Acceptable Use Policy

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is a high-performance computing (HPC) resource center that provides computing, storage, and visualization resources to a large and diverse user community, including researchers from academia, industry, and government.

TACC has established Usage Policies that all users are required to follow to ensure the efficient and effective use of TACC resources.

Failure to comply with TACC Usage Policies may result in the suspension or cancellation of the user's project and associated allocation, as well as the deactivation of the associated login. In addition, TACC may take appropriate legal or disciplinary action in response to any illegal activity or violation of the policies. Users of TACC resources are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the Usage Policies and ensuring that their use of TACC resources is in compliance with the policies. TACC provides resources and support to help users understand and adhere to the policies.

Some key points to keep in mind when using TACC resources include:

  1. TACC resources should only be used for legal and ethical purposes. Users should not engage in any activities that could disrupt the operation of the system or compromise its security.
  2. Users retain ownership of generated or uploaded data to TACC resources.
  3. TACC users are limited to having only one TACC account.
  4. Users should not use TACC resources in excess of the allocated amounts without prior authorization. It is important to use TACC resources efficiently to ensure that they are available to all users.
  5. Users should take appropriate measures to safeguard their login credentials and protect TACC resources from unauthorized access or use.
  6. Users should comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies when using TACC resources.

Failure to comply with TACC's Usage Policies may result in suspension or cancellation of access to TACC resources. If any illegal activities are detected, the University of Texas at Austin and/or legal authorities may be involved.

Account Eligibility

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) provides access to its resources to a diverse user community, including faculty and staff at UT Austin, UT System, TACC Partner Institutions, and other higher educational institutions in Texas.

To access TACC's resources, eligible users must submit requests for TACC allocations. Non-academic researchers are eligible for access to TACC resources through the Science and Technology Affiliates for Research (STAR) industrial affiliates program or by engaging in collaborative research and development activities with TACC.

It is important to note that supporting documentation may be required prior to accessing TACC's resources. Users should consult TACC's documentation or contact TACC support for guidance on the necessary steps to gain access to TACC's resources.

Data Ownership

Users who generate or upload data to TACC resources retain ownership of it. Owners have legal rights and control over the data, including the authority to decide how it is used, shared, or transferred. These rights include the right to copy, store, and disseminate data and control who can access it. Individuals and organizations increasingly generate and store vast quantities of data on TACC resources, making understanding data ownership essential. It is critical for ensuring data privacy, security, and compliance with regulation.


TACC prohibits users from running applications that are designed to mine cryptocurrency or use block-chain technology for personal gain. This policy applies to all users of TACC resources. TACC strictly enforces this policy, and violations of this policy may result in termination of the user's access to TACC resources.

Use of Protected Software and Data

TACC classifies software and data as protected when they contain information that is required by law or policy to be kept confidential. When data is classified as protected on TACC resources, strict management procedures and policies are implemented to safeguard its confidentiality. Access to this data is strictly limited to authorized personnel and users, who are granted specific permissions. Users who are granted access to protected data must use it only for its intended purpose, respect the privacy of members of the university community, and maintain the data's confidentiality following all applicable laws and policies.

TACC strictly prohibits the installation or use of any software or data that falls under the following protected categories: International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), Personally Identifiable Information (PII), or any other protected control without first contacting Appropriate agreements, such as Business Associate Agreements (BAA), Technology Control Plans (TCP), Memoranda of Understanding (MOU), or other relevant agreements, between UT-Austin and the Principal Investigator (PI) or home institution must be in place before such software or data can be installed or used on any TACC resource. Violations of this policy will result in the immediate removal of software and/or data and the deactivation of related projects, allocations, and user accounts.

Policies for TACC Users

Users must comply with the following policies, and failure to do so will result in disciplinary action:

  1. Sharing user credentials is strictly prohibited.
  2. Each user is only allowed to have one account.
  3. PIs are responsible for notifying TACC when a project user should be deactivated due to the user's departure or termination of the project.
  4. Participating in copyright infringement is a violation of TACC policy and federal law, and is strictly prohibited.
  5. Attempting to gain access where you are not allowed, or deliberately scanning or probing any information resource without prior authorization is prohibited.
  6. TACC computing resources may not be used for commercial purposes or personal gain.
  7. It is prohibited to modify file access for the purpose of circumventing purge policies, using "touch" or any other method.

Disciplinary Actions

If a user violates TACC's policies, they may face disciplinary actions that can include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Written or verbal warnings
  2. Revocation of access privileges to TACC systems
  3. Termination of project(s) at TACC
  4. Criminal prosecution.


TACC users must choose a strong password that should be unique to your TACC username.

All user-level, system-level and privileged-level accounts using passwords must meet the following criteria:

  1. Must not contain your account name or parts of your full name
  2. Must be a minimum of 8 characters in length
  3. Must contain characters from at least three of the following: uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters (e.g. ~! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ + = - ‘ [ ] / ? > <)


TACC provides user guides and web-based documents to assist users in understanding the purpose and proper use of TACC resources and services, including issues such as resource limits, batch queuing, file systems, and storage services. Users are responsible for familiarizing themselves with this documentation to ensure proper and considerate use of TACC resources.

TACC resources should only be used for work related to the project for which the resources were granted, and for documented or obvious intended purposes. The login or front-end nodes of the TACC compute and visualization clusters are reserved for compiling, loading, and job submission preparation. Executing compute or I/O bound processes on these nodes will cause excessive overhead and negatively impact the user community's ability to use the systems effectively. Inappropriate processes will be automatically terminated, and repeat violators may be denied access to the system.

TACC data storage resources are designed to offer the user community a shared, high-speed storage facility that can be used by applications that span multiple TACC resources. Data stored on any TACC data storage resource must be linked to TACC-approved research projects. Failure to adhere to this criterion may result in users losing their right to use TACC resources. It is the responsibility of all users to familiarize themselves with the relevant system User Guide before using the storage resources.

Account Deactivation Policy

There are four reasons why TACC user accounts may be deactivated:

Account Inactivity - If a user account has been inactive for 120 calendar days, it will be automatically deactivated. The user will have to submit a ticket to have their account reactivated. Successful login to any TACC resource, including the TACC User Portal, will reset the timer for account inactivity.

  1. Violation of TACC Policy - If a user account is found to be in violation of TACC policy, access to all TACC resources will be immediately denied.
  2. Principal Investigator(PI) Request - If a Principal Investigator (PI) requests deactivation of an account, the account will be denied access to the PI's project's allocation, unless the account has access to another active project, the account is deactivated.
  3. Project Expiration - When a project expires, all accounts (PI and user) associated with the project will immediately lose access to the allocation, and TACC-issued user certificates will be revoked. Unless users have access to other active projects, the account is deactivated. All batch and remote job submissions will subsequently be rejected.

Data Retention

When an active project expires or is terminated, all data stored in the /home and /work directories on TACC resources will be retained for a period of 30 days. Data stored in the TACC archival storage system will be maintained for a longer period of 18 months, but will be in read-only mode during this time.

User Support

TACC strongly advises users to request help from TACC support as needed. All support requests must be submitted via the TACC Consulting Request System. Special project collaborations are an instance where direct communication between TACC and the user community may be required.

TACC support can provide guidance to users on code development, porting, debugging, and optimization, as well as the appropriate use of TACC resources. However, support does not involve the direct development, porting, debugging, or optimization of codes.

Refund Requests

To request a refund for jobs that terminate abnormally, TACC users can submit a refund request through the user portal. These requests will be granted for up to 8 wall clock hours of compute time (8 times the number of processors or cores used by the job), and will only be granted for failures that can be attributed to hardware and system software failure. To minimize lost cycles due to job failure, users are encouraged to implement a checkpoint/restart capability in their codes.

TACC User News

TACC User News is the primary channel through which TACC communicates important information to the user community. This information includes system availability and upgrades, TACC training classes, allocation renewal notifications, and holiday consulting coverage. When a PI receives an allocation, they are automatically subscribed to all relevant TACC User News categories. Users for whom the PI creates a login are also automatically subscribed. However, users can choose to unsubscribe from TACC User News. It is important to note that even if a user unsubscribes, they still assume the responsibility for the information contained in TACC User News. TACC User News can be accessed through the TACC portal, or the TACC home page.

TACC Citation

Please reference TACC in any research report, journal or publication that requires citation of any author's work. The recognition of the TACC resources you used to perform research is important for acquiring funding for the next generation hardware, support services, and our Research & Development activities in HPC, visualization, data storage, and grid infrastructure. The minimal content of a citation should include:

Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC)
The University of Texas at Austin

Our suggested acknowledgement is:*

The authors acknowledge the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin for providing {HPC, visualization, or storage} resources that have contributed to the research results reported within this paper. URL:

* Select one or more of the items within the braces, {}.

Document Revision History

Date Sections Affected Modified By Description
March 22, 2023 All sections revised Nathaniel Mendoza Yearly Review
July 12, 2019   Nathaniel Mendoza Yearly Review
April 3, 2018 Cryptocurrencies added Nathaniel Mendoza Yearly Review
December 1, 2016   Nathaniel Mendoza Yearly Review
December 1, 2015   Nathaniel Mendoza Yearly Review
December 1, 2014   Nathaniel Mendoza Yearly Review