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Password types

There's a number of different passwords and passphrases a user of the infrastructure here is likely to encounter. We'll enumerate a number of the different kinds below, but it's worth noting that we're looking to simplify this in the near future. This page outlines the way things exist currently, as well as a plan for moving forward. If you're confused about which password you should use for a given resource, you should search this page for the resource you're interested in. Please report any inaccuracies to

Argonne Domain Password

This is your central Argonne account. Every employee or person with an active Argonne appointment has one.

What is it? : Authenticates against the central Argonne Active Directory. It is used for:

  • Inside Argonne and other Argonne internal websites
  • most administrative applications
  • Argonne VPN
  • Argonne Exchange e-mail server

Where can I change it?: Argonne Mypassword Site

Who can reset it for me?: You can do this yourself, only if you've created an Argonne account profile on the Mypassword site: This will allow you to unlock your ANL Domain account or reset your ANL password without any help from either the CELS (if you are a CELS, LCF or MCS Employee) or ANL Help Desk for any other Division.

IMPORTANT: When your Argonne Domain Password is changed

When your Argonne Domain Password is changed (by you or by an administrator), there are numerous places where you'll need to change your password. Below is a list of all the places you'll need to change it.

  • Anything that logs into ANL Exchange, such as your mail client, or the iCal/iSync conduit, or your Mobile Devices (laptops, phones, tablets, etc). Also check any saved, inactive mail clients that you might not even be using.
  • If you log into your mac using your ANL password, you'll need to change your Keychain login password. Do this by opening Keychain Assistant (Applications/Utilities), click "Edit", and "Change login password." Until you change it, it will be using your old domain password, and will not be able to unlock without it.
  • Any LDAP clients using Argonne's LDAP server, such as Mac Mail/Address Book
  • Any Jabber clients such as Pidgin, iChat, Trillian or Adium.
  • Authenticated wireless password caches.
  • Anything using the lab's Exchange server, such as Outlook, mobile clients.

If you neglect to change these passwords, you may find your account gets locked out due to too many bad password tries.

MCS Workstation Password

What is it? : Primary MCS password. It is used for:

  • MCS Accounts Page
  • Some MCS websites
  • Logging in on divisional Mac and Linux machines.
  • Most other MCS resources.

Where can I change it?: MCS Account Management

Who can reset it for me?: Anyone in CELS Systems.


What is it? : One Time Password generator. Some users will be required to use this for access to certain applications. If you have one and don't know how to use it, contact CELS Systems.


SSH Key: SSH keys require the use of a passphrase. This passphrase is unique to your key and is not in any way tied to any particular machines. For details on how these work in MCS, see SSH keys.