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Authentication Credentials

This document describes the user accounts you will receive when you join the Department of Computer Science. This document hopes to clear up some of the confusion about then to use which account.

In general, most members of the Department of Computer Science make use of services provided centrally by the University and which require UCT authentication credentials, and those provided in-house by the Department which require CS authentication credentials.

UCT Credentials

Access to most University-wide services requires that you log in with your UCT authentication credentials, which are based on your UCT ID.

These credentials consist of:
  • A username. This will be your UCT ID - student number, staff number or third party ID number.
  • A password.
These credentials are used for access to the following services:
  • Internet access via the campusnet ISA proxy servers
  • Wireless network access via the uct-secure wireless access points
  • PeopleSoft student system
  • UCT's Groupwise email system
  • UCT's Novell file and print services infrastructure
  • Vula, online learning environment
  • The Shuttleworth Open-Source Lab (TSL)
Your UCT credentials can be managed via the UCT password self service system at If you do not know your UCT password, and are unable to reset your password via the UCT password self service system you need to do the following to reset your password:
  • Students: Visit one of the SCILAB A, B, C or D computer microlabs with your student card and ask the lab administrator to reset your password.
  • Staff and third parties: Visit the ICTS Helpdesk with your UCT staff, third party ID card or another form of photo identification, and ask the consultant to reset your password.

CS Credentials

Most services provided in-house by the Department of Computer Science require log in using CS authentication credentials.

There are currently two completely separate authentication systems in use with in the Department:
  • CS unix credentials
  • CS windows credentials
Though the two systems are completely separate and no automatic synchronization occurs, you will usually be allocated the same username on both systems. You username will be allocated according to the following rules:

  •     Second and third year undergraduates: student number (e.g. flnfre001)
  •     Honours: first initial and surname (fflintstone)
  •     Graduate students, staff and visitors: As specified by you on your CS Credentials application form, or as determined by the systems administrators.

When your accounts are created, an initial password will be set for each account. You will be notified of these initial passwords as follows:
  •     Undergraduate students: By email to your UCT email address (
  •     Graduate students, staff and visitors: By email the alternate email address you supplied on your CS Credentials Application Form, or in person by the Systems Administrators.
Note that while the initial password set for your CS accounts may initially be same, passwords are not automatically synchronised across our two authentication system and will therefore differ overtime unless you manually synchronise them by changing your passwords across both systems when either system requires a password change.

CS Unix Credentials

Criteria: All students (except first year undergraduates), staff and visitors are allocated unix credentials for access to the following services:

  • CS email
  • Unix shell server
  • Unix lab workstations and thin-clients

CS Windows Credentials

Criteria: Most students (except first and second year undergraduates), staff and visitors are allocated Windows credentials for access to the following services:
  • Windows lab workstations
  • Other Windows workstations which are members of the CS Active Directory domain
  • Windows file and print services
  • Windows terminal servers

last modified 2008-10-21 14:19