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Use scp To Transfer Files To and From OSG Connect


This tutorial assumes that you will be using a command line application for performing file transfers instead of a GUI-based application such as WinSCP.

We can transfer files to and from the OSG Connect login node using the scp command. Note scp is a counterpart to the secure shell command,ssh, that allows for secure, encrypted file transfers between systems using your ssh credentials.

When using scp, you will always need to specify both the source of the content that you wish to copy and the destination of where you would like the copy to end up. For example:

$ scp <source> <destination>

Files on remote systems (like an OSG Connect login node) are indicated using username@machine:/path/to/file.

Transfer Files To OSG Connect

Let's say you have a file you wish to transfer to OSG Connect named my_file.txt.

Using the terminal application on your computer, navigate to the location of my_file.txt.

Then use the following scp command to tranfer my_file.txt to your /home on OSG Connect. Note that you will not be logged into OSG Connect when you perform this step.

$ scp my_file.txt

Where NN is the specific number of your assigned login node (i.e. 04 or 05).

Large files (>100MB in size) can be uploaded to your /public directory also using scp:

$ scp my_large_file.gz

Transfer Directories To OSG Connect

To copy directories using scp, add the (recursive) -r option to your scp command.

For example:

$ scp -r my_Dir

Transfer Files From OSG Connect

To transfer files from OSG Connect back to your laptop or desktop you can use the scp as shown above, but with the source being the copy that is located on OSG Connect:

$ scp ./

where ./ sets the destination of the copy to your current location on your computer

Transfer Files Between OSG Connect and Another Server

scp can be used to transfer files between OSG Connect and another server that you have ssh access to. This means that files don't have to first be transferred to your personal computer which can save a lot of time and effort! For example, to transfer a file from another server and your OSG Connect login node /home directory:

$ scp username@serverhostname:/path/to/my_file.txt

Be sure to use the username assigned to you on the other server and to provide the full path on the other server to your file.

Get Help

For assistance or questions, please email the OSG Research Facilitation team at or visit the help desk and community forums.