Andrew File System (AFS)

AFS (Andrew File System) is a distributed, networked file system. Most users access AFS through the Unix Timeshare. The UCSC web-hosting service and course lockers are based on AFS storage.

Features and Benefits

  • File backups — AFS data files are backed up nightly. Backups are kept on site for six months.
  • File security — AFS data files are protected by the Kerberos authentication system.
  • Physical Security — AFS data files are stored on servers located in the UCSC Data Center.
  • Reliability and availability  — The AFS servers and storage are maintained on redundant hardware.
  • Authentication — AFS uses Kerberos for authentication.  Kerberos accounts are automatically provisioned for all UCSC students, faculty and staff.  Kerberos uses the CruzID 'blue' password.
  • Quota — The default quota is 500MB per user. Quotas are increased automatically up to 10GB; at that point, a quota increase can be requested through the ITS Support Center. (This is scripted to run several times daily; the quota increase is not instantaneous.)


This is a 24x7 service supported by the DCO Unix team. Escalation is provided through Data Center Operations and the Unix on-call rotation. The Unix Timeshare service is supported by ITS Learning Technologies. This web-hosting service is supported by the ITS Web Services team.

For planned maintenance, the UCSC Data Center follows the ITS Change Management Process, and planned changes are posted on the ITS Maintenance Calendar.

Data Security

AFS can be used for P1 data and is not appropriate for non-public (P2 or higher) data


AFS is available to all UCSC students, faculty and staff. 


AFS is provided free of charge.

Request this Service

AFS is automatically provisioned for all UCSC students, faculty and staff.

Get Help