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University Observatory Munich

Faculty of Physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University

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Information for computer users at the USM


If you have an account at the USM you have two passwords, one for logging in and one for email. Do not choose the same password for email as for logging in. This is so that when you read email over the web in not-so-well-trusted locations, if your email password gets compromised, your login account (and our machines) will not be.

Login authentication is done via Kerberos. Our Kerberos server requires you to change your password once a year. (You will be notified in advance via email.)

To change your login password:

  • Log on to moon via ssh and execute kpasswd. This will ask you for your old login password and then twice for your desired new one.

To change your email password:

  • Log on to moon via ssh and execute emailpasswd. This will ask you first for your login password and then twice for your desired new email password. You do not need to know the old email password.


Your email address at the USM is username@usm.uni-muenchen.de or username@usm.lmu.de. Mail sent to either address will arrive in your inbox.

You can read and send email using your favorite IMAP- and SMTP-capable mail program (e.g., Mutt, Pine, Thunderbird, Outlook, Apple Mail) or using one of the email interfaces on our web server (Horde [http://www.usm.uni-muenchen.de/horde/], SquirrelMail [http://www.usm.uni-muenchen.de/webmail/], or Roundcube [http://www.usm.uni-muenchen.de/roundcubemail/]). SquirrelMail and Roundcube have a simpler interface, Horde also supports calendars, to-do lists, etc. For all email interfaces you need to authenticate using your username and email password.

If you prefer using a dedicated email program, here are the required settings:

  • Mailbox server (IMAP) mailget.usm.uni-muenchen.de using a secure connection (SSL) on port number 993.
  • Outgoing mail server (SMTP) mailto.usm.uni-muenchen.de using a secure connection (TLS) on port number 25.

Both mailbox server and outgoing mail server require authentication using your username and email password.

Email forwarding

Email forwarding is achieved via sieve, which runs entirely within the mail server (a .forward in your home directory will not work because the mail server does not look into the users’ home directories). You can write a sieve script by hand and upload it to the mail server or you can use Horde to set everything up for you (look under Mail → Filters).

For those writing their own scripts, the sieve language is well documented on the web, and the things you can have sieve do with your mail (such as automatically sorting messages into different subfolders or replying with a vacation message) are quite numerous. See Rudi’s imap pages for an example.

To upload a sieve file to the mail server:

  • On one of the Linux machines change into the directory where your sieve file is located and execute sieveshell mailget, which should ask you for your (email) password.
  • If the connection succeeds, from within sieveshell do:
    put sievefile
    activate sievefile
    where sievefile is the name of your sieve file. If your sieve script contains errors it will not be accepted.

The sieve script remains active until you (within sieveshell) either deactivate or delete it or activate another script. You can also list your uploaded scripts in sieveshell.

Wireless network

The wireless network is managed by the LRZ. The simplest way to connect to the wireless network is through eduroam.

  • If your home institute participates in eduroam and you have already set it up there, then it should work here as well without further changes.
  • If not: here are the required settings (the LRZ has more detailed instructions, see http://www.lrz.de/services/netz/mobil/eduroam/):
    • Network name (SSID): eduroam.
    • Security protocol: WPA2 Enterprise.
    • Authentication protocol: TTLS, configured with:
    • Outer identity (anonymous identity): anonymous@mwn.de.
    • Phase 2 authentication (TTLS inner authentication): PAP.
    • Identity (user name): username@usm (this is not an email address but a user name with an appended RADIUS authentication realm).
    • Password: your email password.
    Your operating system may ask/require you to accept/install a corresponding server certificate.
  • Mac OS X and iPhone users can download a preconfigured profile that uses TTLS and PAP (the one from the LRZ is configured for PEAP and MSCHAPv2 and will not work with RADIUS).
    When installing the profile you need to enter your identity as username@usm and your email password.

Wired network

To connect your laptop to the wired ethernet, set the wired network configuration to “automatic” (DHCP) and talk to one of the sysadmins to have the hardware address (MAC address) of your laptop registered with our server.

To find the hardware address:

  • on Windows: type the command ipconfig /all into a cmd window and look in the output for physical address.
  • on Linux and Mac OS: type the command ifconfig −a into a terminal window (console window) and look for HWaddr (Linux) or ether (Mac OS). (The builtin wired interface is often named eth0 or en0.)

In all cases the MAC address will look something like nn-nn-nn-nn-nn-nn or nn:nn:nn:nn:nn:nn, where the ns are digits/letters from “0” to “9” and “a” to “f”.

Mailing lists

There are a number of institute-related mailing lists which may be of interest to you, such as alle for general USM-related topics or students for subjects of interest to Master’s and PhD students and post-docs. Publicly visible mailing lists, for example those created for the participants of a particular teaching course, are advertised on our mailman page (http://www.usm.uni-muenchen.de/mailman/). Consult your supervisor and/or colleagues regarding further mailing lists relevant to your work.

  • To subscribe to a list, send a mail to listname-join@usm.uni-muenchen.de, where listname is the name of the list. (The subject and body of the message will be ignored, so you may leave them empty.)
  • To unsubscribe from a list, send a mail to listname-leave@usm.uni-muenchen.de. Send this mail using the same email account with which you are subscribed to the list.

Poster printer

Poster size: The printer’s paper is 36 inches (91.4 cm) wide, which is slightly wider than A0 (84.1 cm). If you absolutely require an A0-size poster, you must manually cut off a strip of approximately 7 cm from the side of your printout. (The printer itself can cut the paper perpendicular to the feed direction, but not parallel.) If you prefer not to cut by hand, you can either use the full width of the paper, giving you a poster somewhat larger than A0, or print your poster rotated by 90 degrees (so that the width of the paper becomes the height of the poster), giving you a poster between A1 and A0 in size.

Margins: The printer will leave an unprinted margin of 17 mm at the top and bottom (in feed direction) and 5 mm at the left and right, inside of your requested paper size. Take this into consideration when designing your poster (→ Example). If you want color all the way to the edges, you have no choice but to manually trim the margin from all four sides.

Images: The printer understands baseline JPEG images (encapsulated in a Postscript wrapper), but it has trouble with progressive JPEGs. Avoid progressive JPEG encoding for images, otherwise your poster may not print. If you’re unsure, use a different form of encoding (e.g., in OpenOffice, choose “lossless compression” when exporting to PDF). As a general rule, avoid the use of images (in particular JPEG images) for line graphs and plots, and use scalable (vector) graphics instead.

Transparency: The printer understands Postscript, but not PDF. Posters in PDF must be converted to Postscript for printing, for example using Adobe Reader (acroread). While PDF supports transparency in its imaging model, Postscript does not, so transparency effects must be faked when converting to Postscript. Avoid the excessive use of transparency gimmicks in your poster design to reduce the probability that glitches will be introduced by this process.

Last updated 2015 September 22 16:10 by Webmaster (webmaster@usm.uni-muenchen.de)