Account passwords

CIT password

Your CIT password must be at least 9 characters long and contain at least three of the four following elements:

  • uppercase letters
  • lowercase letters
  • special characters
  • numbers

* Tip The more random the sequence of characters, the more secure the password.

Changing CIT password on MS Windows systems

  1. Log in to an MS Windows system
  2. Hold the ctrl-alt-del keys down at the same time
  3. Click the Change Password button and fill in the three blanks
    • Old password
    • New password
    • Confirm new password

Changing CIT password on Linux systems

  1. Log on to any CGD compute server (andre, burnt, thorodin, tungsten). See "Putty Instructions for Windows Users" below if you need more help on this step.
  2. Type "passwd", press enter
  3. Enter your old Unix password (it will not be displayed for security), press enter
  4. Enter your new Unix password (it will not be displayed for security), press enter
  5. Enter your new Unix password again (it will not be displayed for security), press enter

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

Changing CIT password on Mac systems

  1. If you are working remotely, sign into the VPN. If you are on-site, connecting to UCAR Internal/Wired connection will work.
  2. Click the NoMAD icon on your menu bar and sign in with your CIT password:
  3. Click the icon again, then select Change Password.

UCAS/UCAR Password


The UCAR Central Authentication Services (UCAS) password is being phased out and is only used for HPSS.

To change your UCAS password, visit the site:


The UCAR Central Authentication Services (UCAS) password is being phased out and is only used for HPSS.

If you have forgotten your UCAS password, visit the site:

Create a new password using your Yubikey (or cryptocard) for authentication.
Once the new password is generated, visit:

to change it to something more easily remembered.

Putty Instructions for Windows Users

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

  1. Open the Putty Terminal program
  2. Create a New Session. File>Quick Connect. Fill in the following information:
    • Name:
    • Protocol: SSH2
    • Hostname:
    • 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 a minimum of 8 characters long.
  • 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.