To transfer files to the SCC, you will need a file transfer application that supports Secure Copy (scp) or the Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). There are numerous applications that support each of these protocols on each operating system. Select your operating system below for tailored instructions.

Select your operating system


On Microsoft Windows, an SFTP client must be downloaded to transfer files to the Shared Computing Cluster. This guide will use the “MobaXterm” application, which was also used in the connecting (ssh) and X-forwarding guides. Other common SFTP applications are listed below; all of these will work fine with the SCC.

SFTP Clients

File Transfer using MobaXterm

When you log in to a remote SCC session using SSH, a graphical SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) browser appears in the left sidebar allowing you to drag and drop files directly to or from the SCC using the SFTP connection. To manually open a new SFTP session:
  1. Open a new session

Note: Windows-based editors generally put an extra “carriage return” (also referred to as control-M/^M) character at the end of each line of text. This will cause problems for most Linux-based applications. To correct this problem, execute the built-in utility dos2unix on each ASCII file you upload from your Windows machine to the SCC:
    scc1% dos2unix filename}

Apple OS X

On Apple OS X, sftp is a built in utility on the command line. Still, most users prefer to use an SFTP applcation with a graphical user interface to facilitate data transfer. There are numerous applications available, this guide will use the “Fetch” application, for which BU has a site license.

Other FTP/SFTP Clients

  1. Fetch (BU Site License)
  2. FileZilla

Using Fetch for File Transfer

  1. Hold the <command> key down with your left hand and the space bar with your right hand; type Fetch followed by the <return> key. If nothing comes up, you must first install the Fetch application.
  2. Hold down the <command> key with your left hand and press the “N” key with your right. This action will open a new connection window. Enter these values, and then press the “Connect” button:
    Hostname: scc1.bu.edu
    Username: yourBULoginName
    Connect using: SFTP
    Password: yourBUKerberosPassword (click the “Add to keychain”
              checkbox if you want to store it)
  3. To copy a local file to the SCC, click on the “Put” button on the icon bar and then pick the file you want in the file selection dialog that opens. To copy a file from the SCC, highlight it with a mouse click in the main Fetch window, and then click on the “Get” button on the icon bar.


There are several ways to transfer files from a Linux machine to the Shared Computing Cluster (SCC). The easiest methods are available right from your command line.

File Transfer

  • SCP

    One way to transfer a file is to use the scp command, executed on your local machine:
    localMachine% scp LocalFile username@scc1.bu.edu:/path/to/destination
    Below is a specific example
    localMachine% scp hello_world.py yannpaul@scc1.bu.edu:/project/project/
    scp works like cp but uses ssh to connect, so you will be asked for your password again.

    localMachine% rsync -options hello_world.py yannpaul@scc1.bu.edu:/project/project/destination
  • FTP

    The file transfer protocol (ftp) and secure ftp protocol (sftp) are also built into Linux (command: lftp), but offer little benefit over scp and rsync. Still, some users prefer the graphical user interface provided by some FTP software packages. Many FTP clients are available for the various flavors of Linux.