Athena Rules of Use

Students may access the Athena computing environment remotely through MIT's virtual desktop infrastructure or via secure shell.

These Rules of Use for Athena resources supplement the MITnet Rules of Use.

Don't violate the intended use of the Athena system.

Athena is an Institute resource for authorized MIT community members to use to fulfill educational goals. You should not take any action that violates that purpose. In particular:

  • Don't use Athena resources for non-educational purposes in any way that interferes with their use for educational purposes.
  • Don't use any software available on Athena for any non-educational purpose if the license for that software does not permit such use. In many cases, software available on Athena is licensed for educational use only. Users who would like to make non-educational use of Athena software (e.g., members of sponsored research projects who might like to use Athena's third-party software) must first check the licensing terms for the specific software they are interested in using (these terms are usually included in the locker for the software). If non-educational use is prohibited by the software license, the users must make their own arrangements to obtain licenses for the software that are compatible with their requirements. (Cf. MITnet Rule 4.)
  • Don't use Athena for private financial gain, as by sale of the use of Athena resources (especially to anyone outside MIT), or by use of the system in support of any profit-making scheme not explicitly intended to serve Institute purposes. (Cf. MITnet Rule 1.)
  • Access to Athena computing resources is restricted to authorized members of the MIT community. 

Assure Fair Access to Athena Printers

Printing is a shared resource; restraint must still be exercised when using Athena printers to ensure fair access for everyone to this important service. Violation of these rules can result in loss of printing privileges.

Don't violate the official priorities for the use of printers; in particular, don't be a printer hog or use the Athena printers as copy machines. The following rules apply to all Athena printers including those located in the Copytech Centers (Thesis and color printers).

  • Don't use printers as copy machines. Print only one copy of a document. Use a copy machine to make multiple copies. The only exception is for printing one's completed thesis to the thesis printer. You are allowed to print two copies maximum of your thesis on archival paper. If additional copies are required, consult your departmental secretary.
  • Do not overload the printer queue with multiple jobs that will take longer than 20 minutes total to print. Send the jobs in small groups over time and send them when the printer is not busy. Check the default printer queues by typing lpq at the athena% prompt. For jobs at printers other than the default, the printing commands ( lpr, lpq and lprm) accept the -P printername option.
  • Break large or huge jobs that take longer than 10 minutes total to print into smaller sections and send them to the printer individually.
  • You are responsible for retrieving any jobs you queue to print. If you no longer want a job or will be unable to retrieve it, please remove it from the queue. Type lprm - at the athena% prompt.
  • Do not remove unused paper from the cluster printers. That paper is provided solely for the use of that particular printer. If a cluster runs out of paper, contact the Service Desk.
  • Color printing is a limited resource; use it sparingly. Color copying services are available in the Copytech centers to make additional copies.
  • Above all, be courteous in your use of the Athena printers. While these rules do not enumerate every possible violation of appropriate use of the printers, they do address the most common questions and concerns.