Accessing UCSF Box #

It is possible to access UCSF Box using FTP over a secure SSL connection (FTPS). The below instructions works from the Wynton HPC data-transfer nodes as well as your local computer.

It is also possible for UCSF Users to access UCSF Box via the UCSF Wynton HPC Box Connector. For details on how to utilize the UCSF Wynton HPC Box Connector see the Globus File Transfers page on our website.

Prerequisites #

In order to do access UCSF Box as describe below, you need to:

Accessing UCSF Box over FTPS #

With a UCSF Box-specific password (see above), you can use, for instance, the lftp or curl tools to access to your UCSF Box account. Start by logging in to one of the data-transfer nodes, either directly from outside or via a login node, e.g.

[alice@log1 ~]$ ssh dt1
alice1@dt1:s password: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
[alice@dt1 ~]$ 

Then, verify that your UCSF Box setup is correct by logging into the root of your UCSF Box folder using your UCSF Box-specific password (not your Wynton HPC password):

[alice@dt1 ~]$ lftp --user ftps://
Password: XXXXXXXX  <== UCSF Box password here!
lftp> ls
drwx------  1 owner group     0 Jun 12  2014 Grant_R01.pdf
drwx------  1 owner group     0 Sep 30  2016
lftp> exit
[alice@dt1 ~]$ 

Automatic authentication #

When starting lftp as above, you need to manually enter your password, which can be tedious or even prevent automatic file transfers in batch scripts. A solution to this is to set up the FTPS credentials in ~/.netrc. Here is what it could look like:

[alice@dt1 ~]$ cat ~/.netrc
        password AliceSecretPwd2017

Since the password is fully visible in plain text, make sure to keep this file private at all times, otherwise users on the system can see all your credentials, i.e.

[alice@dt1 ~]$ chmod 600 ~/.netrc
[alice@dt1 ~]$ ls -l ~/.netrc
-rw------- 1 alice alice 72 Jul  3 15:10 /wynton/home/boblab/alice/.netrc

To verify that the automatic authentication works, try to log in again. You should no longer be prompted for your password - instead lftp gets it automatically from ~/.netrc. For example:

[alice@dt1 ~]$ lftp --user ftps://
lftp> ls
drwx------  1 owner group     0 Jun 12  2014 Grant_R01.pdf
drwx------  1 owner group     0 Sep 30  2016
lftp> exit

Note that curl also recognizes ~/.netrc credentials, e.g.

[alice@dt1 ~]$ curl --netrc -O ftps://
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100 15.6M  100 15.6M    0     0  1561k      0  0:00:10  0:00:10 --:--:-- 3918k
[alice@dt1 ~]$ ls -la Grant_R01.pdf
-rw-r--r-- 1 alice cluster 16453180 Jul 10 21:13 Grant_R01.pdf

To upload a file, we can do:

[alice@dt1 ~]$ curl --netrc --upload-file notes.txt ftps://