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    Differences Between AFS and Native UNIX/Macintosh/Windows File Systems


    Most users will only notice small differences between AFS home directories and standard UNIX home directories, but there are differences some users will encounter on a daily basis. The table below highlights the major differences users are likely to notice when using AFS.

    Tuning the AFS client for Macintosh


    Below are optional configuration and tuning steps for the OpenAFS Macintosh client.

    Tuning the AFS Client

    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)

    Understanding Access Control in AFS


    In AFS, access control is applied at the directory level. The same permissions apply to all the files that directory contains. The Access Control List (ACL) is a list of users and/or groups, with the permissions that apply to each. The ACL for any directory may be displayed with the fs listacl command line tool on all AFS clients, and may also be displayed by the Explorer shell AFS plugin on Windows (right-click menu).

    Example fs listacl output:

    Accounts for Researchers


    A research computing account consists of an account on the central file server (AFS) and login privileges on one or more Linux computer servers  that all share the same AFS accounts for user home directories. AFS accounts are available to any member of the Dartmouth community. Users may also access the AFS file servers from their own personal workstations. Sponsored (non-DND) accounts can be created in special cases.

    Applying for a Research Account

    To request an account on:

    Andes and Polaris Environments


    To connect to (You need an ssh-client):

    ssh [email protected]

    To connect to (You need an ssh-client):

    ssh [email protected]

    OpenAFS Client for Windows


    The OpenAFS client for Windows works on all versions of Windows from XP through Windows 10. On this page we provide a download link and instructions for the most recent version that Research Computing has tested. has the official documentation and possibly newer versions of the software.

    • Installing the client
    • Basic usage
    • Uninstalling the client

    Installing the OpenAFS Client for Windows

    OpenAFS Client for Linux


    The OpenAFS client can be installed on any Linux distribution but the details of how to do so vary. You will need root permission and usually some familiarity with a command line. The process is complicated by the necessity for a kernel module that must match the kernel you are running.

    Web Options for UNIX and AFS Users


    The Web server running on cannot serve pages directly from AFS. Another system,, runs a Web server that can directly serve pages out of a user's account.

    Below are two options for people who want to have web pages, but keep them in AFS and maintain them directly from their AFS account.

    Statistical Software Support


    Statistical computing covers the use of statistics and supported statistical packages on all of Information, Technology & Consulting's public systems, including UNIX, Macintosh, and Windows platforms.

    Supported packages include Stata, SPSS, SAS and R. Support not only includes accessing and installing these packages, but also includes assistance with the program basics, writing code, and choosing appropriate analyses. In addition, we can help you with transferring data between applications or platforms.


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