Connecting to the server

You can connect to the server to run commands (like the "passwd" and "smbpasswd" commands for changing passwords) with a SSH program like PuTTY for Windows or by opening the Terminal in OS X and typing "ssh". You can also transfer files to and from the server with an SFTP program like WinSCP or FileZilla for Windows or Fugu or Cyberduck for OS X.

Changing your passwords

Start an SSH session and then type the "passwd" and "smbpasswd" commands to change both your system login password and the password used to map your home directory as a network drive.

Mapping your storage space as a network drive

Perhaps the easiest way to transfer files is to map your storage space as a network drive, and it'll then behave like any other hard drive on your computer. In Windows Explorer, go to Tools, Map Network Drive, or in OS X Finder, use the Go menu and then Connect to Server. For Windows, the server address is:


And for OS X, use this:


Quickly accessing your storage space from a Windows computer

You can quickly access your storage space from any Windows computer (like an instrument computer) without mapping it as a network drive. In Windows XP, click the Start button, click Run, type the network share address into the dialog box, and click OK. In Windows Vista or 7, click the Start button, type the network share address into the search box at the bottom of the start menu, and press Enter. The network share address is:


When prompted, enter your username and password.

Connecting from outside the Caltech network

Connecting via SSH or SFTP works regardless of whether you're on the Caltech network. Mapping your storage space as a network drive only works if your computer is connected to the Caltech network since Caltech blocks outside access to shared network drives. From off campus you'd need to use Caltech's VPN service.

Hosting your own website

Anything you put in the www directory inside your home directory will be available at this address:

So if you put a file named me.jpg in your www directory, it would be available at:

If you go to that first address now, you'll just get an error message because directory listing is turned off by default and you don't have a homepage yet. If you want a homepage available at that address, name it index.html, and it'll show up by default.

If you just want a list of files to appear when someone visits your web space, turn on directory listing by editing the .htaccess file in your www directory and adding this line:

Options +Indexes

You could also create a subdirectory in your www directory, add an .htaccess file containing the above line to that subdirectory, and still maintain the ability to have a real homepage appear when users visit your main web address.

Nightly data backups

The risk of hard drive failure is mitigated by the RAID 6 array. The server has 4 hard drives, and any 2 of them can fail without any loss of data. If a drive fails, a replacement hard drive can be swapped in while the server is still running. The contents of the array are also backed up to the NAS device nightly at 2 am.

Disk quotas

Disk quotas were disabled in November 2010. Please try to keep your usage under 20 GB.

Have fun!