Usage Policy


The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering supports and abides by the UC Davis Acceptable Use Policy for Computing, as well as locally developed policies regarding resource usage. As a user of campus and ECE computing resources, you are responsible for reading and understanding the Acceptable Use Policy, as well as the Electronic Communications Policy.

This policy will be enforced by the ECE Computing Support staff. Questions may be electronically mailed to If your account is being used inappropriately, we will issue a warning about your use of the system or stop your job. ECE Computer Support representatives and Computer Support Assistants have the authority to require individuals to leave computer rooms and/or report persons for violating any of the above policies. Campus Police will be called in the event of refusal to comply. Disciplinary measures include loss of computer privileges, including disabling one’s computer account, and/or referral to Student Judicial Affairs for further disciplinary action.

Reinstatement of one’s account will be granted after student meets with ECE Computer Support¬†and agrees to comply with the Acceptable Use Policy.

Be aware that system administrators may access user files as required to protect the integrity of computer systems. For further information, look at the Rights and Responsibilities section of the Davis Acceptable Use Policy for Computing.

General Rules

  1. Scheduled classes have priority over all other users.
  2. No food, drinks, or smoking allowed in the computer rooms.
  3. Leave all hardware and furniture in its original place.
  4. Modification of hardware and software configurations in the labs is prohibited. This includes modification of the settings and configuration of printers and modification of system software.
  5. Abide by the account setup and printing policy.
  6. Do not power off the machines or physically disturb the workstations.
  7. No soliciting is allowed.
  8. No disruptive behavior allowed.
  9. No loud group conversations or music (you must wear headphones).
  10. Study groups may utilize computers as long the conversation and noise level does not disrupt the work environment of other users.
  11. Abusive language directed toward any staff or patron using the computer rooms is prohibited.
  12. Physical contact with or sexual harassment of any staff or patron using the computer rooms is prohibited.
  13. Appropriate dress is required (Shoes and Shirt required).
  14. No animals, except service animals, allowed in the computer rooms.
  15. Do not let another person use your ECE computer account.
  16. No displaying of obscene or lewd images or text.
  17. Logout before you leave.


Eligibility: Faculty, staff and graduate students in the Department are eligible for accounts on many Department machines. Other individuals, such as undergraduate students or visiting scholars, may obtain an account under the sponsorship of a Department faculty member.

Authorized Usage: Work from your own account and do not allow anyone else to use your account.

Expired Accounts: ECE faculty, staff and graduate student computer accounts will expire after one quarter of inactivity or one quarter after the user leaves the Department. Accounts will be checked for expiration at the beginning of the Fall, Winter and Spring quarters. ECE undergraduate student and visitor computer accounts will expire at the end of each quarter and must be renewed by the user. This can be done by having your faculty sponsor send e-mail to support requesting the account be renewed.

Disposition of Expired Accounts and Files: The ECE support staff will contact, by e-mail, the owner of an expired account and/or his/her advisor concerning its impending removal from ECE Department Computers. The advisor will have four weeks to copy any needed files from the account.

Computer Processes

Since general purpose machines are used for many functions including mail, it is inappropriate to overload them with compute-bound tasks or to start background tasks that will add significantly to the workload.

Applications: Many commercial applications, such as Matlab have restrictive licenses, and may be used by no more than a specific number of users at one time. You may run no more than one copy of Matlab or any other commercial application that has a limited number of licenses at a time across Department machines.

Resource Intensive Jobs:

  • No CPU intensive processes are allowed on teaching lab workstations between the hours of 8am and 11pm, including weekends.
  • Between the hours of 11pm and 8am, a maximum of one CPU intensive process per computer total for all users is allowed. Up to five CPU intensive processes per user is allowed, providing each of the processes is run on a different computer and does not cause any one computer to have more than one job running. If one job is already running on a CPU, no additional jobs may be started on that CPU.
  • The user must set the scheduling priority for any such processes to the lowest possible (using “nice +19”).
  • All CPU intensive processes are subject to interruption for routine workstation maintenance. Advance warning for workstation maintenance is not provided. Users should periodically checkpoint their process data.
  • Users that do not abide by these rules will be notified via e-mail that they are not in compliance, and asked to comply. The user’s faculty research advisor will also be notified. Continued non-compliance will result in loss of teaching lab workstation privileges.

Long Jobs: If you anticipate running a long job, send intermediate results to a file. This periodic checkpointing will protect you in case of system failure.

Daemons and Unattended Port Listeners

Unauthorized daemons and unattended port listeners are not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: IRC bots, IRC servers, muds, ftp and web servers.

File Storage

Using /tmp: Files may temporarily be stored in the system /tmp directory. You should remove them as soon as you can. /tmp is not backed up. Files will automatically be removed upon a system reboot or when then they have not been accessed for one week.

File Storage: Do not store non-academic files. If you have a need for more file space please contact support via e-mail with a detailed description of your need.


You will need your AggieCard to print documents.  Print quotas have been removed.

Workstation Lab Policies

Using Screen Lock Utilities: Do not xlock your workstation for more than fifteen minutes. If you leave a workstation unattended for more than fifteen minutes, the site attendants and TAs have been authorized to unlock the screen, and exit your session.

Scheduled Use of Workstation Labs: Classes can be assigned exclusive access times for workstations in these labs. If you are using a workstation during scheduled instructional use hours, you may be asked to leave.

Hardware Problems: If a workstation is not working properly, notify the programmers via electronic mail to ‘support’. Do not physically disturb the workstations. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: do not cycle the power, do not unplug or move the mouse and do not unplug any cables. This includes research lab workstations maintained by ECE computing support.

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