Personal and Shared Storage

A variety of personal and group storage options are offered for students, faculty, and staff. In addition to local storage on personal machines, we provide several shared file systems, including AFS and Windows DFS. The majority of the ECE Department’s shared storage is located in our Cyert Hall machine room and hosted on RAID or SAN storage units.

The section below covers Personal Directories, Shared/Project Storage, Other Storage, Storage Quotas.

Personal Directories

Depending on your accounts and computer access, you might have access to several personal or home directories.

Everyone receiving an ECE account automatically receives an AFS volume that serves as their personal space on all Computing Facilities supported machines in the department. This space serves as their home directory on all public Linux/Unix based computers in ECE such as the ECE computing clusters, labs, and various research-related computing clusters. This directory is typically located at /afs/ece/usr/ and can be accessed from any computer that has an AFS client installed, including Windows and Macs.

Faculty, graduate students, and staff who have Linux/Unix based computers assigned for their personal use may also have access to a personal directory located at /home/<login>. This directory is local to that specific computer and is not shared across systems. On those computers customers can also access their AFS based space via the path /afs/ece/usr/<login>.

Windows users have access to local disk on computers that have been assigned for their personal use. In addition they have access to shared DFS storage that is shared between all Windows computers. In addition they have the option of installing the AFS client and mounting an AFS volume as a local Windows drive.

Shared/Project Storage

Research groups and centers can request the creation of project volumes in AFS or DFS that allow for storage that is not associated with a particular user’s account. This can be used as a collaborative space or storage for shared research resources such as input data sets, code libraries, or a group web presence, etc.

Project volumes are typically located at /afs/ece/project/<project> and are maintained by their owners. ECE Computing Facilities is available to help with configuring access by sending mail to

Project volumes are not typically created for independant student or course research projects. Students are encouraged to use their personal AFS space for this type of work. When working in a group for a course, students are encouraged to set the AFS ACLs on their directories to enable access for other group members.

Other Storage

Local Storage on Shared Machines

  • /tmp is available to all users on ECE Unix/Linux machines. Files stored in /tmp are automatically removed 7 days after their last access. Remember, /tmp/ is a shared system resource; and if it becomes full, it will have a negative impact on system performance. If you have a simulation or job that requires a large amount of temporary space, you are encouraged to use machines that have /scratch availalble.
  • /scratch is available on many of the shared ECE Unix/Linux machines. This similar to /tmp in that it is shared by all users of the system. It differs in that files are not removed until 28 days after their last access; and if it reaches one hundred percent utilization, it will not usually have a negative impact on system performance.

Neither /tmp or /scratch are backed up. They are intended to be used as temporary local storage on hosts. Any files that need to be protected via backups should be copied to a directory that is part of the backup system.

  • /ux0, /ux1, etc may exist on some systems as additional local disks attached to a host. These are typically found on either desktop machines assigned to users, or on machines that belong to specific research groups. Access to this space is determined by the owners of the machines.

Storage Quotas

While individual volumes may have quotas associated with them, ECE has no maximum per user quota. If a customer or project volume reaches capacity, a request can be made either either increase the size of the volume, or to add an additional volume by contacting

From time to time Computing Facilities may ask to meet a user to discuss quota needs and storage organization. At that time, you may be asked about the possibility of splitting volumes into multiple smaller volumes for ease of management.

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