How to Change Your Passwords


Unix/Email password

a) Log on to any CGD compute server (harmon, leehill, tramhill). See "SecureCRT Instructions for Windows Users" below if you need more help on this step.

b) Type passwd, press enter

c) Enter your old Unix password, press enter

d) Enter your new Unix password, press enter

e) Enter your new Unix password again, press enter

Your Unix password has now changed. It may take up to 5 minutes to go into effect.

Windows/CIT password

a) Log in to your Windows account

b) Hold the ctrl alt del keys down at the same time

c) Click the Change Password button and fill in the three blanks

  • Old password
  • New password
  • Confirm new password

Your Windows password must contain at least two of these elements: uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and numbers. The more random the sequence of characters, the more secure the password.

UCAS Password

The UCAR Central Authentication Services (UCAS) password is used for time cards and accessing secure NCAR websites among other things.

To change your UCAS password, visit the site:

SecureCRT Instructions for Windows Users

You may have to create a New Session to connect to Unix/Linux systems.

1) Open the SecureCRT program
2) Create a New Session. File>Quick Connect. Fill in the following information:
     Protocol: SSH2
     Port: 22
3) Click Connect
4) See above for instructions on how to change your password.

Tips on Creating Secure Passwords

  • At a Unix prompt, type the following command to get a randomly-generated password. Use only the first 8 characters of one of the randomly-generated passwords.
  • easypass -s -n -l
  • Unix passwords can only be 8 characters long and should not be less than 6 characters.
  • Passwords should not be based on dictionary words, proper names, or be entirely numerical. Secure passwords consist of letters and numbers, as well as punctuation marks. Secure passwords include at least one number.
  • Passwords are less secure when they include easily guessed strings, such as names (especially the names of family and pets), birth dates, or anniversary dates.
  • Never share your password with anyone or write it down. If you must write your password down make sure to keep it in a secure place away from your computer.
  • Change your password as often as you can.

Using Different Passwords

Keep separate passwords for separate groups of machines. Within NCAR, everyone has at least 2 passwords that are used, most of us have more. It makes it easy for a hacker to login into other machines if you use the same password for different systems.