Home Directories

Home directories give everyone with a CSE account a finite amount of storage. The amount (and where it is stored) depends on what type of account you have. For information on how to access these folders from various platforms, see the quick links in the upper right.

Instructional Accounts

Your Windows and Linux home directories are one and the same. On Linux, these folders can be reached at /homes/iws/<csenetid>. On Windows, your "Z:" drive is mapped to the same folder via \\tango\<csenetid>. In addition to the Z: (mapped home directory) on Windows, your Desktop, Downloads, Music, My Documents, My Pictures, and My Videos are also stored on the network. More information about this can be found here.


There is a 10GB quota in effect for home directories of undergrads and 20GB quota for 5th year Masters students on CSE instructional systems.

If your quota is exceeded, you will be prevented from writing anything until you have deleted enough files to drop below the quota. You will see messages that say "Disc quota exceeded" or you may not be able to log into your Linux account (i.e. on an instructional Linux machine). Try either sshing to attu or logging into a Windows machine and deleting files from your Z: until you are below your Linux quota.

Tip: Enter du --max-depth=1 -hc ~ on a Linux system (e.g. attu) to see which files in your home directory are taking up the most space.

Note: Disk space is not reclaimed against your quota until all open files are closed. If you have a job running on one of the attu's, even if you removed the file the job created, you will remain over your disk quota until the job is killed, which will close the open file.

Research Accounts

Your Windows and Linux home directories are one and the same. On Linux, these folders can be reached at /homes/gws/<csenetid>. On Windows, your "Z:" drive is mapped to the same folder via \\<homeserver>\<csenetid>, where <homeserver> is the file server on which your home directory resides (one of "cash," "companion," or "cube"). Please note that your Desktop, Downloads, Music, My Documents, My Pictures, and My Videos on Windows are NOT stored in your home directory, and are instead stored on your local machine.


There is no hard limit quota.

But realize you share this finite space with all of your colleagues. So while there are no strict quotas being enforced, we ask that folks keep storage in those directories at or below ~30GB. Research project data should be stored in a sponsored /projects share, not in your home directory. Remember that only items stored on Google drive are "forever", so consider using your Google Drive for archiving old projects/work.

VPN for Access from Off Campus

Many of our school's computing resources are now on the 172 subnet, which is firewalled at the campus border for security reasons. To connect to these resources from off campus, VPN (virtual private network) software must be installed and running on your computer located off-campus.

The Husky OnNet package is a downloadable application (intended for use on home computers and personal mobile devices) that allows users to remotely access resources that normally require on-campus connections. Detailed Husky OnNet (a.k.a. VPN) service information and instructions can be found on the UW IT Connect pages. Once downloaded and installed the Husky OnNet service must be started; look for an application called “Big IP Edge Client” and start it, and provide your UWNetID credentials for authentication. After authenticating, it will direct traffic to on-campus machines through Husky OnNet (traffic to other destinations will be unaffected).

UW provides the Husky OnNet software free of charge to the UW community, and is available for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux hosts.

User-Level Group Management

In the interest of making life easier for everyone, the CSE Lab has developed a software suite, collectively known as GrpAdmin, that allows user-level management of Unix groups and group memberships, either via CLI or web interface.

Remote Access

Information on connecting to Allen School computing resources from a remote location can be found in this document.

CSE Anonymous FTP Service

If you are in need of transferring files between you and remote users for your research, but sending or getting them through email or setting your own ftp server would be troublesome, you can use CSE anonymous ftp service. The service is available only to research users.

How it works

The anonymous ftp service at ftp.cs.washington.edu or at URL ftp://ftp.cs.washington.edu allows any Internet user to retrieve and/or deposit files in a specified area without the need to have a CSE account. The ftp user can use a ftp command to access the service with anonymous as the account name, and an email address as its password. A line command such as wget or fetch or a web browser can also be used to access anonymous ftp files by the URL (please see man pages or help facility of individual commands for details.)

On certain well-known CSE systems, such as barb, norfolk, recycle, and tricycle, the ftp directories are accessible via its Unix global path /cse/ftp/, where you can copy files into and out of it. On the other hand, an anonymous ftp user can only transfer files in one direction in each ftp directory. That is a file can be deposited but can not be retrieved and vice versa. This is to prevent our server from being a dumping ground for pirated software and other things to be shared by other anonymous ftp users.

Short-term use

To use the service, there are a couple of self-serve directories that you can use right away for small-size files and for a short duration. They are incoming and outgoing directories for ftp users to deposit and retrieve files respectively. The directories are accessible to CSE users as /cse/ftp/incoming and /cse/ftp/outgoing respectively.

For transferring file to you, tell your user to put file in incoming and you can get the file from /cse/ftp/incoming.

For transferring file to ftp user, you can put your files in /cse/ftp/outgoing. If you are concerned the files might be copied by non-intended ftp users, you might want to protect the files by creating an unbrowsable directory under /cse/ftp/outgoing, and putting the files there.

Once you copy your files into the directory, then you tell your ftp user what the path is. With the example above, the path would be /outgoing/myftp/myfile or URL ftp://ftp.cs.washington.edu/outgoing/toftp/myfile.

You can't remove files that are not owned by you so you can't remove files deposited by a ftp user after you have copied the file. However, you do not need to worry. When the files are older than 5 days, they are automatically removed.

Long-term use

If you need to use ftp on a regular basis such as you have a URL of your project file published in a paper or you have large files or large amount of files that can't be handled comfortably by the server's disk, you can send a request to support@cs.