The SFU userid

The SFU UserID (SFU Computing ID) is used for authentication and in many other ways. Everyone in SFU has an SFU userid.

    it contains letters and digits only, and no other characters.
    it has maximum length of 8.


    many people confuse the SFU userid and the SFU email alias.
    many people confuse the SFU userid and the SFU ID, and the SFU email address.
    it doesn't help that the SFU userid is called different things in various SFU documentation.

Here, we try to clarify these terms.

And one important reminder: please only use your SFU Computing ID (not alias of any kind) for emailing in SFU.

What it's called... What it looks like... How it's used...
  • SFU ID
  • Student number
  • Emplid


(exactly 9 digits)

For identity, grades.
Not shared widely.
Used for login by applicants, not students.


(up to 8 letters & digits)

For login, along with your password.   *you must use Userid for Linux login in CS labs*
Contains only lowercase letters and digits and is 8 characters or less.
It's a unique string that identifies a computing account. Always include it when requesting technical support.
Used in your SFU email address.
You could be asked to use it in an assignment filename.
Login at to see it, at the top of the page.
  • SFU email
  • SFU Mail address
  • Email address

(userid + "")

For email communication.
Used by SFU, instructors, fellow students. 
Only letters and digits in front of "" in your SFU email address.
    No "_" (underscores) in your SFU email address.
    No "." (dots) in your SFU email address.
  • SFU email alias
  • Email alias
  • Email address


You also get an email alias, an alternate email, constructed from your names.
    An alias may have one or more "_" underscore characters;
    An alias may have one or more "." dots;
    An alias may have a number not in the userid.
The emails sent to your SFU email alias go to the same mailbox as your SFU Mail address.
The alias cannot be used for login to all SFU services such a Linux computers , so we recommend that you use your SFU UserID for login.



Changing the Display Name of an SFU Computing Account (userid)

Launch your web browser, start a new Private/Incognito/InPrivate window, and browse to SFU's directory service:

On this web page, click the "Login" button and login using your SFU credentials.

Once logged in, click the link "Edit My Entry" in the upper right.

On the Edit screen, please review your listing and fill in proper information as needed.


Please make sure the Display Name is correct (if this is for a role account, make it compliant with the standard).

For the "From" address in SFU Mail:  you may choose to use your alias, but please note that we recommend you use as your "From" address. This makes it easier to identify you when you email technical support.  If you choose to use an alias, please be sure to include your userid in any request for support.

If your preferred SFU email address is not in the pull-down list, you can enter it in "Other Email:" and "Save Changes", which adds it to the pull-down list of "From" addresses the next time you edit your listing.

When you are satified with the information, please click the "Save Changes" button.

After saving the changes, please wait for 24 hours and then ask your colleagues/friends to find you in SFU Mail by using the new/updated Display Name.

If you need further assistance, please contact us.


Using DAM (Delegated Account Management) to login as a role account

If given DAM access to a role account, you can login to it with your own password and OTP (SFU MFA) code. 

You may want to work in a different web browser or in a private/incognito browser window when logging in as a role account.

On the CAS login page, enter the username in the format of ":myuserid" (a colon in front of your personal SFU userid) as shown here, and when prompted, give your password and your  OPT (SFU MFA) code:

After entering your password and OTP (SFU MFA) code, you are presented with a page like this:

Now, please select the role account you need to work as currently, and click the "Sign In" button.


You can also logon with "roleaccount:myuserid" as the username and your password and OTP (SFU MFA) code.

Last updated @2024.05.22