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Connecting to the CAE Lab File Server (Off-campus Mac OS X Users)

The following instructions should help you to connect to the CAE Lab's central file server from locations outside of campus, assuming Mac OS X is installed on the local computer.


CAE Lab users who need access to their files from off-campus can upload and download them easily using Fugu or other programs that use the SSH (secure shell) protocol. The following instructions detail how to set up and use Fugu for accessing your CAE Lab files.

The first time you start Fugu, it will ask for the login information for your account on the lab's file server. You could enter it each time, but if you'll be using Fugu often, you'll want to save the session information for future use.

In the Fugu startup window, enter into the Connect to: text box. Enter your CAE Lab username into the Username text box. Click the Add to Favorites button at the bottom of the window.

Click the Connect button. Fugu will start up a connection, and if this is the first time you've used Fugu on this computer to connect to the CAE Lab server, the following dialog will pop up:

Click the Continue button to accept the file server's encryption key. Then, when prompted, enter your CAE Lab password in the Fugu window and click the Authenticate button:

If you entered the right password, Fugu will show you a folder listing of your home directory, and of a directory stored locally (by default, the location of your home folder that stores your Desktop, Documents, and other items).

Fugu supports drag-and-drop file operations, so you can easily find a file on your local system (on the desktop, or anywhere else), and drop it into your file server directory on the right-hand side of the Fugu dialog. Conversely, you can copy files from your CAE Lab account to any directory on your local system by opening up the destination folder with the Finder, and then dragging the remote file onto the local directory. Your other option is to navigate the left-hand and right-hand Fugu panels to the desired local and remote directories, and then drag files from one side of Fugu to the other.

But before copying any files up to the CAE Lab server, you should ensure that Fugu will not open up read access to other lab users. By default, all files stored on the CAE Lab server are unreadable by anyone other than their owner, but this can be overridden by other programs. If you want to ensure that your files uploaded via Fugu are not readable by any other users in the CAE Lab network, you have three options.

For the first option, you can set permissions for files after they're uploaded by right-clicking the file in the right side of the Fugu window, and then selecting the Get Info menu option.

This brings up a file information dialog that includes the basic permissions on the file as it is stored on the server. To prevent other users from viewing the file's contents, clear the checkboxes on the Group and Other entries in the Permissions frame at the bottom of the dialog, then click the Apply button.

The second option is to set the permissions on the local files before they are uploaded, and tell Fugu to not modify permissions during the upload. Select one or more files in Finder, right-click one, and select the Get Info menu. Expand the Ownership & Permissions panel, and the Details panel beneath it. Select No Access for both the Group and Others selections, and the close the Item Info dialog.

After doing this, go back to Fugu and select Preferences from the Fugu menu. Click the Transfers icon, and click the checkbox for Retain permissions and access times when transferring files. Any of the files that you selected in the previous step will now be uploaded such that no other lab users can read your files.

The third option is to tell Fugu to not modify permissions of files that it uploads or downloads as in the previous method, and also to set up OS X to automatically create files that are only readable by their owner, and not by others on the system. One program that can be used to set the default permissions is Tinkertool. Tinkertool recommends that you not restrict default file permissions when working under an administrative account, but to set up a separate non-administrative user account on the OS X system if needed. If you use Tinkertool, you can select its Permissions icon at the top of its window, and then click the checkboxes as follows:

  • Read file, Read folder -- Group: Don't allow; Others: Don't allow
  • Write file, Create or delete objects -- Group: Don't allow, Others: Don't allow

Changes to the default permissions made in Tinkertool will take effect on your next login.

Now, if you drag and drop a file from your desktop or elsewhere onto the CAE Lab directory shown in Fugu, it will be uploaded with no further action required. A progress dialog will pop up while the file is uploading, but will disappear when the upload is finished. You can also drag files from the left side of the Fugu window to the right side to upload them to the server.

File downloads are done in reverse. Find the file in the CAE Lab directory panel, and then drag and drop it into a local directory, such as your desktop. A progress dialog will appear while the file is downloading, but will disappear afterwards. You can also drag files from the right side of the Fugu window to the left side to download them from the server.

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