Accounts, Passwords and Logins

1. Introduction

It is the general and recommended practice for Sociology account ids to match your NetID. However, the password for your NetID should differ from the password used with other accounts. The purposes of NetID and Sociology accounts are summarized in the table below.

Department of Sociology Computer Accounts


Issued By

Properties & Functions



* consist of your initials and a trailing integer
* graduate student accounts are issued at matriculation
* faculty, staff and postdoctoral accounts are issued at hiring
* may be used as your Duke email address: <NetID>
* is used for authentication to a variety of Duke IT services including Sakai, software license downloads, library services, ACES Web, SAP R/3, SISS, Parking services, and ePrint



* typically matches NetID
* may be used as your Duke email address: <ID>
* SSH login account to Sociology linux servers for statistical processing from anywhere
* home directory network storage
* location for personal web page



* typically matches NetID
* provides domain access to network storage - drive letters under Windows; mounts under Mac OS X
* all departmental PCs connect in some manner to the departmental network via your Domain account

[single user]


* typically matches NetID
* is a local PC user account on machines which are dedicated for personal use
* on dedicated desktops may serve as an admin account for software installation and other configuration tasks

2. NetID Management

For a NetID overview, see Account Requests and General Information. Basic management of your Duke NetID and related services is done by through OIT's Account Self-Service Tool.

If you have forgotten your NetID password, contact the OIT Helpdesk (684-2200) for assistance.

3. Obtaining Sociology Accounts

Make account requests in person by coming to Room 140, Soc/Psych and asking for a Network Account Request form from a member of the computing staff. Receipt of an account presumes use of it and password access will not be shared with anyone.

New accounts for incoming graduate students are set up in a batch. Information regarding their use is provided each fall in an orientation session done by the computing staff.

Undergraduates are not provided accounts unless they are employed in some capacity by the department or are working on a research project sponsored by a faculty member. Undergraduate classroom computing should be conducted in OIT computing labs, which are set up to accept NetID logins.

4. Choosing Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are important for network security and individual privacy.

Selecting a good password that you like, easily type and can remember is hard work. Some guidelines for password selection include:

If someone learns one of your passwords, change it immediately!

5. Linux Logins

Linux logins to Sociology systems are typically done from PCs in the department, from home PCs over Internet connections that you have established by broadband, or from laptops over wireless connection.

Three principal servers are accessed in Sociology.

With your Duke NetID, you can access the OIT Linux system.

All of the above systems are accessed by means of secure shell (SSH) clients, using end-to-end encryption of your session to ensure that your activities and password cannot be snooped.

Departmental PCs are typically configured with an SSH client consisting of a secure terminal component for command line sessions and a secure file transfer portion for file transfers. Home PCs and personal laptops should be configured with one of the SSH clients distributed through the OIT Software License Office, which include Secure Shell or PuTTY for Windows.

Mac clients provide SSH natively through the terminal application.

6. Linux Logouts

Remember to logout from all Linux secure shell sessions.

A terminal session on any type of Linux system is ended by typing at the prompt exit followed by the <Enter> key.

7. How to Change Your Linux and Domain Account Passwords

Your linux and domain passwords should be kept synchronized. This is done with a password script run under your linux account.

If the new password you apply is determined to be weak or too similar to the previous one, the change will fail and you will need to rerun the script with a better password. We will ask you to change your password if, during a routine security audit, it is determined to be easily cracked.

If you have forgotten your Linux password, contact Bob Jackson for assistance.

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