User ID and password

Once you have been through the formal account request process, you will be able to login to Shaheen. If you are a KAUST student/employee/faculty member, then your account name and password will be the same one that you use to access the Portal/Active Directory. If you are an external user, then you will receive your new User ID once your application is approved.

You will be required to change your password once per year. If you are a KAUST user, then we strongly recommend that you change your password using the normal KAUST IT procedure (KAUST Connect). If you are an external user, you may change your password using the passwd command after logging in to Shaheen. The change of password policy introuduced by KAUST IT in March 2019, which allows spaces in passwords, means that you are now encouraged to use a phrase or song lyric rather than a combination of letters and numbers. To ensure that your password meets security standards, it should be a minimum of twelve characters. Re-use of previous passwords is not permitted.

If you have forgotten your password or need assistance in changing it please contact the IT Helpdesk ( The KAUST Supercompting Laboratory are unable to assist in this regard.

Please note that SSH access to Shaheen requires a a one time password (OTP) in addition to the normal password. This is further described later on in the chapter.