Athena is an academic computing environment provided to the MIT community in the form of remote access servers (known as the “dialups”), a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), and Pharos, a hold-and-release service for printers distributed across campus.

Available To 
Students, Faculty, Staff, Affiliates

Benefits and key features

  • Kerberos authentication and OpenAFS
  • Access to MIT ‘lockers’ and your Athena home directory on the AFS filesystem
  • Access to a collection of common utilities and MIT-licensed software
  • Centrally-managed printers

The Athena Dialups service ( provides all MIT community members with access via a secure shell on one of a pool of servers running Ubuntu (currently 22.04 LTS).

Note: MIT's Athena Virtual Desktop Infrastructure ( is undergoing maintenance and will be unavailable until further notice.


Getting started