Account Sponsorship and Retention Policies

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Account Sponsorship in MCS

This page is designed to help you understand the different account types you'll encounter in MCS. It covers your responsibility as an account holder, an account sponsor, or a foreign national. LCRC accounts and have their own policy and lifecycle. See the LCRC pages for more info for access to Blues or Bebop.

See also: Passwords

MCS account types

There are three common types of accounts in MCS (including ALCF staff, CELS and its associated institutes).

  • Quarterly: This account is for anyone who requires short-term access to MCS resources. The account must be sponsored by an MCS Regular Employee, and has a 90 day renewal cycle. This is the typical summer account.
  • Annual: This account is for users who do not have valid ANL badges, but are collaborating with someone who does, and requires a long-term account. These accounts are renewed annually, usually around the date the account originally became active. This account type must be sponsored by someone who holds a valid ANL badge.
  • Permanent: This account is for people who have ANL badges. If your account is this type, your account is not subject to periodic renewal and you are able to sponsor other accounts. These accounts are not sponsored and will terminate when the badge is no longer valid.

Foreign Nationals have a second date that relates to their account access. Accounts held by foreign nationals require paperwork referred to as an ANL-593 (or just 593 for shorthand). This paperwork is also required for any on-site access, but also applies to computer accounts. By DOE regulations, we are required to disable any account that has an expired 593. We have set up a warning system to inform the User that their 593 will expire and that they are to notify their Sponsor. The Sponsor can then have their Administrative Assistant submit an extension to the original 593 for computer access. This warning system was implemented to keep the account active and to assure accounts are not needlessly turned off.

Your responsibilities as an account sponsor

If you sponsor any accounts, please take note of the following:

  • You are responsible for the accounts you sponsor. By sponsoring someone for an account in MCS, you are telling us you know that the account applicant is who he/she claims to be and are entitled to work on our computers. Do not simply "rubber stamp" any account application that claims you as a sponsor.
  • You are responsible for the level of account access. Aside from "public" resources, any resource request by a sponsored account requires approval from both the sponsor of the account and the resource owner/approver. Please consider the reasons for your guest's account/resource request before approving.
  • You are responsible for renewing the account. When an account is about to expire, we send a warning to the account holder. Among other things, the account holder is told that if he or she wishes to keep the account, s/he must contact the sponsor of the account to renew it. As a sponsor, you can renew it from the Personal Account web page, by clicking the thumbs up next to the Account holders name or by sending email to with a note approving the extension. We cannot and will not extend someone's account without sponsor approval. The important thing to note is that inaction will result in the account becoming deactivated at the expiration date.

Account retention and deactivation policies

Accounts can exist in one of three states.

  • Active: This is the usual state for an account.
  • Suspended: When an account expires, the ability to use MCS resources is removed by moving the account to this state. Any e-mail sent to that account will either be forwarded to the user-provided e-mail address or bounced to the sender with a note saying the user no longer has an e-mail address at MCS. All files continue to exist in the user's home directory. An account will remain in this state for at least 90 days before moving to the next state. To remove an account from this state, the account holder can apply for reactivation here:
  • Inactive: After 90 days as an suspended account, an account will be deleted. This removes all references to the account from the system (except the accounts database), including any files and home directories, email forwarding, etc. To remove an account from this state, the account holder can apply for reactivation here:

Users with Suspended and Inactive accounts can request a reactivation from the MCS Accounts page (, which will result in an e-mail going to the sponsor to approve the reactivation and start the process of a 593 if required.