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PennNames Service


A PennName is a username(*) which is unique to each individual at Penn. It may be used on multiple systems at Penn for that individual's accounts. The PennNames service supports migration to and maintenance of a common University namespace. It consists of a database, a set of system administrator tools, and basic polices to maintain the association between an individual and the individual's PennName.

(*) 2-8 lowercased letters or digits where the first character is a letter

Guaranteed Service Level

Generally, the PennNames server is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When a service outage occurs, ISC staff attempt to restore service as quickly as possible. During weekdays (Monday through Friday) from 8:00am through 5:00pm ISC staff are available to monitor, diagnose, and correct any system failures that might occur. After-hours support (University work days, 5:00pm to 11:30pm and Saturday 8:00am to 11:30pm) is performed remotely by on-call staff members. During all other hours ISC staff monitor and respond on a "best effort" basis only.

If you experience problems with a service, please contact your LSP so that he/she can escalate to ISC Client Care, if necessary. A trouble ticket will be opened and your LSP will normally receive a response within one working day.

Becoming a PennNames Sponsor

If you would like to use the PennNames System, please contact your computing director for his or her endorsement and referral to ISC. All requests must be channeled through computing directors -- no direct requests will be honored. Computing directors should make requests via email to You will need to supply the name and email address of a full-time Penn staff person to be the contact for your site. ISC will work with that staff person to select a sponsor name that represents your school or center. Please check the current list of PennNames sponsors to make sure that your school or center is not already a PennNames sponsor before making your request.

Getting the PennNames Client

Once your school or center has been registered as a PennNames sponsor, you may download the PennNames client, available at:

This is a restricted site and you will need to request authorization to download the client software. Please send email to for access to this resource.

Once you have downloaded the software, please review the package README for instructions on installing the client. A detailed description of the client command set and a sample Perl script that uses the client are available.

PennNames Web Client

In addition to the distributed PennNames client that one could install on the local server, we make available a web application that uses the PennNames API and provides full client functionality. This application is especially useful for the LSP who may not be responsible for creating accounts on a server but who needs the ability to search PennNames for the current status of a PennName.

Access to the PennNames Web client is restricted. To request access, please contact ISC Client Care.


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