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School of Physics & Astronomy
School of Physics and Astronomy Wiki

User Tools


Accounts and Passwords

Most Windows computers within the School use your regular university login (InternetID credentials).

Unix and Linux systems in the School are being transitioned to InternetID logins. Separate Physics & Astronomy Computing accounts are being phased out.

Visitors may also need arrangements made to access many of the facilities they need. Please check our guide on visitor accounts.

Physics Email

Physics Email has been retired. OIT maintains forwarding for @physics.umn.edu email addresses.


Our main Unix server for shell access is physics.umn.edu; individual Linux workstations are available in several other locations. Windows and Linux workstations are available in several swing space locations - mainly for TA/Grading use:


To log in at one of our Windows workstations:

  • Press CTRL-ALT-DELETE on the workstation keyboard (all three keys together). This brings up the login screen.
  • Ensure that “Log on to” is set to SPA, or you will not be able to log in.
  • Enter your username and password (you may use TAB to move between the fields on this screen).
  • Press RETURN or click OK.


To log in at one of our Linux workstations, enter your InternetID username and password in the boxes.


You can remotely access your physics.umn.edu Unix account using SSH (Secure Shell). For those who are unfamiliar with ssh, see: ssh.

Mailing Lists

Mailing list have been moved to lists.umn.edu

Usage Policies

By using our computing facilities, you agree to follow our Acceptable Use Policy. In brief:

  • Do not share your account or password with anyone.
  • Do not use your account for illegal or unethical purposes.
  • Protect your own data using appropriate file permissions
  • Protect your account and our system resources by using strong passwords.
  • Respect the privacy of others.
  • Do not attempt to circumvent security or other administrative measures on the systems.
  • Contact the system administrators (net@physics.umn.edu) with any questions.

The full policy is available here.

What happens when I leave?

Your InternetID is automatically kept active while you have a current appointment in Peoplesoft. Once you leave the School, an account expiry system starts operation.

  • If you have an ongoing research relationship with faculty in the School, a Person of Interest account is needed for Linux and Windows computer access.

Your University account may get shut off shortly after leaving, for example if your contract is over. Within Physics this will affect your ability to log in to Windows and Linux computers.

If you need continued access to either of these, there are a couple of possibilities.

  • Graduate students can sign up to a Grad999 course, which allows them to keep their InternetID's/AD account active as they are finishing up their thesis, research project, etc. There is no cost for the Grad999 course, but it can only be used to finish up their work.
  • Otherwise to keep doing research with faculty after graduation or end of contract, the department admin office can set up an affiliate appointment at 0%, which keeps all the old access intact (InternetID, email, UCard, AD account, etc.), without being on payroll.
  • A regular Sponsored Account is not recommended. The Person Of Interest account type is needed for continuation of identity at the University.
computing/accounts/home.txt · Last modified: 2021/01/11 09:27 by cse-sull0153