Note: This page is intended to be the definitive source of information for getting a new SLAC/BaBar account
BaBar collaborators are entitled to use of SLAC computing resources. This section will therefore focus on logging in at SLAC. Collaborators may also have access to computing resources at their local institutions. Ask your local colleagues about these resources (and encourage them to submit relevant instructions to this Workbook as discussed in the Guide for Contributors).
All members of the BaBar Community are eligible for a SLAC Unix account. To qualify, you must be listed in the BaBar database as a member or associate of the collaboration or a member of the community. All requests for membership are initiated by submitting the Slac User information form. A person's status may be verified on-line through the BaBar People Search web page. If you are a BaBar member and have filled out the Slac User Information form but are not listed in this database, please contact Kathy Webb. Kathy can also answer any questions you may have about BaBar membership.
** Note: If you are paid by Slac you are considered a Slac employee. In order for your information to appear in the BaBar database you must also fill out the Slac User Information form.
Just do the best you can with the forms. The people who receive them want to help. You can submit the documents in any order. Your account will not be useful for BaBar work until all of the documents have been processed. If you already have a SLAC Unix account but are not in the BaBar database you will not have access to BaBar-specific directories.
** Note - If you are:
The Computer forms will be authorized and sent to the computer center where the account will be created. This particular step usually takes one or two business days.
Account information (userid and initial password) will be emailed to the email address specified on the form if you specified 'offsite' on the form. If you are on site, you may appear in person at the HELP Desk in building 50 with photo ID to get this information.
For security reasons, you must change your password within 48 hours or it will be disabled!Once the account has been created, further account related questions should be directed to the SCCS HELP Desk, (+1-650-926-4357).
Unix Account Issues:
Windows account issues:
BaBar Publications Web Access - oracle
To check that you are registered on the BaBar database search for your entry in the
Note that once you submit this correction email, someone must manually update the database, and then (around 0400 PT everyday) the AFS access controls are updated. Thus, there will be a delay between the time this correction is requested and the time you may successfully access the BaBar code repositories. If you have a true emergency and must access group directories, please contact Chee, 926-3353.
To check that you are registered on the SLAC database search for your entry in the
With your new SLAC Unix user account, if everything has worked properly, you will receive an email from the SCS HelpDesk with your Username and Password. If you don't get this, contact either (or both!) of Chee, ph 1-650-926-3353, or SCS HelpDesk, ph 1-650-926-4357.
Your new Unix will automatically be created on the Andrew File system (AFS). To make sure you are on AFS, type pwd at the Unix prompt, and the path name it quotes should start /AFS/.... A more thorough introduction to AFS will be given in a later Workbook section: Unix: File Systems and Directories.
ssh email@example.comYour first step after logging into your new account should be to change your password.
For information on selecting a good password, read the documents
At SLAC, valid passwords must be seven to eight characters in length and contain at least three of the following:
! @ # $ % ^ & *
To log off your Unix session, use the command:
You can use the script chkuser to check that you have
signed the necessary software agreement and have the necessary account
and membership in order to run the BaBar software, and that all the
computing forms you have signed and faxed to SLAC have been received
and processed. You may type in a
single SLAC Unixid or several SLAC Unixids. From Unix, issue the
command chkuser userid
Some command examples:
chkuser chee chkuser chee bartelt renata Results:
UNIXID BFACT AFS BBR_COMM OBJECTIVITY ------------------------------------------------------------------ chee yes yes yes yes bartelt yes yes yes yes renata no yes no no
If you instead get an error message
chkuser: Command not found.it may be that you are still using the old session that does not have the HEPiX changes described below. Try again from a new session.
chkuser output gives the following information:
UNIXID - Prints unix userid if it exists at SLAC BFACT - User is/is not a member of the Unix group 'bfactory' (needed for NFS space where Objectivity stores data). AFS - User does/does not have a SLAC AFS account BBR_COMM- User is/is not a member of the BBR_COMMUNITY (an AFS accesslist) OBJECTIVITY - User has/has not signed the Objectivity agreement.If the output contains any "no" responses, look for anything you have missed in this Workbook section or contact one of the account setup experts, such as Chee.
To configure your login environment for BaBar at SLAC, use the HEPiX scripts as described below. Users at most other sites will also want to use some version of these scripts, but should consult with local experts before proceeding.
Whenever you log onto a Unix machine, one or more processes are
started. For interactive sessions, this process is typically a
"shell." Like most things in Unix, shells come in many varieties.
New SLAC accounts are set up to use the shell known as
tcsh. Other varieties of shell have names such as
bash. Certain commands that you
issue during your session may start new shells. Many non-interactive
processes, such as batch sessions, also run their commands within
When any shell is started, it first runs a user start-up script is run
to customize its environment. In the case of tcsh, that start-up
.cshrc, located in your login directory.
To see that such a file is in your login directory, issue the command:
> ls -a(files starting with
.will not be displayed without the
To view the file, issue the command:
> more .cshrcHit the space bar each time you want to see another screen of output.
If the shell is a "login shell" such as the one created when you first log in,
a second start-up script is called to perform terminal-specific actions,
such as setting keyboard mappings. In the case of tcsh, that second script
.login, located in your login directory.
The HEPiX group has created a set of login scripts to make the appearance of logging in and the method of customization appear standard from site to site and across multiple Unix architectures. Customizations prepared in this way should be reasonably portable from site to site. SLAC and BaBar have therefore adopted these scripts.
There are six levels of script in this system (executed in order):
|site||Site-wide customizations (e.g. SLAC or CERN)|
|system||A particular type of system (e.g. architecture)|
|cluster||A particular defined group of machines|
|group||A particular defined group of users (e.g. BaBar)|
|user||Individual user customizations|
The following instructions tell you how to set up HEPiX for a new account at SLAC.
Users with older accounts at SLAC should instead follow the special instructions
Users with accounts at other sites should ask their local colleagues (and encourage them to submit relevant instructions to this Workbook as discussed in the Guide for Contributors).
Do not log out after you make these changes. Keep the existing session up and start a new session to check that your log in still works properly. If the new log in has problems, you will want your original session to make any corrections.
To repeat: after you make the changes, do not log out until you have tested them with a separate session.
Users with new accounts: copy the template files to your home directory
> cp /afs/slac/g/babar/etc/hepix/Newuser/cshrc $HOME/.cshrc > cp /afs/slac/g/babar/etc/hepix/Newuser/login $HOME/.login
Edit the templates if you wish. You may, for example, want to uncomment the line that selects a default printer and put in the printer of your choice. You can use any editor that you like. If you are not familiar with any Unix editors yet, an easy one to figure out is nedit. First make sure your XWindows client is turned on so that the editor window can be created. Then issue the command:
> nedit .cshrc &or
> nedit .login &
Create the directory
.hepix and insert the file that identifies
babar as the preferred group.
This will cause the BaBar-specific environment to be established.
> mkdir $HOME/.hepix > cp /afs/slac/g/babar/etc/hepix/Newuser/preferred-group $HOME/.hepix
This completes the HEPiX setup.
Test the new setup from a separate session before you log out.
Once you have demonstrated that you can open a new session, exit the old session.
A number of restricted areas of the BaBar WWW pages are accessed by special account names and passwords. Members of the BaBar collaboration and greater community may inquire about and obtain the necessary information from Kathy Webb.
If you have a SLAC user account, you can also set up your own
homepage by creating a subdirectory off your root directory called
public_html. Your homepage should be called
index.html. While designing your page, you should keep in
mind the SLAC
Hypernews: HyperNews is a collection of discussion groups and is a primary communications tool within BaBar. To set up a hypernews membership, start here. Using hypernews, one may browse articles within individual groups and respond to those articles within the context of a web browser. All HyperNews groups also have mailing lists associated with them so that for groups of interest, you may "subscribe" and thereby receive a copy via email of each article submitted. Responses may also be made via email.
Membership: Access to the HyperNews forums is restricted to BaBar members and associates. You will have to create a HyperNews membership in order to have access.
To create your own HN password, with your SLAC UNIX account logon via ssh:
ssh babar-hn.slac.stanford.edu -l your_slac_username
Answer the questions as they present themselves. Use carriage return for those questions that are irrelevant (i.e. personal web page). The system will ask you to enter in your HyperNews password. Do NOT use your Slac Unixid as your HyperNews password.
Any computer connected to the SLAC network must comply with current SLAC rules regarding operating system and server setup. You should contact the User Help Desk (1-650-926-HELP)BEFORE attempting to make any connection to the SLAC network.
For full up-to-date details on how to go about connecting your laptop, desktop or docking station to the SLAC network see New User's Guide to Bringing a Computer to SLAC
To obtain information about your computer for your application for network usage, on linux machines use
less /proc/cpuinfo- to get info about the CPU on your computer, and
less /proc/version- to find out the version of your linux kernel
The only widely available safe way to connect to remote hosts is to use the Secure Shell protocol (Ssh). Other protocols, such as telnet, rsh or rlogin send user names and passwords as clear text which can be easily intercepted by sniffer programs.
Legal restrictions on the use of cryptography disallow some Ssh communications through France, but all other BaBar connections should always be done through Ssh.
Most Unix systems in BaBar already have Ssh installed. Talk to your local system manager if the program is not already there. Ssh clients can also be purchased for Windows and Macs.
At other sites, first check with your local colleagues to see if they have any special site license or purchasing arrangement. Otherwise, purchase an ssh client from Datafellows.
Most Unix systems in BaBar already have X Windows installed. Talk to your local system manager if the program is not already there. X Windows clients can also be purchased for Windows and Macs.
At SLAC, you can purchase the Windows or Mac client through the SLAC bulk Software Purchase Form.
At other sites, first check with your local colleagues to see if they have any special site license or purchasing arrangement. Otherwise, obtain an X Windows client such as XWIN32, Exceed, Exodus or MI/X from one of the references below.
To change your password, use ssh to logon to a Solaris machine (e. g. flora.slac.stanford.edu), enter
passwordand follow the instructions. The password program performs some quick checks and rejects passwords easily guessed by many password-cracking programs. Attempting to change your password by executing /bin/passwd will fail except for accounts local to the machine. Detailed instructions for changing Unix, NT and VMS account passwords may be found here.
Guidelines for choosing a good password, to help you avoid many of the selections the password changing program will reject, can be found here.
Remember that it is always a good idea to change your password after returning from a conference or any other time you have entered the password on a publicly accessible computer.
Instructions for obtaining accounts at other sites are generally posted to the BaBar Computer Access web page.
As discussed in the introduction, the main body of the Workbook always gives instructions that work at SLAC. Most of those instructions will also work at other institutions, but there will always be some small differences.
At present, only RAL, LBL, IN2P3 and CNAF (Bologna) have provided special instructions, but other institutions are encouraged to do the same (see the Guide for Contributors for details).
Special for IN2P3
Special for RAL
Special for LBL
Special for UVic2