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Username and Password


If you do not know your user-name, you should login with the guest login. See your intructor or TA for more assistance.
We will NOT change passwords over an email request. You must stop by with a picture ID.

Password changes must be applied on a unix machine. ssh to arctic.cse.msu.edu if you are on a windows machine or not in the labs.


Once you know your username you may login. Your password will be your PID including the capital `A' at the beginning. When you log in for the first time, you will be forced to change your password. After this you should change your password frequently. We suggest doing so once a month. Use the command passwd to change your password. The program enforces the following:


A password must:

  • Be at least 7 characters long.
  • Contain at least 4 different characters.
  • Contain at least 2 characters which are not lowercase letters.
  • Contain at least 2 characters which are not uppercase letters.
  • Contain at least 2 characters which are not numerals.
  • Contain at least 1 alphanumeric character.
  • Not have a middle of all lowercase, uppercase, or numeric characters.
Password examples:
  • Bad passwords: secret, aSECRET9, $owndpsuF, a123456b, only1one
  • Good passwords: 3bar4goo, AnYth1nG, only1onE
For instance, if I wanted to change my password, this is what I would type, and what I should see:
prompt> passwd
passwd: Changing password for
Enter current login password: xxxxxxxx

New password: yyyyyyyy
Re-enter new password: yyyyyyyy


In the example above,
  • xxxxxxxx would have been my old login password
  • yyyyyyyy would have been my new login password which I would have had to enter twice (to prevent typing errors)
  • And, the last message would mean that my password was changed on the master (where all the NIS information is stored) server, which in this case was sargasso.