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OpenAFS Client for Windows

The OpenAFS client for Windows works on all versions of Windows from XP through Windows 8.x.  On this page we provide a download link and instructions for the most recent version that Research Computing has tested. has the official documentation and possibly newer versions of the software.

Installing the OpenAFS Client for Windows

  1. Download the OpenAFS installer.  If you aren't sure which version you have, you can follow these instructions to figure it out or simply try the one you think you have (it will refuse to install if you get the wrong version).
  2. Double click the installer that you downloaded in step 1.  This begins the installation process.  If asked whether or not you want to run the file, click Run.
  3. Click Next on the Welcome screen.
  4. Click "I accept the terms..." and then click Next on the screen with the license terms.
  5. IMPORTANT: Click Custom when asked to "Choose Setup Type".  Below is a screenshot of what you'll see after clicking Custom.
    1. Scroll about halfway down to "Authentication for AFS" and click to change to "Will be installed on local hard drive".
    2. Just beneath that also click "Client configuration tool" to change to "Will be installed on local hard drive".
    3. Click Next
    AFS Options Screen
  6. IMPORTANT: You need to enter a default cell on the "Configure AFS Client" screen.  Type in the text box. The rest of the options on this screen should be left at their defaults.  It is particularly important that you do not enable "Integrated login".  Click Next.
    AFS configuration screen
  7. Click Next.  This is the "Options for AFS Credentials" screen and we recommend leaving the default settings.
  8. Click Install.  You may be asked if you want to allow the software to be installed.  If so, click Yes.
  9. Click Finish.
  10. You will be prompted to reboot your computer.  Do this at your convenience but the AFS client will not work until you have.

Basic Usage

  • Authenticating: To access your files in AFS, you first need to authenticate yourself.  This is called getting a token. The yellow padlock iconAFS padlock iconis the authentication tool and should be in the System Tray on your desktop.  Click it to bring up a window where you can enter your AFS username and password.  Note this window will also pop up automatically when you first boot your computer.
  • Token Expiration: AFS tokens last for 25 hours.  After that time you will need to obtain a new one using the same authentication tool.  You can also renew a token at any time which resets the 25 hour clock.
  • UNC Paths: You use UNC paths to access files in AFS (e.g. type a UNC path into the address bar in Windows Explorer).  The most common example of a UNC path is
    'username' is of course your AFS username. The 'u' in \u\ is the first letter of your AFS username.
  • Creating a Mapped Drive: Not all software recognizes UNC paths.  In these cases you need to assign a drive letter to the UNC path.  This is called creating a mapped network drive and creates a per-user drive mapping which only exists when you are logged in.
    1. Bring up an Explorer window by holding down the Windows keyWindows Logo Keyand pressing E.
    2. [Windows 8 only] From the File - Computer - View tabs at the top of the screen select "Computer".
    3. Click Map Network Drive [Windows 8 gives a drop-down list where you select Map Network Drive again].
    4. Choose a drive letter and enter the UNC path to a location in AFS.
    5. Click Finish

Uninstalling the OpenAFS Client for Windows

To uninstall the OpenAFS client, use the "Uninstall OpenAFS" shortcut that the installer placed in your Start Menu (Apps Screen in Windows 8).  Or, you can run it directly like this:

  1. Bring up a Run window by holding down the Windows keyWindows Logo Keyand then pressing the R key.
  2. Type C:\Program Files\OpenAFS\uninstall.exe and hit <Enter>.
  3. Follow the prompts.

Last Updated: 4/21/15