Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata


This page presents information about how Home Groups in the UW Groups Service are set up and used.

About Home Groups

In the groups service a home group is a group with a UW Group ID which is used as a starting point for creating other groups, much like a home directory on a computer file system.  For example, if


is a home group, then


are examples of UW Group IDs based on that home group.  Note that UW Group IDs can have as many levels as needed, each with its own administrators, so a single home group can support organizations with multi-level structures, for example:


Choosing A Home Group

The choice of a home group is important to ensure that your groups can easily be identified, managed, and used appropriately throughout their life span. The choice influences searching and finding related UW Group IDs and their lifecycle and expiration.

Since a home group is the starting point for creating other groups, a single home group can support many purposes and many kinds of organizations, including those that organize their groups into multi-level subgroup hierarchies.

If the need arises in the future to transition between home groups (e.g. to support team or organizational renaming and rebranding initiatives), the difficulty and impact of doing so will depend on the number of groups under the original home group and on how well these groups are being managed and where they're being used.

Home Group Prefix Options

The groups service offers three options for naming and establishing new home groups:

  • based on the "uw" prefix and an organizational short name
  • based on the "u" prefix and a Shared UW NetID
  • based on the "u" prefix and your Personal UW NetID

These options relate to the naming prefix (or "stem") that identifies the home group and defines its anticipated life span.

Organizational Home Groups Using "uw" Prefix

The "uw" home group prefix is used for UW organizations.  Some example home groups using this stem are:

  uw_ischool (Information School)
  uw_law (School of Law)
  uw_nursing (School of Nursing)
  uw_f2 (Finance & Facilities)

Organizational home groups under "uw" generally use a short name or abbreviation already associated with the organization in other contexts such as a UW DNS domain, a web site name, a Nebula department short name, a UW Exchange resource name, etc.

Administrators designated by the organization are given access to manage the home group and any groups derived from it. They can then create subgroups and delegate access to their namespace further, as needed.

The "uw" home group prefix differentiates itself from the other prefixes where UW Group IDs are searched for and found and also in defining the anticipated lifecycle policy and expiration of related groups. Groups based on the "uw" home group prefix will be found along side of the UW Group IDs of other organizations that also use a "uw" home group prefix. The lifecycle of the home group and its subgroups are based on that of the requesting organization.

Organizational home groups under "uw" can be requested by any UW organization by emailing or created self-service by registered UW DNS subdomain contacts for the organizational short name matching their subdomain under or

Organizational Home Groups Using Shared UW NetIDs

Many UW organizations, programs, and teams use Shared UW NetIDs (known traditionally as supplemental accounts) to hold organizational resources such as web sites or email contacts.  Shared UW NetIDs can be used to set up home groups, as an alternative to a "uw" home group.  For example, a shared UW NetID "progabc" would have the home group "u_progabc". Some example home groups using this stem are:


If you are the administrator of a shared UW NetID, you can create a home group for it yourself using the Create a Group function of the groups service.  For example, if you are the administrator of the shared UW NetID "progabc", you can create the home group "u_progabc" and define its administrators. The lifecycle of the home group and its subgroups are based on that of the related Shared UW NetID.

Tip: Use the Shared UW NetIDs tab on the Manage UW NetID Resources service to check which Shared UW NetIDs you own and administer.

Personal Home Groups

You can also use a home group based on your Personal UW NetID.  For example, if your personal UW NetID is "bob234", your personal home group is "u_bob234".  You can create other groups based on this UW Group ID, for example "u_bob234_friends". 

Your personal home group is created automatically the first time you log in to the groups service via its web browser interface, so you don't need to create it yourself.

It is suggested that personal home groups be used only for personal purposes rather than organizational purposes, since access to these groups may be lost if the person changes their role or leaves the university.

Further References

To learn how home groups fit into the overall management of the UW Group ID namespace, refer to the UW Group Naming Plan.