Acceptable Use Policy

Acceptable Use Policy

The intent of this document is to provide guidelines for a fair and equitable distribution of computing resources for users of the Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics and Actuarial Science departments as administered by CLAS Linux Group and any other users using services provided by the CLAS Linux Group.  The practices described here seek to allow for individual flexibility, while not encroaching on the use of the facilities by others.  The operation of the facilities shall be in accordance with this document and with the University of Iowa's Policy on Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources.  The full text of the IT policy is available at as part of University’s Operations Manual (Chapter 19).  All account owners are responsible for knowing and abiding by the guidelines and responsibilities set forth in these documents.

Account Owner Responsibilities

All account holders are responsible for abiding by the University of Iowa's Policy on Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources (see above).  The following additional responsibilities are in effect for any one accessing the facilities or services.  Users should:

  • Use the computing resources solely to pursue the educational mission of the college in an efficient, ethical, and legal manner.  Contribute to a working environment that encourages effective study and work for all users.  This includes, but is not limited to, an environment free from loud talking, the playing of loud music, sound from computer games, offensive graphics on computer screens, and graphic or vulgar language and gestures that demean individuals.
  • Maintain the integrity and security of accounts by keeping passwords confidential.  Report any suspected unauthorized access to your account and change your password immediately.  Maintain the privacy of your account by not loaning it to anyone.
  • Abide by the “Usage Guidelines” and “Suggested Good Practices” described below to maintain equitable use of the resource for all users.
  • Use properly licensed College-provided and approved commercial and public domain software.

Philosophy of Use

CLAS Linux Group will make every effort to evaluate individual user actions on a case-by-case basis.  If a particular program or process is unduly reducing the availability of network resources, or is creating a disruption in the study climate of a facility, then this activity is subject to actions that will restore service to the larger community.  Specifically, steps will be taken to protect the files of users and to maintain sufficient processing resources to allow persons to access and perform work with their accounts.  Actions taken will be determined by current system load on the network, severity of the offense, previous misconduct history by an individual, and any extenuating circumstances.  Actions may include, but are not limited to, email notification of the situation, requests for clarifying information, termination of processes, and account suspension.

Usage Guidelines

These guidelines enumerate specific practices that users are expected to adhere to at all times.  CLAS Linux Group will take action when these guidelines are violated.

  • Do not camp on workstations by locking the screen and then leaving for classes or overnight.  Workstations left unattended and locked for more then 15 minutes will result in the session being terminated (unless prior approval by CLAS Linux Group staff members for special circumstances).
  • Do not consume food or drink in the labs.
  • Do not shutdown or reboot any CLAS Linux Group managed Linux workstations.
  • Do not disconnect any network cables from any hardware on the network.
  • Limit yourself to two concurrent background jobs on the entire network (unless you have approval from CLAS Linux Group Staff).  Start the background jobs on the “bigjobs” alias.  Start the two jobs on two different machines in order to distribute the load.  All background jobs on CLAS Linux Group workstations must be set to run at a low priority (niced to 10 or higher) and on a bigjobs aliased machine or the jobs will be killed.  The bigjobs alias references machines that are less likely to be interfered with due to the message of the day (warning not to reboot due to long running jobs) and due to the location and capability of these machines.  Each department has their own “bigjobs” machines as well located at csbigjobs (301 MLH), mathbigjobs (B5 MLH), statbigjobs (346 MLH) for starting jobs specific to a department or lab.
  • Limit game playing and other recreational use to those times when a lab is not crowded.  Use of the facilities for study always takes precedence over game playing and recreational use.
  • Do not run any server programs with out first getting approval from CLAS Linux Group staff.
  • Do not run any distributed computing jobs with out approval.  Please see Server Program Request Form for the approval process.
  • Do not run port scanners.
  • Do not sleep in the labs.
  • Do not run non-class-related, resource-intensive programs (e.g., seti@homegenome@home) when classes are in session. Permission to run these programs during breaks may be granted on a case by-case basis. Contact CLAS Linux Group to request permission.

While it is impossible to enumerate all situations that might require action, these usage guidelines illustrate acceptable conduct.  If your situation requires deviation from these guidelines, or you do not know if an activity falls outside these guidelines, please consult CLAS Linux Group staff to coordinate any special requirements.  These may include relaxed background job priority, extra process allowances, or extra disk space.  Every effort will be made to coordinate with individual users and to accommodate the bona fide needs of study and research.

Suggested Good Practices

The following guidelines are always in effect, whether you are working in a private office or using a public lab.

  • If you receive unsolicited email from within the College and prefer not to receive subsequent mailings, speak with the sender and ask that your name be removed from subsequent mailings.
  • If an account owner requests that s/he be removed from mass mailings, honor that request.