Transferring Files

Using SSH/SCP

Why use SSH/SCP/SFTP for file transfer?

scp and sftp both run over ssh and are thus encrypted. There are implementations available for all common operating systems including Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.

Important Usage Notes

  • You may not use FSL storage for personal use. We are not a personal or department backup storage solution.

Large Transfers

  • Large transfers may fail due to CPU usage limits on interactive nodes. For this reason we have set up a server for file transfer over scp, sftp and rsync. If you are transfering large files, use scp.fsl.byu.edu as the host in order to avoid such problems.

Windows

  • GUI:
    • Download and install WinSCP.
      • Host: ssh.fsl.byu.edu
      • Enter your username and password.
    • Bitvise Tunnelier is a good alternative.
  • Command Line:
    • None

Linux

  • GUI:
    • Start Nautilus
    • Press Ctrl+L to see the location bar
    • Enter sftp://yourusername@ssh.fsl.byu.edu
  • Command Line:
    • Start Terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal)
    • To copy files from your computer to the supercomputers
      • Type scp local_filename yourusername@ssh.fsl.byu.edu:/fslhome/yourusername/
    • To copy files from to the supercomputers to your computer
      • Type scp yourusername@ssh.fsl.byu.edu:/fslhome/yourusername/remote_filename .

Max OS X

  • Command Line:
    • Start Terminal (Applications->Utilities->Terminal)
    • To copy files from your computer to the supercomputers
      • Type scp local_filename yourusername@ssh.fsl.byu.edu:/fslhome/yourusername/
    • To copy files from the supercomputers to your computer
      • Type scp yourusername@ssh.fsl.byu.edu:/fslhome/yourusername/remote_filename .
  • GUI:

More SCP Examples

More examples can be found here.

Samba Usage Information

What is SMB/CIFS?

SMB and CIFS are sometimes referred to as Windows File Sharing and several other names. We now offer a Samba server that exports /fslhome, /fslgroup, and user compute/ directories through SMB/CIFS. This allows users to access their data on our servers using built-in file managers for different operating systems, such as Windows Explorer. For more information see Wikipedia.

Important Usage Notes

  • You must change your password before using this if you signed up for an account before September 30, 2010 and have not changed your password since then. You can change your password to something temporary and immediately change it back if desired.
  • On-campus access only (or through VPN if available to you).
  • Conversion between DOS/Unix newline characters is NOT automatic (see "Caveats" below).
  • You may not use FSL storage for personal use. We are not a personal or department backup storage solution.

Connection Information

Read Caveats before attempting, especially the parts regarding changing your password and the fact that you cannot access our samba server from off-campus. The table below lists information for how to connect with different clients on different operating systems.

Available Share Syntax
fslhome Windows: \\cifs.fsl.byu.edu\fslhome\yourusername
Mac OS X and Linux: smb://yourusername@cifs.fsl.byu.edu/fslhome/yourusername

Below are directions to access this share using different operating systems.

Operating System Program Description
Windows 2000 and later Windows Explorer
or
Start->Run
Enter in the location bar:
\\cifs.fsl.byu.edu\fslhome\yourusername

In Explorer, you can map the share to a driver letter such as S:\ by going to Tools->Map Network Drive. You will probably need to choose "Connect using a different user name". For "Folder", type:
\\cifs.fsl.byu.edu\fslhome\yourusername
The above works on Windows XP SP2 but may be slightly different for other versions of Windows
Mac OS X Finder Open up Finder and select the "Go" menu. Choose "Connect to server" and enter in:
smb://yourusername@cifs.fsl.byu.edu/fslhome/yourusername
Linux (Gnome) Nautilus
or
Places->Connect to server
In Nautilus (the file manager) press Ctrl+L and type:
smb://yourusername@cifs.fsl.byu.edu/fslhome/yourusername

In the "Connect to Server" dialog, choose "Service Type: Windows Share", "cifs.fsl.byu.edu" for the server and "fslhome" for the share.
Linux (KDE) Konqueror In the location bar, go to:
smb://yourusername@cifs.fsl.byu.edu/fslhome/yourusername

Caveats

  • Files on Windows file systems cannot use the colon ":" character. Because of Samba's Windows roots, files generated on our systems that contain a colon in the filename will look something like JQ34PH~D when viewed over Samba.
  • Samba does not perform DOS/Unix newline character conversion for text files automatically. DOS (and thus Windows) files finish a line with a \r\n (carriage return followed by a line feed). Unix terminates lines with just a \n (newline). This causes problems when transferring files between operating systems and can sometimes lead to unexpected results. A text file generated in Linux may appear to only contain one really long line when viewed in Windows. A text file generated in Windows when viewed in Linux will contain the extra \r characters that may or may not produce unexpected problems. Compilers such as gcc tend to have big problems with files copied from Windows and will complain about syntax. See Wikipedia for more info. In Linux, the dos2unix and unix2dos utilities can convert between the two formats. Example on Linux:
    $ echo -e "this\nis\na\ntest\nfile" > test
    $ file test
    test: ASCII text
    $ unix2dos test
    $ file test
    test: ASCII text, with CRLF line terminators
    $ dos2unix test
    $ file test
    test: ASCII text
  • Samba access is only available on-campus.
  • You must change your password if your account was created between September 29, 2009 and September 30, 2010.

Troubleshooting

The server isn't accepting my password.
If your account was created between September 29, 2009 and September 30, 2010 haven't changed your password since then, you must change your password in the account management system. It can take up to 20-30 minutes before the password will propagate to the server. If there is still a problem after that time and you are on-campus, please check for alerts posted on the right side of this page and then submit a support ticket. Please mention that you have indeed changed your password as that will be our first question.
I can't access a new group folder but I can access other folders.
The cause of the problem is likely that you already connected to the Samba server, the new group was created, and then you tried accessing the group without your session being closed. Existing sessions will not see that you were just added to a new group. It is necessary to close all connections with the server and then reconnect. The method of doing this depends on your client program and might not be as simple as closing the program. Rebooting will fix the problem if nothing else does.
I can't access cifs.fsl.byu.edu at all.
You must be on-campus to access cifs.fsl.byu.edu. If you are on-campus and can't reach the server, please check for alerts posted on the right side of this page and then submit a support ticket.
Some filenames look like "JQ34PH~D".
Please look under the "Caveats" section of this page for problems related to filenames with the colon ":" character.
Text files copied from the Samba server to my Windows computer look like one very long line.
Please look under the "Caveats" section of this page for problems related to newline characters.
Text files copied from my Windows computer to the Samba server cause problems with Program XYZ even though the file looks fine.
Please look under the "Caveats" section of this page for problems related to newline characters.
Why do I have to change my password to use Samba?
SMB uses a different password hashing method (NT password hashes) that is not compatible with the Linux/Unix password hashes used on our systems. Since we do not store plaintext passwords in our database, we only have access to the one-way hashes that were generated when you last set your password. On June 4, we began to also hash passwords in the SMB format when users change their passwords or get an account. If you changed your password or signed up for an account on or after June 4, 2008, our server now has the correct kind of hash for Samba to work.