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About the UVA User Database

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the LDAP Lookup

About the UVA User Database/LDAP Lookup/People Search

What is the UVA User Database?

The UVA User Database, sometimes called the “whois” database, is a database of information about all University of Virginia users, maintained by ITS.

It is populated with information from the UREG (the University’s Registrar’s Office), the SIS (Student Information System), the Hospital, Human Resources/Payroll, ITS, and other University administrative departments.

If you are a member of the UVA community, publicly-accessible information about you in the User Database will include your name, your classification (staff, student, faculty, etc.), your department, your telephone number, your Messenger Mail address, and your email address.

How Do I Access the User Database?

Members of the University community can look themselves or someone else up by using the UVA People Search. As of Aug. 2016, the main UVA Search (people and terms) does not return student information. If you are looking for this data, you will have the option to click a button on the results page that says "Find All People (Login Req)" and it will prompt you to log in via NetBadge. This will enable you to initiate a search that includes students and provides the more granular information. An "Advanced" search allows for refined searching by field (department, phone number, computing ID) and is also behind NetBadge.
Alternatively, you can run a whois command in UNIX.

How to Run a whois Command in UNIX

  • If you are on an ITS-maintained UNIX system, a whois command will access the database. At the command prompt on those machines, simply type: /uva/bin/whois [search_string] where [search_string] is one of the following:
    • A University computing ID (e.g. mst3k)
    • A last name (e.g. Smith)
    • A last name, a first name (e.g. "Smith, Joe") {use quotes!}
    • A University telephone number
    • A University-wide email alias ("jsmith@Virginia.EDU") {use quotes!}
    • A numeric UNIX User ID (e.g. 499)
  • If you are on a Linux machine that does not have the University’s whois client installed, you can use the following syntax to access the database: /usr/bin/whois -h whois.Virginia.EDU [search_string] The -h whois.Virginia.EDU option tells the client to use the University’s database.

How Often Is the UVA User Database Updated?

The database is updated nightly with new University staff, faculty, and student information from administrative records. As people leave the University, the system will automatically expire records. New email addresses and aliases appear in UVA User Database the morning after a user registers his or her email address. Telephone and Messenger Mail updates done by ITS or through the ITS Directory Update Service pages will be reflected immediately in the the User Database.

How Do I Update My Information in the UVA User Database?

Because the UVA User Database draws on data from many sources, the answer to this question varies. You can update some of your information by changing it on the University of Virginia Directory Update Service.

But some fields cannot be changed this way—for example, the Database uses your official name as derived from University administrative records. So, for example, if you change your name due to marriage or other circumstances, then you should go to Human Resources/Payroll (if a faculty or a staff member) or to the Registrar’s Office (if a student) if you need to update your name information.

Still other fields of data need to be updated through either the Integrated System or the Student Information System.

If I Leave the University and Later Return, Will I Get My ID Back?

If you left the University anytime after 1991, more than likely you will get the same University computing ID (and UNIX UID) that you had before you left. (If you left before 1991, Academic Computing [a predecessor organization to the current ITS] had to purge the user database because of space constraints, so this may not be true for you.)

  Page Updated: Wednesday 2017-01-25 10:08:17 EST