Account Sponsorship & Retention Policy

This page is designed to help you understand the different account types that you will encounter at ALCF. The policy outlined reviews the responsibilities of an account holder, an account sponsor, and those of a foreign national.

ALCF Account Types

There are three common types of accounts at the  ALCF:

  • Annual: This account applies to users who are not ALCF Regular Employees and require a long-term account. These accounts are typically renewed annually on September 15th, and must be sponsored by an ALCF Regular Employee. Most of the users at the ALCF have this account type.
  • Quarterly: This account applies to anyone who requires short-term access to ALCF resources. This is typically a summer student account. The account must be sponsored by an ALCF Regular Employee, and has a 90-day renewal cycle.
  • Permanent: This account applies to individuals who are Regular Employees within the ALCF Division. If you hold this type of account, periodic renewal is not necessary and you are able to sponsor other accounts. ALCF accounts do not require sponsorship.

When a Quarterly or Annual account is created, one of two default renewal dates is chosen:

  • For Quarterly accounts, renewals are set to 90 days plus the number of days to the next 15th of a month. (e.g. If the account is approved and created on April 25, then ALCF staff will add 90 days to get to July 24, and add an additional 22 days to make the expiration date Aug 15.)
  • For Annual accounts, renewals are set to ,the following September 15th provided the following September 15th is 90 days or more from the time the account was created. If the account was created within 90 days of September 15th, the expiration date is set to the September 15th of the following year.

Account Sponsorship

Account sponsors can set any deactivation date they would like for the accounts they sponsor, though the ALCF requests that accounts do not exceed one year.

Note: Foreign Nationals have a second date (apart from their account deactivation 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, and also applies to computer accounts. DOE requirements , state that the ALCF is to disable any account with expired 593 paperwork. A notification system has been established that issues a warning notice to users and sponsors when expiration approaches and requests action to ensure that accounts are not needlessly turned off.

Your responsibilities as an account sponsor

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

By sponsoring someone for an account at the ALCF, you are accepting responsibility for the account applicant and confirming that this individual is who they claim to be and thus 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 holder 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 notification to the account holder. Among other things, the account holder is asked if they wish to keep the account, they must contact the sponsor of the account to renew it. As a sponsor, you can access the renewal process from the Personal Account web page (near the bottom of the page) or by sending an e-mail to with a note approving the extension. We cannot and will not extend someone's account without sponsor approval. An important aspect of this process to note is that inaction will result in the account becoming deactivated at the expiration date.

Also, please check your "notification style" at the Personal Account web page. The three types are:

  • Once (default): The Accounts system will issue notification when action is required, then will mark a flag on your account that you've been notified. Further notifications will not be sent until you login to the page specified in the notification e-mail.
  • Always: This is recommended for people who prefer to manage their accounts via e-mail. You will be notified of every action requiring your input, and will receive as many details as possible in the notification.
  • Never: You will not receive any notifications. This is not recommended because it could lead to your sponsored accounts becoming disabled.

Account Retention Policy

Accounts can exist in one of three states:

  • Active: The active state is normal for an account.
  • Inactive: The inactive state occurs when an account expires, and the ability to use ALCF resources is removed by changing the active status of the account to inactive. All files continue to exist in the user's home directory. An account will remain in the inactive state for at least 90 days before moving to the next state. To remove an account from this state, the sponsor must send an e-mail to  requesting approval for the status change.
  • Deleted: After 90 days, an inactive account will be deleted. This removes all references to the account from the system (except the accounts database), including any files and home directories. To remove an account from this state, the sponsor must send an e-mail to requesting approval for the status change.

Users with Inactive or Deleted accounts can request a reactivation from the Accounts page, which will result in an e-mail notification to the sponsor  requesting approval for the reactivation.