How do I change my password?

Whenever you login to a departmental computer, you must type both your login name and password. Your password serves as a security check to protect your account from unauthorized access. Only people who know your password can login to your account. Therefore, it is probably a good idea to change your password on a regular basis.

When need to change your password, use the passwd command within the Terminal application on any SCF machine (on a Mac, this is in Applications > Utilities). The system will prompt you for your old password as well as your new one. Your old password is the one you signed on with and your new password is one of your choice. Passwords must observe the following restrictions:

  1. Must be at least 6 characters.
  2. Should contain both upper and lower case characters (e.g., a-z, A-Z).
  3. Should contain digits and puntuation characters as well as letters (e.g., 0-9,  !@#$%^&*()_+|~- =\`{}[]:";'<>?,./).
  4. Should not be a word in any language, slang, dialect, jargon, etc. or a word with attached digits or punctuation (e.g. dragon1, !dragon, etc.)
  5. Can not be a login or name, or either spelled backwards.

When you respond to the system's prompts for old and new passwords, what you type will not be displayed on the screen.

If you type your old password correctly, set a legitimate new password, and retype your new password without any mistakes, the computer will return its shell prompt indicating that your new password is currently in effect and the system is ready to accept commands. If you make a mistake, the computer will return an error message and you must begin again.

If you forget your password, contact the system staff. Students using class accounts must ask their instructor or TA to reset their password. The system staff will not ordinarily reset class account passwords.