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AFS for Beginners


These pages will tell you how to use AFS for moving, storing, and securing your online information. Once you become comfortable with the basics, you can expand your repertoire by visiting the Learning more about AFS pages.

Accessing AFS

There are many different ways to access AFS. You can access AFS directly from any computer with a web browser and Internet connection, from a public workstation, or from the convenience of your desktop computer. The method you choose depends a lot on what you want to do.

If you want to move files on your desktop machines into or out of AFS (very common with web files), take a look at the file transfer site. In order to secure the directories (basically just folders) that hold your files, so that only certain people can access your AFS files, you'll have to access AFS from the Web, log into the Stanford UNIX System, or mount AFS on your desktop. Here's a quick overview of the different ways you can access AFS:

Working in AFS

Although a lot of AFS's structure can be guessed by the way URLs are displayed in web browsers, there are actually a few things you need to know first, especially the commands that let you move around, so you can successfully navigate AFS to get your work done. You have a SUNet ID so you already have a starting point in AFS: the UNIX account you received when your SUNet ID was activated gives you a "home directory" in AFS. You'll want to know how to set permissions on your directories, using Access Control Lists (ACLs), so you can allow people into your directories or keep them out. Most people use their home directory for serving web pages, and this involves transferring files into and out of AFS space. The more you files you put in AFS, the more disk space you'll use, so it's important to know how to manage disk space.

How to get more disk space

Personal AFS: to request more personal AFS disk space, use the AFS Space Request form.

Group/Department AFS: to request more group or department AFS disk space, send a request to HelpSU detailing how much additional space you need and why you need it.

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Last modified May 1, 2018