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User Accounts

by admin last modified Nov 21, 2011 04:41 PM

The prerequisites for obtaining a computer account on systems at the RCF are a valid guest appointment or employment at BNL and the successful completion of BNL Cyber Security Training (GE-CYBERSEC).  Once you have an appointment and the associated Guest/Life Number and you have completed the Cyber Security Training course,  you should then fill out the RCF Computer Account Request Form.  After the request form has been processed, you will be notified, via the email address that you provided in the form, when your account has been activated.

Logging In

As outlined in the RCF Facility Overview page, the RCF consists of two distinct sub-facilities, the "GCE" and the analysis facility. In order to access either facility, you will need to have an SSH client.

If you are on-site at BNL, you can login directly to the GCE by starting an ssh session to

If you are off-site or want to login to the analysis facility, you will need to log into one of the SSH Gateways.

Passwords and SSH Keys

As a user of the RCF facility, you have been assigned two passwords, a Kerberos 5 password, and an email password. If you are on site at BNL and use the SMB file service facility, you will also have an SMB password. It is highly recommended that you choose separate passwords for each of these two (or three) functions, and, since they serve as the keys to the facility, you need to choose good passwords.

The Kerberos 5 password is used to upload your SSH private key to the facility and to access AFS resources. The email password is used to access mail on the RCF IMAP server (

Reusable passwords are not allowed as an authentication method for interactive access to the RCF.  Access is presently controlled by a "two factor authentication method" implemented with SSH public/private key pairs.  You need to generate such a key pair and then upload the public key to the facility.  Detailed instructions are available for generating, uploading and using your keys

Terminating Your Account

When your BNL appointment expires, your access to the RCF gateway machines will be blocked and you will no longer have access to the facility.  The contents of your account will not be deleted unless you or your collaboration request that they be deleted.  You may terminate your account at the RCF before your appointment expires by submitting  a trouble ticket, giving your account name and the date when you would like the account terminated.