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This paper deals with channel acquisition and tracking for the uplink of direct-sequence code-division multiple-access systems. The transmission medium is characterized by multipath propagation, and the goal is to estimate the time-varying channel impulse response (CIR) for a new user entering the system. Channel acquisition is pursued through maximum-likelihood techniques. The resulting scheme may be too complex in some applications, as it requires the online inversion of a large matrix. Therefore, we also consider a simpler solution based on the least-squares (LS) criterion. Channel tracking is performed through weighted LS methods. At each signaling interval, the CIR estimate is updated using data decisions and exploiting the inverse of the interference covariance matrix to mitigate the near-far problem. Performance is assessed by simulation in a scenario inspired by the frequency-division duplexing component of the universal mobile telecommunications system. The acquisition/tracking algorithms are found to be resistant to multiuser interference and suitable for transmissions over fast-fading channels.