What is the Global UID system?

The Global UID system is a way to coordinate the creation of unique user names and numeric user IDs (UIDs) on Boston University UNIX systems. A central server allocates user names and UIDs automatically to registered BU students, faculty, and staff. Other users (e.g., visiting professors) must have this entry created in the central database via the UserAdm tools.

The UserAdm tools are your interface to the Global UID system. They ease the task of creating new accounts, checking for “dead” accounts, and making sure that only authorized users have accounts on your system.

Why use UserAdm tools?

The reasons are many, among them, the UserAdm tools:

  • help prevent outdated or unauthorized accounts by comparing database entries to the registrar’s data.
  • make backups interchangeable between systems. Global UID compliance is mandatory for systems taking advantage of IT Operations’ centralized backups.
  • allow the creation of an online directory service (the ‘ph’ system).
  • make it possible to mount NFS filesystems across administrative boundaries. (Since NFS software recognizes UIDs rather than usernames, UIDs can be associated with varied usernames without threatening shared filesystems. )

For more information, see the official System Administrator’s Guide to the Global UID system & UserAdm Tools.