Unity Lockers

A Unity locker consists of file storage space in Andrew File System (AFS) that is separate from one’s personal AFS Home folder. Lockers are available to NC State students, faculty and staff. Each locker is assigned to an owner. A locker that is designated to be used for university business (e.g., project locker) must not be used to store personal files; those should be stored in one’s AFS Home folder. All files stored in AFS are backed up daily.

Rules and Regulations for Locker Use

Make sure that the usage and contents of your locker conform to the IT Rules, Regulations and Procedures that relate to lockers.

Locker Types

Project Locker

Most project lockers are used for housing Web pages but may also contain other file types. Be sure to put files, especially Web pages into appropriate subfolders.

A project locker name must contain between 9 and 14 characters, all lower case, and should relate to the name of the project.

Web pages

Files that are to be displayed on a Web site (such as .html, .php) or downloaded from it (such as .pdf, .doc, .xls, .ppt) must be placed in a subfolder named htdocs in the project locker. The extensions .asp and .jsp are not supported on OIT servers. The extensions .cgi and .pl are generally not enabled. CGI should be placed in a specially configured cgi directory, which can be arranged on most hosts (but not www4). Once you have a script directory, all files regardless of extension will be treated as cgi scripts.

Formats and example:

  • AFS path format:

    • projectname is the name of the locker
    • initial is its first letter
    • filename is the name of the Web page
  • URL format:
  • Example (for a locker named cropgrant):
    • AFS path:
    • URL:

Files other than Web pages

Files not intended to be viewed on or downloaded from a Web site should go into other subfolders (not into htdocs) in the project locker. Format and example:

  • AFS path format:

    • projectname is the name of the locker,
    • initial is its first letter of the project name,
    • folder is the name of the desired subfolder,
    • filename is the name of the file
  • Example (for a locker named cropgrant):

Anonymous FTP Locker

Anonymous FTP is a method of moving files from one computer to another in an unsecure manner. You will not need an anonymous FTP locker at NC State unless you want users who do not have a Unity ID and password to be able to upload files to it. This type of locker is usually named with the owner’s Unity ID. Format and example:

  • AFS path format:
  • Example (for Unity user jojones):

Course Locker

Free lockers are available for use in support of classroom instruction only. For details, see WolfWare.

Locker Fees

Item Cost
New locker setup $20.00
Annual purchase of disk space:

  • 100-MB increments only
  • Purchase is for fiscal year.
  • Mid-year purchases are prorated.
per 100 MB
Annual locker renewal $10.00

Obtaining a Locker

To obtain a locker, fill out and submit the Unity Locker Application.

Using Your Locker

Determining the space (quota) in your locker

  1. Obtain a Unix or Linux command line.
  2. At the command prompt, type:
    cd /afs/unity/web/initial/lockername
    where lockername is the name of your locker and
    initial is its first letter
  3. Type:
    fs lq .
    Note that this command ends with a period.
    Both the amount of space being used and the percentage being used will be displayed.

Adding space to your locker

To get additional space in your existing locker, fill out and submit the Unity Locker Application


To access and manage your Unity locker, you will need to be familiar with using a Unix or Linux command line and a few Unix operating system commands. There are two ways to access your locker:

  • Use the full locker path.
    Type the following at a command line prompt (usually unity% or eos%):cd /afs/unity/web/initial/lockernamewhere lockername is the name of your locker and
    initial is its first letter
  • Create a symbolic link (symlink) to the locker.
    First, to be sure you are in your home directory, type:cdThen type the link command in this format:ln -s /afs/unity/web/initial/lockername linknamelockername is the name of your locker
    initial is the first letter of the locker name
    linkname is the name you choose for the symlinkExample:ln -s /afs/unity/web/c/cropgrant crp-onlineIf you listed the files in your home directory using the command ls -l, you would see the symlink and the locker path listed like this:crp-online—> /afs/unity/web/c/cropgrant

There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these access methods.

Basic commands

For the commands you will need to create directories (folders) and manipulate files (list, copy, remove), see Unix Directory Commands.

File transfer

To copy files from your desktop to your locker, you’ll need to use secure file transfer.

Granting other users access to your locker

Your locker comes with a PTS group that has write access to it. You are this group’s owner and, initially, its only member. You will have the ability to add or remove other members. As needed, you can grant permissions to the other members to add, modify, or delete files in the locker. For the commands you’ll need to do this, see the PTS Group page.

Deleting a Locker

To avoid an unwanted locker renewal fee and to free up file storage space for other users, be sure to delete any locker that you no longer need.  For assistance, contact the NC State Help Desk.

Getting Help


Go to the Unity File Space page.