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Transferring Data with SFTP via a Command Line Tool and Desktop Apps

SFTP is the standard secure data transfer protocol that has been widely used. CyVerse added SFTP interface to the Data Store using SFTPGo. SFTP enables data access from a variety of computing environments. This means users can access their home and public folders in the CyVerse Data Store from their local computers using any SFTP-enabled applications such as OS built-in command-line tool, Cyberduck, and FileZilla. With SFTP, users can copy file between their local computer and the Data Store easily.


SFTP Access Information

Use following information to access the SFTP service:

host name port # username password
data.cyverse.org 22 CyVerse Username CyVerse Password

Note

You can configure public-key authentication, that allows logging in without password. Please refer Public-key Authentication Section below.


Accessing through OS Built-in SFTP command-line tool

Most Operating Systems have built-in SFTP command-line tool, sftp. You can use sftp to access CyVerse Data Store.

Accessing with CyVerse user account

Open a terminal and type following command. Specify your CyVerse username in front of the host name. <username> is your CyVerse Username

sftp <username>@data.cyverse.org

If you haven't configured public-key authentication previously, the command will prompt CyVerse password.

There will be two sub-directories in the root directory:

directory description
<username> Your CyVerse Data Store home dir (read & write)
shared Public data dir (read only)

Anonymous public data access

If you want to login with anonymous user for public data access only, use below command. The anonymous login does not ask password.

sftp anonymous@data.cyverse.org

With anonymous access, you have read-only access to shared directory, that contains public data.

Available SFTP commands

command description
cd path Change remote directory to path
lcd path Change local directory to path
pwd Display remote working directory
lpwd Print local working directory
ls [-1afhlnrSt] [path] Display remote directory listing
lls [ls-options] [path] Display local directory listing
mkdir path Create remote directory
lmkdir path Create local directory
rmdir path Remove remote directory
rm path Delete remote file
rename oldpath newpath Rename remote file
get [-afpR] remote [local] Download file
put [-afpR] local [remote] Upload file
version Show SFTP version
help Display help text
exit Quit sftp

Accessing through Cyberduck

Cyberduck is a 3rd party software (available as freeware) tool that allows you to drag-and-drop large and/or multiple files between your MacOS-based local computer and the Data Store. Cyberduck can also be used to rename files and browse other shared or public Data Store locations.

Download Cyberduck

Download Cyberduck at the Cyberduck Website. Follow the installation instructions for your operating system.

Accessing with CyVerse user account

  1. Open the installed Cyberduck.
  2. Click Open Connection icon.
  3. Select SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol).
  4. Input data.cyverse.org in the field Server and 22 in the field Port.
  5. Input your CyVerse username in the field Username.
  6. Input your CyVerse password in the field Password.

You should now be connected to the CyVerse Data Store and viewing the following directories:

directory description
<username> Your CyVerse Data Store home dir (read & write)
shared Public data dir (read only)

You can drag and drop files to upload or download files.

Anonymous public data access

You can login with anonymous user for public data access only.

  1. Open the installed Cyberduck.
  2. Click Open Connection icon.
  3. Select SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol).
  4. Input data.cyverse.org in the field Server and 22 in the field Port.
  5. Input anonymous in the field Username.

You should now be connected to the CyVerse Data Store and viewing the following directories:

directory description
shared Public data dir (read only)

You can drag and drop files to download files.


Accessing through FileZilla

FileZilla is a 3rd party software (available as freeware) tool that allows you to drag-and-drop large and/or multiple files between your local computer and the Data Store. FileZilla can also be used to rename files and browse other shared or public Data Store locations. Unlike Cyberduck, FileZilla runs on any modern OSes, including MacOS, Linux, and Windows OSes.

Download FileZilla

Download FileZilla at the FileZilla Website. Follow the installation instructions for your operating system.

Accessing with CyVerse user account

  1. Open the installed FileZilla.
  2. Input data.cyverse.org in the field Host and 22 in the field Port.
  3. Input your CyVerse username in the field Username.
  4. Input your CyVerse password in the field Password.
  5. Click Quickconnect icon.

You should now be connected to the CyVerse Data Store and viewing the following directories:

directory description
<username> Your CyVerse Data Store home dir (read & write)
shared Public data dir (read only)

You can drag and drop files to upload or download files.

Anonymous public data access

You can login with anonymous user for public data access only.

  1. Open the installed FileZilla.
  2. Input data.cyverse.org in the field Host and 22 in the field Port.
  3. Input anonymous in the field Username.
  4. Leave the field Password empty.
  5. Click Quickconnect icon.

You should now be connected to the CyVerse Data Store and viewing the following directories:

directory description
shared Public data dir (read only)

You can drag and drop files to download files.


Configuring public-key authentication

If you were able to login with your CyVerse username and password, you can configure public-key authentication for more secure and password-less authentication.

This guide only covers how to configure and access public-key authentication using sftp, the OS built-in command-line tool.

Create a public/private key pair

If you don't have a public/private key pair, you need to create one. Before run following command, please check if ~/.ssh/id_rsa and ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub files exist. If they exist, you already have the key pair.

ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "`hostname`" -f ~/.ssh/id_rsa -P "" -q

The command will generate id_rsa (private key) and id_rsa.pub (public key) under ~/.ssh directory.

Create authorized_keys file

authorized_keys file contains a list of public keys that can login. Type following command to create a new authorized_keys file to be uploaded to CyVerse Data Store.

cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub > authorized_keys

To add more public keys to allow login, type following.

cat <other_public_key> >> authorized_keys

Upload authorized_keys file to CyVerse Data Store

The authorized_keys file needs to be uploaded to CyVerse Data Store for authentication. Using any SFTP clients, upload the authorized_keys file to .ssh directory under your CyVerse Data Store home dir.

Note

The .ssh directory should be already created when you first log-in using SFTP. If not, create a new directory. Currently, CyVerse Data Store does not check access permissions of the .ssh directory and authorized_keys file.

First, login with your CyVerse username and password.

sftp <username>@data.cyverse.org

Second, upload the authorized_keys file to .ssh/ and quit sftp.

sftp> put authorized_keys <username>/.ssh
sftp> exit

Third, re-login using the public-key.

sftp <username>@data.cyverse.org

Advanced configuration of public-key authentication

The authorized_keys file contains a list of public keys that can login. You can set options for the public keys in the authorized_keys file for more controls.

Available options

option description example
expiry-time Set expiry time of the key.
Must be in "YYYYMMDD", "YYYYMMDDHHMM", or "YYYYMMDDHHMMSS" format
expiry-time="20221231"
from Allow or reject access by client IP. Set filters as a COMMA-SEPARATED STRING.
IP filter must be any of following:
- Exact IP (e.g., "10.11.12.13")
- IP with wildcard (e.g., "10.11..")
- IP mask (e.g., "10.11.12.0/24")
If nothing is given, default is all-opened ("*")
To reject, add "!" in front of the filter string.
from="!10.11.12.13,*"
home Set a collection path to be mounted as a home dir. Provide absolute path including zone name. If not, it is treated as a relative path from the user's CyVerse Data Store home dir. home="/iplant/home/<username>/newhome

Set options to a public key

To set options for a public key in the authorized_keys file, add the options in front of the public key as a comma-separated string. Do not add a space or a tab between options.

An example that allows login using a public-key from host 10.11.12.13 by 2023/12/31, can access only /iplant/home/<username>/newhome directory.

expiry-time="20231231",from="10.11.12.13",home="/iplant/home/<username>/newhome" ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAADAQABAAABAQDmUOJiMgmEC61npfQnYMVWhA7rGFRp1cZZ4gKV4r8Okdj7W5NLPAQW9M+.......3HZJSA2lD17SyPOjU6ire7ajIMeEoniZEtnqc4DrKNZBZ2flnkDIbcyS/57 <username>@virtual-machine

Note

The options are only checked during user authentication, therefore, changing them do not affect to users/clients already logged-in.


Acknowledgments

The SFTP support to Data Store is implemented by using SFTPGo. SFTPGo is an open-source, fully featured, highly configurable SFTP server authored by Nicola Murino. SFTPGo supports several storage backends such as local filesystem, S3 Object Storage, Google Cloud Storage, and Azure Blob Storage. CyVerse was able to add the SFTP support for Data Store by implementing a new backend module for iRODS. Many thanks to the project and the author.


Last update: 2023-01-27