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    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.

    Programming Supported by Research Computing


    The following programming is supported by Research Computing staff:

    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.

    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:

    AFS File Backups


    Regular backups are made of the public Linux systems of Academic Computing, which include the AFS file servers and all of the central systems.

    These backups are designed to protect against hardware failures and short-term emergencies only. They are not permanent archives. If you need to restore lost files, you should seek help promptly while the backups are still available. Backup tapes are overwritten once they expire. The backup scheme used for the AFS file servers and local disks are slightly different. Most user files are stored in AFS.

    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 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)

    Using klog to Obtain AFS Credentials


    Even if a Linux system is not set up with usernames or UIDs matching the AFS user database, you can still use all the features of AFS.

    Using AFS Home Directories


    If usernames and UIDs are in sync with AFS, and integrated logins have been enabled via PAM, you may choose to use your AFS home directory as your home directory on the local Linux system.

    • To do this, edit your entry in /etc/passwd and change the last (":"-delimited) field to the full path of your AFS home.

    e.g. If your local home is:


    you might change that to:

    What Is A Safe Linux Password?


    Your initial password, and subsequent resets made by a system administrator, will be a combination of your Dartmouth ID number and a random set of characters that will be emailed to you. You should change your password to one of your own choosing as soon as you are able to log in, using the passwd command at the shell prompt.


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