Operations > Computing > FAQ

Computing Account Policies

The Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering provides computer accounts for all individuals who are currently either enrolled in Electrical & Computer Engineering degree programs or Electrical & Computer Engineering courses. This account is provided for educational purposes only.

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Your responsibilities as a user

It is your responsibility as a user to understand that some of the programs and facilities provided on the computer can unintentionally affect other users. Out of consideration for other users, you must act thoughtfully and fully acquaint yourself with the consequences and impact of any of your actions. You should understand that if you harm or inconvenience other users through your own carelessness or unfamiliarity with the computer and its facilities, your account may at any time be cancelled without notice and be subject to further consequences as well.

When you are in any of the ECE computing labs, please be respectful of the other users. Also note that we do not allow any food or drink in the ECE computing labs.

Data retention policy

After an account has expired, data owned by that account will be kept for a limited time, according to the position of the account's user. Data owned by undergraduate students and visitors will be kept on disk for one quarter following the expiration of the account. Data owned by graduate students, staff, and faculty will be kept on disk for two quarters, following the expiration of the account.

After six months, all data - including backups - associated with an expired account may be deleted.

Account usage limitations

This account is for educational purposes only, related to the instructional programs of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. The account will NOT be used for commercial activities or for ANY activity outside of the scope of the educational program.

Student disk quotas

The maximum amount of disk space students may use on our student fileserver (accessible via the linux lab systems) is as follows:


As is the case with most other UW departments, student printing in the ECE department is managed by Dawg Prints.

Backup policies

ECE performs limited backups of ECE computing and server systems. It is recommended that, in addition to the backups we perform, users make their own backup copies of their files on a regular basis, ideally to multiple locations, for example to the UDrive or a USB stick.

Version control softare such as git may also be useful for research purposes (though can be complicated); ECE installs git on many of the ECE lab systems, and hosting providers such as bitbucket offer sharing for educational accounts.

Expiration policies

In order to maintain a more perfect account database the following expiration policies have been instated.

Security issues

The account is for the user's individual use only and the user will NOT let any other person use their account. The user will NOT tell anyone the password to their account. System Administrators may verify that the user is the only one using their account. Anyone who uses computer time or facilities without proper permission, or helps another to do so, may be committing a criminal act and may be subject to criminal prosecution.

About copyright and other legal obligations

System files and many other applications and files (including, but not limited to sources binaries, and documentation files) are provided under license agreements and are not to be copied in any way shape or form. Copying software is ILLEGAL and users who are found breaking the law will be turned over to the proper authorities.

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