account! Even if you think there is nothing valuable in your home directory, keeping your account secure is still critical to the security of the entire system. For example, many hackers first find access to a system they want to break into through a valid user account (such as yours!), and then use that account to do further damage. To protect your account, we ask that you:

  1. Please print only CS-related documents on the CS Lab printers. Computer Science has a limited fund for printing supplies. Use the Beardsley public-area printers for non-CS printouts.

  2. Don't take the books out of the lab. A small library of books is kept in the CS Lab for your use; please feel free to read them, but don't take them. This way we know where they are, and students are able to find them when they need them.

If you have any questions about these rules, or general questions about the Computer Science systems, please feel free to contact any of the cs system administrators. You can also send email to local-staff at and a sysadmin or CS faculty member will try to answer your questions.

Back to SwatCS Help Docs