Computer Science and Engineering Systems
Acceptable Use Policy

The following describes the obligations and restrictions by which all users are expected to abide. Violation of these policies may lead to suspension or revocation of your CSE account, regardless of current class load or status. You are responsible for abiding by all of the policies listed here.

Fundamental Heuristic

The fundamental usage policy is that computer users must act in a responsible manner. As the CSE Systems are shared resources all users must be careful not to infringe upon the rights or convenience of other users. Do not assume that you are the only (or most important) user currently on the system (even a workstation). Treat others as you would have them treat you.

CSE Lab Usage Policy

  • Do NOT eat or drink in computer laboratories.
  • Do NOT disturb others with loud talk or music.
  • Do NOT produce offensive graphics, messages, news posts, etc.
  • Do NOT touch the workstation monitor's screens.
  • Do NOT play computer games in a lab that is more than half-full.
  • Do NOT install software on the Windows workstations.

General Policies

  • Account Creation
    • Accounts for registered students are created within two weeks of each semester (guest accounts are available during that time).
  • Disk Quota
    • Each user is granted an equitable share of our storage resources. Users are given a soft disk quota of at least 1GB (CSE grads get 1.2GB). Requests for disk quota increases may be granted with a valid reason AND a faculty sponsor; such increases are temporary; lasting the duration of the project. There may be additional disk space allocated to you for class work in specific classes, or for research together with a faculty sponsor. That extra allocation is not considered an extension of your private, personal disk space, and as such does not count as part of your personal disk quota. However, any files you place in that space may be inspected, deleted, altered or have your ownership of them removed at any time should the faculty sponsor or the class instructor feel that it is necessary to do so. Please see here for further clarification.
  • Print Quota
    • Each user is granted an equitable share of our printing resources (typically 500 pages/semester). Users who exceed this quota may gain an addition 100 pages/semester by purchasing a ream of unpunched standard white printer paper (19410-0) from the MSU Bookstore, and bringing it (unopened, with receipt) to the consultant station. This 100 page increase is limited to once a semester. Printing services are provided to students exclusively for instructional or supported research purposes. Students found abusing this will be denied further printing privileges.
  • Mail Queue
    • Each user is expected to maintain their mail queue (unread or saved mail in /user/mail/) at a reasonable size. Warning: Do not remain subscribed to email lists while on vacation or internship unless you plan to regularly check your email. 
  • Backups
    • Although a full file backup system is implemented in the CSE domain, it is designed for recovery from a catastrophic crash of the system, and not for the routine recovery of files mistakenly deleted by individual users. File recovery of individual files is ONLY possible from snapshots.
    • All user home directories and /user/research/ file space is stored on a NAS filer with a built-in 'snapshot' feature. In each home or research directory is a .snapshot sub-directory containing read-only copies of that home or research directory. If you need to recover a file, you can do so by copying it from the appropriate snapshot. We take nightly snapshots and save them for one week, after which time they are deleted. Depending on available space, we try to keep up to 4 weekly snapshots, but there is no guarantee this will happen. Snapshot directories do not count toward your disk quota.
    • It is advisable to use a revision control system FIXME (such as SVN or GIT) in addition to periodic personal backups to magnetic media of important, rapidly changing items in your directories. Our systems support writing data to CD recorders.  Each lab machines has a CD burner. 


  • DO change your password regularly.
  • DO xlock your workstation login session if you must be away briefly (15 minutes max).
  • Do NOT share your password with ANYONE (not even the systems administrators).
  • Do NOT attempt to read other users' personal files or email.
  • Do NOT copy licensed software.
  • Do NOT crash or modify the operating systems.
  • Do NOT make your home directory world or group writable.
  • Do NOT use suspicious .rhosts entries (only your MSU account name, and only from hosts are permitted).
  • Do NOT abuse the mail system (eg. send mail to all users).
  • Do NOT use your CSE account for personal gain (e.g. consulting).
  • Do NOT abuse any other computing resources.
  • Be wary of FTP'd software; some software may damage your files, or the operating system itself (in the case of Windows NT).
  • Be wary of software in /soft/lus; it is not supported by the systems staff.
  • NEVER answer any email asking for your password. If you receive such an email message, be advised that the systems staff will never make such requests -- please email about the request immediately.
  • The system managers may routinely scan our systems looking for 'bad' passwords. If yours is easily guessed, you will be notified that it must be changed immediately. Failure to do so will result in disabling of your account.

Heavy System Resource Usage

CPU-intensive or long-running jobs being run by users not on the system console must be 'niced' to level 19. Jobs that do not adhere to this policy may be killed, stopped, or reduced in priority by the system management without warning.
Users sitting at a workstation console have priority use of the machine. Remote CPU-intensive jobs - whether niced or not - which seriously degrade console performance will be killed by the systems staff if the console user requests it.
Large jobs running on arctic or pacific may be stopped or killed if they are not niced, or if the system load gets so high that interactive performance becomes seriously degraded.
Distributed large jobs, like rc5des contests, setiathome sessions, etc. may not be run remotely. You may run them on the machine at whose physical console you are sitting.
Please see the man pages for 'nice', 'renice', and 'kill' for more information.


Any questions regarding our systems, software, or facilities may be directed to A consultant is also available to aid users during scheduled hours (in EB 3358).