System Guides

Backups and Quotas


From CCRMA Wiki

Your home directory is backed up automatically each day to a backup server. You can access these daily images by going to:


There, you will see directories with names like '20070804,' which corresponds to the date of the backup.

Inside this directory you'll see another directory named 'tree.'


'tree' corresponds to your home directory. So, inside it you'll see all the files and dictories backed up on that date. This is an 'image' or snapshot of what your home directory looked like at backup time. Backups are taken sometime between midnight and 8am generally.

You can read from (copy from) these directories, but cannot write to them.

So, if you deleted a critical soundfile from your home directory (e.g. ~/sounds/best-sound-ever.ogg) you could copy that file back into your home directory by visiting the most recent date directory where the soundfile exists and copy it back, somewhere into your home directory, like this:

~> cp /usr/ccrma/backup/<username>/<date-directory>/tree/sounds/best-sound-ever.ogg ~/sounds

The backup images are retained inside a 3 month window according to the following schedule:

0-2 weeks 2 - 5 weeks 5 - 12 weeks beyond 12 weeks
Daily MWF F none

That is, for two weeks back from the present day, you have an image available for each day. Further back than two weeks, but less than five, you have MWF images available (T,Th,Sa, and Su images have been deleted). From five to twelve weeks, you have only each Friday's image available (M and W are deleted), and after twelve weeks, all images are deleted.


Backup Exceptions

There is a system in place which will allow you to prevent certain files from being backed up. You would want to do this if you have large sets of source material, generally sound or video files, which you have already backed up to DVD, but need on the network drive for some reason (e.g. to be accessed for computation or analyis of some sort). This would be data that is on the order of Gigabytes. You can exclude this data from backups by:

1) Creating a directory called '.ccrma' in your home directory.

~> cd
~> mkdir .ccrma

2) Then in that directory, create a file called: 'dirvish.conf' Dirvish is the name of the backup program.

~> cd .ccrma
~> gedit dirvish.conf

3) In that file place the directory names that you want to exclude from backups in the following syntax:


Where the the leading slash represents your home directory root.

4) Save the file

Dirvish will check this file first before starting the backup, and will not backup these directories listed in it.

If you somehow forget to exclude something big, please contact the SysAdmin Team and let us know so we can delete it from the backup server.



CCRMA does not enforce quotas per se. We expect the community to respect reasonable usage of disk space, and to manage their data responsibly. That said, we do get daily usage reports including a 'Hog Report.' If we feel your storage approach needs some attention, you'll hear from us. If you have a big project coming up, please come and see us about how we might best configure the system.



With CCRMA Webmail you can access your email from a web browser by visiting:

(or by clicking on the "new webmail" link at the top of any page on the CCRMA website.)

Type your CCRMA username and password in the login field and you are in. If it's your first time using the program, it will ask you to specify some settings then bring you to your Inbox. Webmail defaults to the 'mail' directory (in your home directory '~/mail') for storing your various email folders. This folder is convenient for use with IMAP clients as well.

Configuring Email Clients at the Linux Workstations at CCRMA: Evolution, Thunderbird, KMail

SMTP Outgoing

SMTP Server:

IMAP Receiving

CCRMA Secure IMAP server:

This server requires 'SSL' (the secure connection), and authentication: your CCRMA username and password.

As part of its configuration, your IMAP client should also have a place to enter your IMAP folder. This is an important part of using IMAP, since this folder will contain all your email folders and subfolders in one location, so that any IMAP client accessing email will show the same set of folders no matter which client you use (the advantage of IMAP). Make sure you have a folder called mail at the top level in your home directory. So, when configuring IMAP, enter mail as the IMAP folder (or sometimes called the folder 'Namespace'). This way, your email client will know were to look for it's folders, rather than having to search throughout your home directory, which adds significant time to starting your email client.

Unfortunately, IMAP filters are not yet supported with the CCRMA system. This means that you will have to see any filters manually on each client.

Configuring your personal Email Clients with IMAP and SMTP

CCRMA recommends secure IMAP (rather than POP) for your personal Email clients (Apple Mail, Outlook, and any Linux clients). Secure POP is, however, available.

SMTP Outgoing

From inside Stanford

To send email from inside the Stanford network (campus wide), you can point any email client to:

Authenticatioin is not required.

From outside Stanford

For users with a SUID, Stanford offers a 'roaming' smtp server, which requires authentication with your SUID username and password:

As part of this configuration, don't forget to enable: "This server requires authentication" (or some such statement) and enter your SUID and password. In the end, you can configure your email client to send using this server, whether or not you are inside the Stanford network. So, if you plan to take your machine off campus at all, you may want to just use this option.

If you don't have a SUID, you will have to use for outgoing email while on campus, but use your own ISP SMTP server (e.g. for outgoing mail while at home, off campus. If you are not at home, or don't know the SMTP server for your location, you'll have to use CCRMA Webmail or pine to send CCRMA email. Or use X11 display forwarding, and use one of the Linux clients display forwarded to your machine, which is essentially like sending email locally from a CCRMA workstation (and thus from within the Stanford network).

IMAP Receiving

Use the same process outlined above: IMAP Receiving.

Pine / alpine

Alpine is a terminal-based email program (based on the older "pine"). That means that you use it from inside a terminal window by typing:

~> alpine

This program is especially good when you have low bandwidth access. Some CCRMA users prefer this program to any others. Conveniently, it uses the same IMAP folder as Webmail ('mail': see IMAP below) so that you can configure all your mail clients to source the same set of folders (the joy, as it were, of IMAP).

Here's what it looks like:


It is a very simple program based on the 'pico' text editor. It does take some getting used to however. Its advantage is that it requires less internet bandwidth to work, so it's great for quick reads and access in remote locations. Lots of CCRMA folks love this program, so don't hesitate to ask around. There is no mouse interaction, but lots of arrow and single text key input for navigation and email functions.

Email Forwarding

Since we are using SpamAssassin for spam control at CCRMA using the .forward system of forwarding is no longer supported. Please, do not use a .forward file at CCRMA. Forwarding is therefore better done in .procmailrc. See [1] for how to do this.


CCRMA has transitioned to a login based network access system called [Chillispot], which will simplify access by allowing CCRMA users to login to the wired and wireless Guestnet network with their login name and password (subject to a usage timeout), no matter what personal computer you are using. Your wired or wireless devices will each require a lease if you intend to use both. Do not allow username and password caching when logging in. You will be given a one week 'lease' for that MAC address. If you use that device during the one week lease, it will be renewed for one week. You will only have to login again if you haven't accessed the network for one week.


Logging In

Enable your wired or wireless network device. Start your favorite web browser. If you do not already have an active lease for that device, you will be presented with a login screen like this:


Enter your CCRMA Username and Password. Alternately, you can log in using your Stanford credentials, by typing your Stanford login including "" as your Username.

You will be assigned access to the CCRMA Guestnet network for that device, and you will presented with a browser window like this:


Closing this window has no effect on your lease or access. It's just for informational purposes. There is no reason to 'logout.' If your lease expires, just login again.


Changing Your Password

You may change your password at any time using the 'passwd' command in your login shell. You will be prompted to enter your old password then to enter your new one, twice. Please see below for guidance on how to choose intelligent passwords. If you forget your password, you will need to see a System Adminisrator, who will let you choose and type in a new password.


Choosing a Good Password

From the 'passwd' man page:

Remember the following two principles

       Protect your password.

              Don’t write down your password - memorize  it.   In  particular,
              don’t write it down and leave it anywhere, and don’t place it in
              an unencrypted file!  Use unrelated passwords for  systems  con-
              trolled  by  different  organizations.  Don’t give or share your
              password, in particular to someone claiming to be from  computer
              support  or  a  vendor.   Don’t  let anyone watch you enter your
              password.  Don’t enter your password to  a  computer  you  don’t
              trust  or  if  things  Use  the  password for a limited time and
              change it periodically.

       Choose a hard-to-guess password.

              passwd will try to prevent you from choosing a really bad  pass-
              word,  but  it  isn’t  foolproof;  create  your password wisely.
              Don’t use something you’d find in a dictionary (in any  language
              or  jargon).  Don’t use a name (including that of a spouse, par-
              ent, child, pet, fantasy character, famous person, and location)
              or  any  variation  of your personal or account name.  Don’t use
              accessible information about you (such  as  your  phone  number,
              license  plate,  or social security number) or your environment.
              Don’t use a birthday or a simple  pattern  (such  as  backwards,
              followed by a digit, or preceded by a digit. Instead, use a mix-
              ture of upper and lower case letters, as well as digits or punc-
              tuation.  When choosing a new password, make sure it’s unrelated
              to any previous password. Use long passwords (say  8  characters
              long).   You  might use a word pair with punctuation inserted, a
              passphrase (an understandable sequence of words), or  the  first
              letter of each word in a passphrase.

       These  principles are partially enforced by the system, but only partly
       so.  Vigilence on your part will make the system much more secure.

Phone System

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