Help Desk

Information Technology

Kerberos Authentication at Reed

What is Kerberos?

Kerberos is a system that lets you use one username and password to access many services. It was designed to provide both security and convenience. Using Kerberos means that you have to remember fewer passwords and type your password less frequently.

The following services at Reed use Kerberos usernames and passwords:

 Alumni have a limited subset of these services:

How do I get a Kerberos account?

Reed community members including incoming and current students, faculty, staff and alumni should have a Kerberos account. If you don't already have one, you can create a Kerberos account. You will need to enter some information about yourself including your Reed ID number. Incoming students, faculty, and staff will also need an activation code which will be included with orientation information. If you do not know your Reed ID number, please see below. During the setup process, follow the onscreen instructions to create your Kerberos username and password. You will also be asked to select questions and answers that can be used in case you forget your password in the future.

Locating your Reed ID number:

Incoming students: Your Reed ID will be included in mailings from the college.

Current students, faculty and staff: Your Reed ID can be found on your your Reed ID card.

Alumni: Your Reed ID number may be found on your plastic ID card for the alumni association.

If you've tried and are still unable to find your Reed ID, please contact the appropriate office for assistance:

Protecting your Kerberos password

Your Kerberos password is very powerful-- it can be used to access many services. For that reason, it is essential that you protect it carefully.

  • Make it complex. The minimum length is eight characters; longer is better. Use a mix of letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and punctuation.
  • Don't share it! Don't ever give your Kerberos password to anyone. IT will never ask you to reveal your password via e-mail or the phone.
  • Don't use the same password anywhere else.
  • Be sure to log out of public omputers when you are done (e.g. the IRCs, library, internet cafe computers, etc.). This removes your credentials.

Using Kerberos: FAQ

I forgot my password.  What now?

Point your web browser to our handy online password reset tool. You'll need to know your username or your Reed ID in order to reset your password.  You'll be guided through the security questions you previously set up, and then you'll be asked to set a new password.  Fun!

If you haven't previously set up security questions using our online tool, you'll need to grab your photo ID and swing by the Computer User Services help desk in the ETC.  Full time staff can help you reset your password during regular hours (M-F, 8:30-5). 

I know my password, but I want to change it.

Open a web browser and go to our online password reset tool. You'll be prompted for your username and Reed ID first.  If you haven't done so yet, you'll be asked to set up some security questions.  These questions will let you automatically reset your password, in case you ever forget it in the future.  Once you have security questions in place, follow the prompts to reset your password.

If you run into trouble along the way, contact the Help Desk at x7525 or at

I'm a Reedie, but I don't know either my Kerberos username or my password.

If you have never used Reed email, accessed your home server, or printed to a billed printer, you may not be aware that you have a Kerberos account.  If you need help getting started with using Kerberos, you can visit the Computer User Services Delp desk on the first floor of the ETC. Be sure to bring photo ID!

I'm an alum.  Do I have a Kerberos username and password?

Yes! You can sign up here to receive permanent Kerberos credentials, which you can use to access IRIS,  Reed's wireless and wired networks and the computers in the IRCs and Library.