Information for Recent Graduates

Student Accounts Are Not Deleted Immediately After Commencement

Student accounts (groups "ug" and "grads") are culled annually in the fall. We do not delete accounts immediately after Commencement -- however we do not give extensions past fall.

We compile our lists of account deletion candidates and then send out our first round of alert email messages about the impending deletion, four weeks prior to the deletion date. These alert messages contain complete information and instructions on what to do if your account has been identified incorrectly for deletion, as well as how to set up a year of inbound email forwarding if your account is correctly scheduled for deletion.

Two weeks later we send a second alert, with identical information.

On the deletion date, we disable the accounts and they are removed from our systems shortly thereafter.

If we have mistakenly classified your account as a deletion candidate, simply read our alert message carefully and reply to it according to its instructions. Do not ignore account deletion alerts from IMSS!

Note that UNIX cluster services, Windows cluster services, dialup service, software site license access, VPN service, ftp and webpage serving etc. and all of the other associated services which are part of an access.caltech account are all discontinued when the account is removed from our systems. The only service we offer past that point in time is inbound email forwarding, for a period of one year past the account deletion date.


Joining The Alumni Association

If you are a graduating student and wish to continue keeping a computer account at Caltech for email, news etc. you should join the Alumni Association and request to activate an account with them. Make sure the Association has your up-to-date contact information.

Please note that IMSS does not offer automatic transfer of files to your alumni account, primarily because of the disparity between account quotas between the two systems.

If you wish to forward your inbound email from your access.caltech account's address for one year to your Alumni Account, you will need to log into the IMSS Utilities tool and set up the forwarding before your access.caltech account's deletion date. See below for instructions.


Inbound Email Forwarding Courtesy Service

If there is an inbound email forward in place at the time of your account's deletion, it is by default continued for one year from the date of the account deletion.

To set up an email forward, you need to do the following before your access.caltech account's deletion date.

  1. Go to https://access.caltech.edu andlog in with your access.caltech username and password
  2. Click on the "My Account" application under the "Self Service" section
  3. Enter theaddress you want to forward your email to
  4. Click Submit

If you would like your forwarding discontinued or changed before the year is up, submit a request at https://help.caltech.edu (request type IMSS > Email & Calendar > Forward Email to Another Account), and be sure to include your Caltech UID, your old access.caltech username, the current forwarding address, and the new forwarding address.

When the year is up, IMSS will send you a final courtesy notice to let you know that inbound forwarding is being discontinued. After that time, any email sent to your old username will bounce, and that username may be put back into use.


Archiving Your Account Files And Email

IMSS recommends that you download a copy of your account files (UNIX, Windows, stored email) and burn them to CD or DVD before you leave the Institute. The Sherman Fairchild Library has disc burners available, though you must bring your own blank discs.

In addition to your home directory on the IMSS Unix Cluster, you may have email in your legacy mail server inbox and on our regular mail system.

To copy your legacy mail server inbox, simply copy the file /var/mail/username on the IMSS Unix cluster, where username is your access.caltech username, to the location of your choice.

To copy your regular mail system email (inbox and stored folders), go to https://utils.its.caltech.edu/cgi-bin/get_mail_tarfile. After logging in there and following the instructions, also check to be certain that the resulting compressed tar file contains all of your mailboxes.

Note: Some web browsers do not save the appropriate file extension (tar.gz.) on a tarfile. Reading that file may require that youinstall such software as:

If you have any trouble with this procedure, or if the resulting mail archive seems incomplete or flawed, please notify the Unix administrators(unix-admins@caltech.edu) ASAP for assistance.

If you do not have a method of archiving your files with your own computer, and want to take your files with you, we recommend saving your account filesbefore leaving Caltech. Please plan ahead and archive any files as soon as possible; in the fall, you may be far more busy than you anticipate.


Transitioning Your Website

We do not offer web redirection service after your account has been removed from our systems. You should move your web content to another server, and set up a refresh-redirect in your access.caltech account so that people browsing to your access.caltech account's webpages will be directed to your new website's URL during the few months between your Commencement and the autumn when your accountis removed from our systems. Instructions for setting up that sort of refresh-redirect are available.


Hosted Accounts

If you are in charge of an account for a club or class, you should transfer hosting duties to a current Caltech host before you leave campus, provide them with the password and other pertinent account information, and notify us via email to accounts@caltech.edu to update our records about the club or class account for the new host.

If you cannot remember which club or class accounts you are responsible for, we can go through our records and let you knowthose accounts for which you are listed ashost.


Staying On At Caltech

If you have graduated but will remainat Caltech (as staff, volunteer, graduate student, postdoc), please advise us of your change in status by sendingan email to accounts@caltech.edu.Please include as much information as you can about your new status so that we can reclassify your account properly, and so we can let you know what to do to keep your current access.caltech account.

Further information about our account removal policy is available.