Help Desk

Computing & Information Services

Frequently Asked Questions about AFS

What is the default quota for my Home folder in AFS?

The default quota is 5GB for user Home folders in AFS (increased from 1GB recently). Please note if you create shared folders in your AFS Home folder, the files uploaded by others will count against your quota. If you need additional storage space for academic purposes, please contact CUS.

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What's the purpose of the directories inside my Home folder and where should I save my files?

You already have a number of directories inside your Home folder:

  • Private - files and folders in your Private folder cannot be accessed by others. To keep your files private from others, save them to this folder.
  • Public - files and folders in your Public folder can be viewed and read by others. If you need to share files with specific users, create a new folder inside Public and grant them permission to access the folder.
  • html - your personal web space, available at
  • Favorites - a place to store favorite locations to other areas within the AFS hierarchy (you can add Favorites at
  • Private/Yesterday - a nightly, read-only backup of your entire Home folder.
  • Private/Migrated_Home - a copy of all your files and folders from your old Home server, if you've used the migration tool.

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How do I save a file directly to AFS (File > Save As) on a mac?

If you don't want to use the drag-and-drop method to save files to AFS, follow these instructions to add your AFS Home folder to the sidebar in a Finder window:

  1. Click on the AFS@Reed app in your Dock and login to AFS.
  2. In the window that appears, drag your AFS home folder to the sidebar of a new Finder window. (When you drag it between two items in the sidebar, a blue line will appear indicating where it will be inserted.)
    Drag to sidebar
  3. A shortcut to your AFS Home folder is added to the sidebar in Finder. It will be named after your network username, and will have a folder icon next to it.
  4. Anytime you need to save to your Home folder from a File > Save As menu, click on this folder in the Finder sidebar.

View our video tutorial showing how to do this.

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What is the AFS mounted volume on my Desktop and how do I get rid of it?

After installing the AFS client on your Mac, you may see a mounted AFS volume on your Desktop. This means the AFS client in running on your computer, and you are ready to connect to AFS@Reed.


Tiger volume Leopard volume


There are many educational institutions and organizations that also use AFS. If you double-click the AFS volume on your Desktop, you will see a listing of these institutions and organizations and may be able to navigate their AFS hierarchy if they allow public access.

Since you can log in and navigate Reed's AFS through the AFS@Reed app in your Dock (or Applications/ReedApps), it is not necessary for you to use the AFS volume and you can ignore it. If you don't want the AFS volume mounted on your Desktop, you can configure Finder preferences to hide connected servers. Keep in mind that doing this will hide ALL connected servers from your Desktop, not just AFS.

  1. Click on your Desktop (or the Finder icon in the Dock).
  2. From the Finder menu, select Preferences.
  3. On the General tab, uncheck "Connected servers" under the Show these items on the Desktop section.
  4. The AFS volume and all other connected servers will no longer appear on your Desktop.

View our video tutorial showing how to do this:

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How do I log out of AFS from the native client?

When you log in to AFS@Reed from your Mac or Windows computer, you receive a "token." A token is used to authenticate you to AFS. Your token will automatically expire after a set number of hours. If you want to destroy your token before it expires, the easiest way is to restart your computer (a logout will not necessarily destroy your token).

If you have additional questions about AFS at Reed, please contact CUS at or x7525.

I'm having trouble connecting to AFS

If you've successfully connected to the AFS client before but your credentials expire or you switch networks, you may have trouble connecting to AFS again.  Try the following method:

1. Open Terminal app from /Applications/Utilities

2. Issue these commands:



kinit <username>


3. Click the "R" icon in your dock. If that doesn't work, restart your computer.

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