User Account Passwords

For NREL’s high-performance computing (HPC) systems, learn about user account password requirements and how to set up, log in, and change passwords.

Password Requirements

Your NREL HPC password will need to conform to a minimum set of password policies including complexity and length.



10 Character minimum

Longer is better!

1 or more lower case letters


1 or more Upper Case Letters


1 or more numbers


1 or more "special" characters

~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) [ ] { } < > \ / _ | + - = ` ' " ; : . , ?


There are checks to determine if your new password is too similar to a previous one.

Password Processes

Logging In the First Time

After you request an HPC user account, you'll receive a temporary password.  Set your password using our Password Management tool.

If you run into trouble, contact us. Please include your username and a phone number where we can reach you.

Changing Passwords

If you know your current password, we recommend using our Password Management tool to set a new password.  You may also use the passwd command from an SSH session if you prefer.

Forgotten Passwords

If you have forgotten your current password, please contact us and include your user name and phone number. We'll then reset your password.

Frequently Asked Questions

I've been using SSH keys. Do I need to reset my password?

Yes. Even if you have configured SSH keys to log into HPC systems, you still need to maintain your password for your account to remain active. Use the Password Management tool or passwd command to set your password.

How often must I reset my password?

Your password must be reset every six months (180 days). You can change it more often if you'd like.