What is SFTP?

SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) is an encrypted file transfer method used to move files between your local computer and a file server.

When you are logged into a Lab computer, files that you save onto the hard drive will not remain after you log off of that machine. SFTP is especially helpful in storing files if you do not have a disk with you on which to save them and/or your personal drive is not mapped. Once your files are stored using SFTP, you may later retrieve them to use on another computer.

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About your Home Directory

As a student of the University of Texas at Dallas, you are allotted 1 GB of storage space in your home directory. Your home directory already has several different types of files and folders. Included are your web folders, storage data, and personal preferences.

If you would like to access your Home Directory from off-campus using sftp, you will need to connect to giant.utdallas.edu while connected to the VPN or connect to pubssh.utdallas.edu

Public SSH: Pubssh Is a public-facing SSH/SFTP server. Although the UTD VPN is not needed to access pubssh you will need to use NetIDplus two factor authentication in order to login. The hostname is pubssh.utdallas.edu, and the IP address is 129.110.182.20.

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Use SFTP on Windows

These are the instructions for using SFTP to move files between your local computer and a file server on Windows. The Windows computers located in the Labs offer SFTP through a program named WinSCP.

If you do not already have access to WinSCP, you can download it at www.winscp.net. After downloading the program, follow the instructions below.

Step 1

  • Open WinSCP.
  • Enter giant.utdallas.edu for the Host Name.
  • Enter your NetID in the Username field.
  • Enter your Password in the Password field.
  • Click Login.

Step 2

  • Two authentication windows will pop-up. Click Yes in both.
  • You can now drag-and-drop files between your PC and your home directory.

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Use SFTP on Mac

These are the instructions for using SFTP to move files between your local computer and a file server on Macintosh. Cyberduck is a commonly used free SFTP client for Mac computers. After downloading the program, follow the instructions below.

  • Open Cyberduck
  • Click Open Connection
  • Change the dropdown to SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol)
  • Enter the following information:
    • Server: giant.utdallas.edu
    • Username: Your NetID
    • Password: Your NetID Password
  • Click Connect
  • You can now drag-and-drop files between your pc and home directory.

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Use SFTP on UNIX

Using SFTP from any UNIX machine requires usage of the Terminal. It is assumed that you are familiar with basic UNIX commands. You can also refer to this about.com reference page for useful SFTP commands

To access your home directory using Terminal:

  • From Linux: Right-click on the desktop, select XShell >> Terminal.
    From Solaris: Right-click on the desktop, select Tools >> Terminal.
    From Mac OS X: Click on the spotlight search in the top right corner. Enter Terminal in the search and open it

  • Enter sftp giant.utdallas.edu.
  • A few helpful UNIX commands in use with SFTP are:
    • pwd – print working directory – displays current directory path
    • cd [directory] – change directory – changes current directory to [directory]
    • ls – list items in current directory

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