Student's Guide to Computing @ Penn Engineering


All students at SEAS are entitled to a computer account. You can create your SEAS computer account online at: Your username will be the same as your PennKey username. Once your account has been created, your email address will be: Accounts are usually activated 15-20 minutes after being created. However, if your account hasn't been activated within one business day, please contact CETS at 215-898-4707 and ask to speak with an account specialist or send email to

Email & Related Services

One of the primary uses for your SEAS account will be for email. You can read mail in Google@SEAS or email client like Thunderbird.
For an overview on activating your Google@SEAS account, available email clients and instructions on how to configure them, please see:

Below are some of the services available with your email account. To configure any of these services, go to the Account Management Site at, Select “Configure Your Account”, and Log on using your account username and password.

Virus Scanning. All incoming email is scanned for viruses. Email attachments with suspicious filename extensions are automatically deleted because they are almost always viruses ( e.g. .exe, .dll, .bat, .app, .reg). The remaining email messages are scanned for strings matching anti-virus signatures. Penn has a site license for Symantec AntiVirus (PC) and Norton AntiVirus (Mac), which are available free from

Vacation (Away) Messages. CETS offers an automated reply service for your email for those times you are away from the office/campus/etc.

Email Forwarding. If you have more than one account, you may choose to read all of your email from one location rather than having to log onto multiple systems each day to read email. To have your email automatically forwarded from your SEAS account to another account, use the Account Management Site.

Storing files

Managing Your SEAS Account Quota

Standard disk space allocations at SEAS are 4GB per account. The disk is available on the network, backed up and may be mounted on a variety of operating systems.

Everything associated with your SEAS account is stored in your home directory (except the email in your Inbox folder). Your home directory can be accessed from many different locations using several methods. For example, you can access your home directory by using a CETS lab computer (Windows or Linux), a Linux server (e.g. SecureCRT to Eniac), or FTP client software (Filezilla).

Your email messages and mail folders take up part of your quota and are stored in a directory called "Mail". You can create a website by putting files in your "html" directory. You can create other directories and files as you need to help store your school and/or personal information.

You can find out exactly how much quota you are taking up and raise your quota if needed by logging into the Accounts Management Site. Here are a few tips to help manage your quota:

  • Delete your sent messages (in the sent-mail folder)
  • Purge your deleted messages. When you delete a message in webmail or an email program it will often mark as deleted and put it in your Trash folder, but it's still taking up space. You need to delete the contents of your Trash folder every once and a while to really free up that space.

CETS offers the quota-warn service notifying account holders via email of quota problems. Once your SEAS account becomes 85% full, you will receive a notification, so you can clean up files as needed. This can be useful to prevent surprises about storage shortages in your account. If you'd like to participate, send email to and request to activate quota-warn.

Cloud storage

There are also University-supported cloud storage options available. You can use Google Drive with your SEAS account by signing up for Google@SEAS. Google Drive with Google@SEAS includes 30 GB of storage space. Note that it's not necessary to use Gmail in order to take advantage of Google Drive for storage. Contact CETS for more information.

All University faculty, staff, and students have 50 GB of storage in Penn+Box. You can log in with your PennKey, and share files with other University members via PennKey, as well.

Your Personal Website

From any SEAS account, personal web pages may be served to the Internet using a Linux/Apache Web Server. Your web pages will need to be placed in your account's "html" directory. Your website URL would be For help on how to create a webpage, please see How do I create a website?.

Automatic Backups

What happens if you accidently deleted something from your SEAS home directory? No need to worry, CETS has created backups for you. You can easily find them and restore then yourself from your SEAS home directory. For instructions, please see How do I restore a file that has been deleted?

Access To Your Account While On Campus

There are many places you can access your account while on campus:

Where to Save Your Work In The Labs

In CETS PC Labs, SEAS accounts are automatically mounted as the E: drive. We recommend this as the optimal place to save important files. You can also store large files on zip disks and CDs. Be warned, work saved in the c:\user, c:\temp, d:\ drives, /tmp, and /var/tmp will be wiped out when the system is swept clean nightly. Practice safe computing and think before you save.

Free Printing & Scanning

CETS provides free black and white and color laser printing for Engineeering students. There are some restrictions, please see the CETS Print Policy for full details.  Color printing can be purchases via PennCash.  The color printer is located in the CETS Office, 164 Levine.There is also a scanner for use in M62 Towne.

Policies You Should Be Aware Of

Where To Go For Help?

When you have a question, check on the CETS website and in the CETS Answers/FAQ pages. If you can't find the answer, email or speak to a consultant by visiting the CETS office in Levine 164 or call 215-898-4707. If your problem is related to ResNet or a personal computer/ laptop problem, please see the NonSEAS Support Page.

Useful Links