The Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering provides computing system access to all individuals who are enrolled in courses offered by the ECE department, as well as to faculty and staff employed by the department. This access is meant to be used only for ECE academic and research purposes – commercial use is prohibited.

Quick Index

Your responsibilities as a user

It is important to be aware that computing is a shared resource. Any program, script, or other activity you initiate on a shared computer or server impacts all other users of that machine. The ECE ethernet network is also a shared (and limited) resource – your network activity can impact all other ECE users. Please keep this in mind and act thoughtfully whenever you use ECE computing resources.

Activity which harms other users – whether intentionally malicious, or due to carelessness or lack of knowledge – may be cause for termination of your access to ECE computing resources without notice.

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

Data retention policy

In general, any files and data kept in a person’s ECE home directory will be preserved as long as they continue to be affiliated with the department.

Once a person is no longer affiliated with ECE, the data associated with an individual will only be maintained for a limited time.

Data stored on the shared Linux Lab home directory server will be archived and saved for one quarter after they have separated from ECE. If the person returns to ECE during this period, their previous home directory and files will be automatically restored.

Data stored on a ECE-maintained work computer that was used by a former faculty or staff member may be deleted at any time after that person has left ECE. There is no guaranteed data-preservation period.

After six months, all data – including backups – associated with an user who has left ECE may be permanently 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 ECE’s educational programs.

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:

  • Undergraduate students: 10 GB
  • ECE graduate students: 20 GB


ECE no longer offers or supports student printing. If you need to print, there are numerous locations on campus where DawgPrints has printers available.

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

Expiration policies

ECE no longer maintains a separate account infrastructure; we tie ECE authentication to UW NetID. Access to ECE computing systems is granted according to affiliation with the department. In general, students will find they can log into ECE computing systems during any period they are officially enrolled in at least one ECE-provided class – this is true whether the student’s major is in ECE or in a different department.

Faculty and staff will have continued access to ECE computing systems for as long as they are affiliated with the department. When a faculty or staff member leaves the department, their computing access is typically revoked within a day or two of their departure.

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; information about users who are found breaking the law will be turned over to the proper authorities.

Updated 2021-10-13