Unix Usage

These guidelines govern the use of the public UNIX machines belonging to the Department of Computer Sciences of The University of Texas at Austin. Users of CS machines should conduct themselves in a manner that promotes a productive working environment. Conduct that creates a disturbance to other users, or that intentionally or negligently interferes with the proper operation of the system or its use by others is prohibited. Any activity that uses disproportionate amounts of system resources falls under this category.

Lab Use

Unsuitable lab behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • Bringing food into any public computer lab at any time.
  • Printing or diplaying material unsuitable for public display.
  • Leaving the lab and leaving yourself logged into a terminal.
  • Using "xlock" or any similar program to lock a terminal for more than 30 minutes.

System Use

Unsuitable system use includes, but is not limited to:

  • Rebooting machines (this should only be done by staff).
  • Sharing an account or password with another person.
  • Using an account for commercial or profit-making purposes.
  • Using an account for non-academic purposes when a cost to the department is incurred (laser-printing, etc).
  • Engaging in any activity that compromises the security of the system.
  • Using an account to back up or otherwise store software or data from any other computer system, such as a home computer.
  • Any illegal activity, including software piracy or other copyright violations.
  • Storing or using MP3 files on any UNIX account. (Such files are subject to immediate removal.)

Resource use 

  • For those machines that have a batch processing system installed,
    • Any long-running CPU-intensive process should be submitted to the queueing system to run. It will automatically pick a lightly loaded machine, suspend the process when someone begins using the console, and ensure that no one hogs an excessive number of machines.
    • Any other long-running CPU-intensive jobs are subject to being killed at any time.
  • For those machines that do not support a batch processing queue,
    • No user should have more than one long-running CPU-intensive process on any public computer at any time.
    • When possible, users should ensure that there is not already a long-running process on a computer before starting another one (the "top" command).
    • Long-running processes should be reniced to a lower priority if possible.
  • Running a personal HTTP server, running a MUD at any time, and running bots (including IRC bots) are strictly forbidden. The only exception is an academic requirement (such as running an HTTP server for a class, in which case that process must be running only for such time as required by that class.

If processes appear to be in violation of these guidelines or are very idle and appear to have been abandoned, they will be killed by the staff. If users appear to be in violation of lab behavior guidelines, possible actions can range from a reprimand, to the loss of an account, to referral to school or state authorities for disciplinary action.

If you believe you have a compelling reason to violate any of these guidelines, please send mail to gripe@cs.utexas.edu before you take action.