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Home Directory

About your personal data area

The home directory is your personal data area on a network file server. It is accessible from all computers within the ICTP network and in different ways also from outside. Note that we are using a particular network file system named AFS, see Andrew File System.

In Linux it is the default working directory, having a path of /afs/ictp/home/initial/username where initial is the first letter of your username. In Windows you have to double-click on the desktop icon titled Your ICTP Home Directory so that it gets mapped as drive O:. Save your files there and not in the My Documents folder.

You will find that the home directory already contains some files and directories. Do not delete or rename them, rather create new ones to suit your needs. The existing directories have specific purposes which will be described in the following.

Structure of the home directory

Unless otherwise noted, all directories are fully accessible by you and the backup process. The ICTP web and mail servers may have read and lookup rights, and nobody else has any kind of access (apart from the exceptions explicitly mentioned).

  • Your home directory itself can be accessed only by you and by some essential ICTP servers (mail, web, backup).
  • private is a directory to which only you have access. It does not even get backed up! This you should only use it for very private documents, not for your daily work.
  • public on the other hand is lookable by the whole world and readable by all ICTP users. Inside there is a directory called WORLD that is also readable by the whole world. Note that other users have to use the following path in Linux to access your public directory: /afs/ictp/public/initial/username where initial is again the first letter of your username. In Windows, look out for the desktop icon ICTP public directories.
  • public_html is the directory where you can create your personal web page. The directory can be accessed only by yourself and the ICTP web and backup servers.
  • YESTERDAY_FILES contains the backup of your account from last midnight. If you accidentally delete a file or make unwanted modifications to it, here's the place to look for rescue. If you don't find it there, you can still contact us to have it restored from the backup tapes.
  • ARCH contains platform specific bin directories. The symbolic link bin in your home directory always points to the one corresponding to the computer where you are logged on.

It should be clear now where to put files and subdirectories: those that nobody else must see should go into private, while the ones that you want everybody to be able to read ought to be in public. If you want some files to be accessible to a certain group of people, create another directory inside public and change the ACL accordingly (see Sharing files).

Note: not even the backup system has read access to the private directory (while it has access to the mail directory). You can only retrieve the version from the day before from the YESTERDAY_FILES directory. Be sure to make backups (for example on diskettes)!

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