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Connecting to the CAE Lab File Server (Off-campus Windows Users)

The following instructions should help you to connect to the CAE Lab's central file server from locations outside of campus, assuming any recent version of Windows is installed on the local PC.

Instructions

The instructions for on-campus Windows users will not work off-campus, since the Tennessee Board of Regents blocks Windows file sharing from offsite locations. However, CAE Lab users who need access to their files from off-campus can still upload and download them easily using WinSCP or other programs that use the SSH (secure shell) protocol. The following instructions detail how to set up and use WinSCP for accessing your CAE Lab files.

The first time you start WinSCP, 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 WinSCP often, you'll want to save the session information for future use.

In the WinSCP Login dialog, enter files.cae.tntech.edu into the Host name text box. Enter your CAE Lab username into the User name text box. Click the Save button at the bottom of the dialog.

You can rename the default session name it offers (username@files.cae.tntech.edu) if you want, or you can leave it at the default. Regardless, click the OK button on the Save session as dialog.

Clicking the OK button returns you to the initial WinSCP dialog, but with your session information saved in the panel on the right.

Double-click the session entry, or else click on it once and click the Load button. WinSCP will start up a connection, and and if this is the first time you've used WinSCP on this computer to connect to the CAE Lab server, the following dialog will pop up:

Click the Yes button to accept the file server's encryption key. Then, when prompted, enter your CAE Lab password in the dialog box shown below and click the OK button.

If you entered the right password, WinSCP will show you a folder listing of your home directory, and of a directory stored locally (by default, the location of your My Documents folder).

WinSCP 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 WinSCP 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 Windows Explorer, the My Computer icon, or another method, and then dragging the remote file onto the local directory. Your other option is to navigate the left-hand and right-hand WinSCP panels to the desired local and remote directories, and then drag files from one side of WinSCP to the other.

But before copying any files up to the CAE Lab server, you should ensure that WinSCP 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. Select the Options menu at the top of the WinSCP window, and select Preferences. Click on the Transfer entry on the left pane, and click the Set permissions checkbox in the Upload options area.

Make sure that the permissions are set to the following:

  • Owner: checkboxes in the R and W entries.
  • Group: clear all checkboxes
  • Others: clear all checkboxes

then click the OK button. Now all files uploaded via WinSCP will be unreadable by all other CAE Lab users.

Now, if you drag and drop and file from your desktop or elsewhere onto the CAE Lab directory shown in WinSCP, you'll be presented with the following dialog:

Click the Copy button at the bottom of the screen to start the upload, and the following progress dialog will appear:

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. When you do, the following dialog will appear:

Click the Copy button at the bottom, and the following progress dialog will appear:


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