Your OCF account is both proof of your membership and the means by which you authenticate to the variety of services operated by OCF staff. Your OCF account is independent from CalNet. (Technical info: public account information and salted password hashes are stored in LDAP and Kerberos databases, respectively.)

Accounts are not normally deactivated after your membership eligibility expires (e.g., graduation). In fact, we have active accounts dating back to at least 1995.


OCF staff members do not need to know your password. In fact, we can't "look it up" either since we don't store your password directly but rather a salted cryptographic hash.

Email is generally insecure, so please do not send passwords over email. We don't want to know it, and we have to disable your account if you tell it to us!

Changing your password

Using CalNet

You can find your username or reset your password online using CalNet (assuming you have CalNet access).

To reset the password for a group account, you need to be a registered signatory for the group. If your group isn't registered with the LEAD Center (e.g. if it's a department-sponsored group), you will need to come in during staff hours instead to reset the password.

Over SSH

You can change your password over SSH if you know your current password.

Use SSH to run the command passwd and follow the prompts as shown below. No text will appear when you are entering in a password, just press enter when done after each prompt.

$ passwd
myusername@OCF.BERKELEY.EDU's Password: <my current password>
New password: <my new password>
Verifying - New password: <my new password>
Success : Password changed

In person

If you are not able to use CalNet or SSH, or if you are a group and forgot your current password, you can meet a staff member in person during staff hours.

Please bring sufficient documentation as listed on the membership eligibility page to demonstrate that you are authorized to reset the account password.

Manual verification of identity (typically for alumni with old accounts)

If you have forgotten your individual account password and are unable to use CalNet or meet a staff member in person, you may reset your password through our manual verification process.

You have two choices:

  • Option 1 (email). Send scanned copies of the documentation to a staff member over email. For security purposes, please do not mail your documentation to any address listed on this website. This gets archived and mailed out to all staff members.

    Instead, please email and request to start the process (do not include any ID in the initial email). We'll provide a separate email for you to use instead to send in your documentation.

  • Option 2 (postal mail). Mail your documentation to our mailing address. Expect a delay of at least 2-3 weeks, possibly longer over summer.

For security purposes, please include the following with your request:

  • a copy of your Cal ID

  • a second piece of supporting ID (such as driver's license)

  • a signed, dated statement to the effect of:

    I, John Doe, authorize Open Computing Facility staff to reset my password. Enclosed is a copy of my ID.

  • contact information so that we can notify you when your password reset has been processed

If you no longer have your Cal ID, you may substitute it with another government-issued ID.

Out of respect for your privacy, any copies of documents you send us will be destroyed once we have verified your identity.


Access to your MySQL database, if you have one, is protected by a separate password.

After graduation

Currently, we don't actively disable accounts, so you are free to use your account until that policy changes. We can't promise all of your OCF account privileges into perpetuity, however. We are run by students volunteers using student money.

Disabled accounts

Some common reasons accounts are disabled:

  • by request
  • security (e.g., account hijacked)
  • misuse (e.g., excessive use of resources, violation of University policies)

Accounts may also be disabled if OCF staff need to contact you but cannot do so.

To re-enable your account, you will need to see a Manager during staff hours.

If you want to disable your OCF account, please contact us and provide your OCF username. If your account appears to still be active, we may ask for some evidence that you are the account owner. Currently, disabled accounts are stored or archived and can be re-enabled by request at a later date. Disabled accounts may eventually be scheduled for deletion.

Backups and Data Retention

The OCF maintains onsite and offsite backups of all user data uploaded to our servers. Our onsite backups of user data consist of 7 days of daily backups, 4 weeks of weekly backups, and 6 months of monthly backups of NFS, MySQL, and PostgreSQL data. Offsite backups are made weekly and consist of the entire state of the onsite backups at the time the backup is made. Offsite backups are encrypted locally before being uploaded to servers owned by, under the terms of the University's collaboration agreement with the company. Offsite backups are retained for a period of 6 months before being deleted for user data privacy reasons. Encrypted backups are only accessible by a small number of OCF staff.