Research Computing is migrating accounts from Rstor/AFS to DartFS. People who have Discovery accounts as well as Rstor/AFS accounts will also be migrated during this time frame.

The major changes that users will see from this migration are:

  • You will log in using your Dartmouth (NetID) username and password. This is the same name/password pair that you use to access email and other campus systems.
  • You will be able to directly access all your files from your desktop (Macintosh, Windows, Linux) computers.
  • You will have a single home directory on all Research Computing Computers including the Discovery cluster.
  • Faster file system performance and more stable systems as compared to AFS/Rstor.
What is this RStor(AFS) account I was asked about?

Some of these accounts have been around since 1990 and their owners have long since forgotten about them – so it’s a very reasonable question!  An exhaustive list of the ways these have been used would be very difficult to generate but below are a few of the most common.  Maybe one will jog your memory. If not, contact us and we can tell you things like your username, how much data is in there, and when the account was last used.  We can also reset your password if necessary so you can go take a look at the actual data.

  • Current:  This is your login for the Research Computer linux systems Polaris and Andes.
  • Current:  Standalone data volumes that you access from any machine that has an AFS (or OpenAFS) client installed.
  • Historical:  In the past there have been other Linux/UNIX machines with names like sierra, belknap, grafton, nimbus, and cascade.  Perhaps you used one of them.
  • Historical:  There were also UNIX computers in public locations that we called the northstar workstations.  This account also would have given access to these. Northstar worksations were mostly from a company called SGI and had a distinctive deep blue color.  These were mostly retired by 2008.
What is Rstor/AFS?

In Research Computing we often use the terms “Rstor” and “AFS” together but they are not the same thing.

AFS (Andrew File System) is a distributed file system that has been in use at Dartmouth since the early 1990’s.

Rstor uses AFS as it’s underlying storage technology but is just a named service that was created in 2010 to provide defined amounts of storage and a purchase model for storage.

So AFS is the underlying technology and is the service name.

I use Andes and/or Polaris, does the Rstor/AFS migration effect me?

Yes, Andes and Polaris use Rstor/AFS to store your home directory so your file will be migrated as part of this process.

When the time comes to move your files, we will closely coordinate with you to ensure there this change has minimal impact on your work.

I have a Discovery account and a Rstor/AFS/Andes/Polaris account, what will happen to my files?

When the migration is completed, people will have a single consolidated home directory that will be used for Discovery and Research Computing systems.

This single home directory will contain all the files from both your accounts and will also be available to your Macintosh/Windows desktop computer.

What was in the Rstor/AFS Migration email?

This email was sent out to all Rstor/AFS users to notify them of the planned migration of their files.


You are receiving this email because you have a Research Computing account and in the coming months your files will be moving to a new storage system. The information below introduces the move and should answer most of your questions about this migration process, but please feel free to contact us with any additional questions or concerns.

What is happening?

All people currently in our AFS storage system (which includes Andes and Polaris users) will have their files migrated to a new storage system—DartFS. Along with this file move, Research Computing systems and storage will be changed so that your NetID and password will provide access to your files.

What do I need to do?

There is no need to do anything now. Over the next few months Research Computing will contact each of you to discuss the details of the move and how to time things so that it has no impact on your work. If you do have questions, just contact the Research Computing member you currently work with or send email to

Why is this migration happening?

AFS worked well for many years but the open source community that maintains AFS has not kept up with the features and functions available from many other current systems. Moving to DartFS will provide a modern storage system that allows you to access your files from your Mac, Windows, Linux or Research Computing systems using the same username and password for other Dartmouth services. Additional benefits of this change include a greatly expanded storage capacity as well as faster performance.

What about Discovery users?

Discovery users will also be migrated to the new storage system and will be contacted in the near future. If you also have a Discovery account, your AFS and Discovery files will be migrated into a single location that will be available to Discovery, Andes, Polaris as well as your desktop computer.

How do I get more information?

More details and answers to some common questions can be found at:

And feel free to contact us at:

How can I delete my Research Computing/AFS/Rstor/Discovery/DartFS account?

There is no automatic way of deleting any of your accounts, please fill out a Help Request or contact us directly.