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Copying Files Over The Network

General Notes

  • Although this page is written from the perspective of accessing your Maths files from your home computer, the same techniques can be used to connect to other computers simply by changing the server name.
  • To access Maths Windows shares, log into an RDS server via hotdesk or rdesktop (from a Linux machine or Mac).


Windows users can copy files over the net using the free program WinSCP. Once you have installed WinSCP, and connected to the CMS (use, and your username and password), a list of your files will be displayed in a window. You can copy them to your home machine by dragging them, or simply open them by double-clicking as you would for a local file. (N.B. This will not work for plain text files unless they have the extension .txt.)

WinSCP will often get confused if your .bashrc or .cshrc file produces any output. The best fix is to move the commands that produce the output to .bash_profile (for bash users) or .login (for csh/tcsh users). If all that is gibberish to you and you haven't edited any of those hidden files yourself, ssh/putty into a Maths machine and type /alt/bin/shellreset.

Configuration for WinSCP

Linux/Unix/MacOSX - command line

Linux and MacOSX users can copy files from the command line using scp. E.g. if I wanted to transfer a copy of my file UKPA.jpg to my home Linux computer I would type (on the home machine)

scp .

(the dot is important - it means "copy to the current directory"). You can copy a whole directory with "scp -r".

You can also use sftp which has a similar interface to ftp but is more secure, or rsync which is especially useful for keeping local and remote directories in sync. See the manual pages for details

A separate page describes how to transfer all your files from one Linux system to another.

Linux/MacOSX - graphical

MacOSX users can download the free graphical SFTP/SCP client Cyberduck.

Linux users can display their Maths home directory in a graphical window by opening nautilus and connecting to s - most versions of nautilus will allow you to type or paste the location directly if you hit CTRL-L to open the location box.

Enter the following information to make a connection:

Protocol: SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol)


Port: 22

Username: CRSid

Password: maths account password

You can then view, edit and copy your files as if they were on your local computer.