Transferring Files

IDSC systems support multiple file transfer programs such as FileZilla and PSFTP, and common command line utilities such as scp and rsync. Use cluster head nodes (login nodes) for these types of file transfers. For transferring large amounts of data from systems outside the University of Miami, IDSC ACS also offers a gateway server that supports SFTP and Globus.

Using command line utilities

Use cp to copy files within the same computation system. Use scp, sftp, or rsync to transfer files between computational systems (e.g., scratch space to Visx project space). When executing multiple instantiations of command line utilities like rsync and scp, please *limit your transfers to no more than 2-3 processes at a time.*


An example transfer might look like this:

[localmachine: ~]$ scp /local/filename \

To transfer a directory, use the -r flag (recursive):

[localmachine: ~]$ scp -r /local/directory \

Consult the Linux man pages for more information on scp.


The rsync command is another way to keep data current. In contrast to scp, rsync transfers only the changed parts of a file (instead of transferring the entire file). Hence, this selective method of data transfer can be much more efficient than scp. The following example demonstrates usage of the rsync command for transferring a file named “firstExample.c” from the current location to a location on Pegasus.

[localmachine: ~]$ rsync firstExample.c \

An entire directory can be transferred from source to destination by using rsync. For directory transfers, the options -atvr will transfer the files recursively (-r option) along with the modification times (-t option) and in the archive mode (-a option). Consult the Linux man pages for more information on rsync.


The rclone a command-line program that can be used to manage your file over SFTP. Rclone supports over 40 cloud storage backends, as well as standard transfer protocols like SFTP. This is a use case using rclone to migrate data from legacy storage to IDSC CES on using the default rclone on Pegasus, rclone v1.39.


$ ssh

[pdavila@login4 ~]$ rclone config
  No remotes found - make a new one
  n) New remote
  s) Set configuration password
  q) Quit config

  n/s/q> n
  name> apex
  18 / SSH/SFTP Connection "sftp"
  Storage> 18
  SSH host to connect to
  Choose a number from below, or type in your own value
  SSH username, leave blank for current username, pdavila

  user> pdavila
  SSH port, leave blank to use default (22)

  SSH password, leave blank to use ssh-agent.
  y) Yes type in my own password
  g) Generate random password
  n) No leave this optional password blank
  y/g/n> y

  Enter the password:
  Confirm the password:
  Path to unencrypted PEM-encoded private key file, leave blank to use ssh-agent.
  Enable the user of the aes128-cbc cipher. This cipher is insecure and may allow plaintext data to be recovered by an attacker..
  Choose a number from below, or type in your own value
  1 / Use default Cipher list. "false"
  2 / Enables the use of the aes128-cbc cipher.  "true"

  Remote config
  host =
  user = pdavila
  port =
  pass = *** ENCRYPTED ***
  key_file =
  use_insecure_cipher =
  y) Yes this is OK
  e) Edit this remote
  d) Delete this remote
  y/e/d> y
  Current remotes:

  Name                 Type
  ====                 ====
  apex                 sftp

  e) Edit existing remote
  n) New remote
  d) Delete remote
  r) Rename remote
  c) Copy remote
  s) Set configuration password
  q) Quit config
  e/n/d/r/c/s/q> q

[pdavila@login4 rclone]$ rclone lsd apex:/
  -1 2022-06-08 12:40:30        -1 hpc
  -1 2022-06-13 17:25:44        -1 schurerlab

[pdavila@login4 rclone]$ rclone mkdir apex:/schurerlab/pdavila

Note: Because rclone copy command can take hours to complete, we recommend you use the screen command when running rclone interactively. This way the sync will not terminate prematurally, should your ssh session end.

[pdavila@login4 ~]$ screen
[pdavila@login4 ~]$ rclone copy /projects/ccs/schurerlab/cheminfo/pdavila apex:/schurerlab/pdavila
[pdavila@login4 ~]$ rclone lsd apex:/schurerlab/pdavila/apps/
  -1 2022-06-23 10:36:21        -1 bin
  -1 2022-06-23 10:36:21        -1 ffmpeg
  -1 2022-06-23 10:36:21        -1 firefox
  -1 2022-06-23 10:36:21        -1 wget

Using FileZilla

FileZilla is a free, user friendly, open source, cross-platform FTP, SFTP and FTPS application.

Download the FileZilla client here: and follow the installation instructions for the appropriate platform (

Launch FileZilla and open File : Site Manager.

Click the “New Site” button and name the entry. Pegasus example:

Host: | | (CES)
Protocol:   SFTP
Logon Type: Normal
enter your username and password

Selecting Logon Type: Ask for password will prompt for a password each connection.FileZilla Site Manager

Remeber Pegasus and Apex use your IDSC account for authentication. Triton uses your CaneID.

Click the “Connect” button. Once connected, drag and drop files or directories between your local machine and the server.

Using the gateway server

To transfer large amounts of data from systems outside the University of Miami, use the gateway server. This server supports SFTP file transfers. Users *must be a member of a project* to request access to the gateway server. E-mail to request access.


protocol:  SFTP
user:    caneid
pw:  [UM caneid passwd]
Folder: download/<projectname>

Open an SFTP session to the gateway server using your IDSC account credentials:

[localmachine: ~]$ sftp
sftp> cd download
sftp> mkdir <project>
sftp> cd project
sftp> put newfile