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Uploading & Downloading Files

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Uploading & Downloading Files via Secure Copy

Please note that, for security reasons, you can upload and download files from OSCER resources via Secure Copy and Secure FTP only.

Table of Contents


Using WinSCP to transfer files

  1. Installation ON YOUR OWN PC
    • Point your browser to the WinSCP download page:
    • Near the top of the window, click on Download.
    • Scroll down to the most recent version of WinSCP that ISN'T labeled "alpha" or "beta" or "FAR Plugin."
    • Immediately below the version number, click on Installation package.
    • This will pop up a window to download the installation wizard, so choose to save it to your desktop (or wherever you like). When it's done downloading, you may need to click Close.
    • Go to where you downloaded the file to. You'll find an icon named either winscp###setup or winscp###setup.exe (except ### will actually be the version number). It'll look like a little computer and a CD.
      Or, your browser may offer you a link to the file automatically.
    • Double-click on the winscp###setup icon. This will start the installation wizard.
    • Follow the directions in the setup wizard. You'll probably be happiest with the Explorer-like interface.
    • After you've completed the installation, delete the winscp###setup file, either by moving it to your Recycle Bin, or by right clicking on it and selecting Delete from the menu.
  2. Running
    • To run WinSCP, just double-click on the WinSCP icon on your desktop.
    • This will pop up the WinSCP Login window. In the upper left, click on Session, which will take you to the Session section.
    • In the text box under Host name, type the name of the computer you want to move data to or from (for example,
    • In the text box under User name, type your username.
    • DON'T TYPE YOUR PASSWORD IN THIS WINDOW! Storing passwords on your PC entails BIG SECURITY RISKS.
    • Under Protocol, select SCP.
    • If you want to save this combination of host name and username, click Save. This will pop up a window titled Save session as; click OK.
    • Click Login.
    • If a window pops up that says something about the "host key" (or any yes/no question), click Yes.
    • A popup window will request your password for the machine that you're SCPing to. Enter it and click OK (or press the Enter key).
    • You'll now get a popup window that looks very similar to a regular Windows folder. You can move files to and from this window very much like how you move files to and from a regular Windows folder, except that, when you move a file, you may be asked whether to copy the file. Click Copy.

Using PSFTP to transfer files

  1. Point your browser to the PuTTY download page:
  2. Go to the first section of downloads, labeled Binaries and go to the For Windows on Intel x86 section.
  3. Right click on "psftp.exe," and from the menu select "Save Link As" (or something similar).
  4. Save "psftp.exe" to your Windows desktop.
  5. Now you can run PSFTP just by double-clicking on the PSFTP icon on your desktop.
  6. Here's how to get a file from, for example, to your desktop. What you type is in computer bold font.

      psftp> open
      [or the name of any of the OSCER machines]

      login as: yourusername
      [Replace yourusername with your username.]

      Store key in cache? (y/n) y's password:
      [Type your password; it'll be invisible as you type it.]

      psftp> cd directory_where_your_file_is_stored
      [Note that you'll replace this with the appropriate directory name.]

      psftp> ls

      psftp> get yourfilename
      [Note that you'll replace this with the appropriate filename.]

      psftp> quit

  7. The file should now be on your desktop.

Mac OS X

You can use the scp command on Mac OS X from the Unix command line.

The format of the scp command is:
Usually one or the other of SOURCE and TARGET are on a remote machine.

Here's how to copy a file from to your Mac:

On your Mac, having not connected to Schooner, type
scp   .
where yourusername is your username and yourfilename is the name of the file that you want to copy.
Be sure to include the period at the end of the command!
The period represents the TARGET of the scp, and it is interpreted as the current working directory on your Mac (since you ran the command on your Mac, not on Schooner).

Here's how to copy a file from your Mac to

On your Mac, having not connected to Schooner, type
scp   directory_of_your_file/yourfilename  
where yourusername is your username and yourfilename is the name of the file that you want to copy.

Unix / Linux

Follow the instructions for Mac OS X, above.