ROAR User Guide   »   File Transfers
Feedback [ + ]

File Transfers

Globus is a web-based file transfer tool. With Globus, users can easily, reliably, and securely transfer data to and from RC. The recommended file transfer method for RC is Globus. The Files tab on the RC Portal is also very convenient for transferring files. For small-scale file transfers to/from RC, the submit nodes (hostname can be used. When specifying a file location, it is best to use the full file path.



It is recommended to use Globus for file transfers, especially for files that are multiple GBs in size or larger. Also, if issues due to an unreliable connection arise, transferring via Globus may be a good option. Globus is a file transfer tool that automates the activity of managing file transfers, such as monitoring performance, retrying failed transfers, recovering from faults automatically whenever possible, and reporting status.

Globus endpoints must be installed on both the source and destination systems. RC has Globus endpoints available.


RC Endpoint:

RC Archive Endpoint:


To transfer files with Globus, visit the Globus website and log in as a Penn State user with your Penn State access account. Select the File Manager tab on the left side of the Globus web interface and select the source and destination endpoints. The endpoints may require an additional login. The files and locations for the transfer can be selected graphically, and the transfer can be initiated by selecting Start above the source endpoint file preview window. The transfer will be handled by Globus, and typically, successful completion of the transfer will generate an email to your Penn State email.

Users can also download files from RC to their local device or upload files directly from their local device to RC using simple web interface operations. To download a file, right-click the file and select Download. To upload a file, select Upload from the Pane 1 Menu on the right.

Globus provides detailed instructions on the following topics: – Log in and transfer files – Install and configure Globus Connect for Linux – Install and configure Globus Connect for MacOSX – Install and configure Globus Connect for Windows


Files Tab on Roar Collab Portal

The Files tab on the RC Portal offers a very intuitive interface for file management. Files can be moved, edited, uploaded, and downloaded with relative ease using this utility. Users should limit the use of the RC Portal file manager utility to dealing with small files only.



Users may use the scp command to transfer files to and from RC. It is typically practical to zip files together when transferring many files at once. In a terminal session, the scp command can be used to transfer files in the following way:


$ scp [options] <source-user-id>@<source-host>[:<file-location>] <destination-user-id>@<destination-host>[:<file-location>]


Some examples will make the usage more clear. The two locations in this example are the directory /home/abc on a local laptop device and the user scratch space on RC. If a file named local.file in /home/abc is to be transferred to a user’s scratch space, the user should run the following command from a terminal session on the local laptop:


# Transfer to RC scratch space
$ scp /home/abc/local.file <userid><userid>


Alternatively, if the user navigates to the /home/abc location on their local laptop, the command can be slightly simplified to


# Transfer to RC scratch space
$ scp local.file <userid><userid>


If a directory named datadir located on the user’s RC scratch space is to be transferred to the local laptop’s /home/abc directory, the user can run the following from a terminal session on the local laptop:


# Transfer from RC scratch space
$ scp -r <userid><userid> /home/abc/


Note that since a directory is being transferred, the -r option must be used for the scp command so both the directory and its contents are transferred. If the user navigates the terminal to the /home/abc directory to conduct the transfer, then the /home/abc/ in the above commands can be replaced with a single period . to denote the current working directory.


# Transfer from RC scratch space
$ scp -r <userid><userid> .


The sftp command can also be used to transfer files and is more useful when transferring multiple smaller files in a piecemeal fashion. This method allows for interactive navigation on the remote connection. From a local device, an sftp connection can be made with


$ sftp <userid>@<remote-host>[:<location>]


To spawn an sftp connection on RC, use


$ sftp <userid>


After the sftp connection is made, navigational commands (i.e. lscd, etc) are performed on the remote connection normally, while navigational commands are performed on the local connection by appending the letter l (lowercase L) to the commands (i.e. llslcd, etc). Files are transferred from the local device to the remote device using the put <filename> command, and files are transferred from the remote device to the local device using the get <filename> command. The connection is terminated with the exit command.



Yet another file transfer option is rsync. The rsync tool is widely used for backups and mirroring and as an improved copy command for everyday use. The rsync command takes the form

$ rsync [options] <source-user-id>@<source-host>[:<file-location>] <destination-user-id>@<destination-host>[:<file-location>]