Research Computing >> Hardware >> skew4 >> skew4 system utilities



In order to store files temporarily in skew4's /scratch directory, users must run the "make_scratch" utility once. Files saved at the top level in /scratch may be deleted by the system administration without warning.

"make_scratch" is a script that creates a sub-directory with the user's netid, under the /scratch/users directory (i.e., the user will be able to write to /scratch/users/userid, where "userid" is the user's netid). The script also places a symbolic link to /scratch in the user's home directory.

A "symbolic link" in Unix is simply a "pointer" or "shortcut" to another file or directory. In other words, the user will see a sub-directory called "scratch" in his/her home directory.

To run this utility, type "make_scratch" at the skew4 prompt and press Enter.


Users that do not specify a shell when they request an account are assigned the "C" shell (csh). Once the account is created, following Northwestern's ITCS policies, users must request a shell change using the "change_shell" script.

This script simply sends an e-mail message to the system administrators, advising them of the change request; it also prompts the user to select the new shell.

To run the script, simply type "change_shell" at the skew4 prompt and press Enter.

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