CIFS-Supported Personal Home Directories

CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a proven and reliable protocol for managing personal home directories. A personal home directory allows you to store and manage files for your personal, private use on Duke's centrally-managed storage infrastructure.If you have access to a group's shared space, use WebFiles to access the space.

Note: Personal home directories should not be confused with file sharing tools (such as Dropbox and, or department-managed file storage services.

You can access CIFS home directory files just as you would any local folder: as a mapped network drive on your Windows device or as a mounted device on Mac OS. Using an installed app on a mobile device, you can access your CIFS home directory as well. There is no Web client for CIFS home directories, since files are easily accessed and managed directly on your device.

Service benefits and details

Service features:

  • Twice daily backup "snapshots" which are retained for seven days, allowing you to recover files that changed up to seven days ago
  • Access from mobile devices (with an installed app)
  • Home directory maps/mounts like any other drive/device

Provisioning rules and storage limits:

  • All students are provisioned for CIFS; faculty and staff who would like to be provisioned should contact the OIT Service Desk
  • 5GB of storage space is provided; contact the OIT Service Desk to request more
  • Non-Duke persons (guests) are not eligible

Personal Web space (public_html)

Your CIFS personal Web space (public_html folder) is at (where NetID is your Duke NetID).

Network access

To connect to your CIFS home directory, your computer needs to be connected to the Duke network. If you're not connected to the Duke network, connect via the Virtual Private Network (VPN). The CIFS protocol encrypts authentication credentials (NetID and password), but not the data stream. If you're connecting from an unencrypted wireless network or from any other untrusted network, connect via the Virtual Private Network (VPN).