// File Transfer from User to the Discover cluster

For security reasons it is highly recommended that users transfer files between local workstations and either Discover or Dirac (mass storage), using the Bastion Service Direct Mode.

For Command-Line Users

First make sure you have already completed the configuration step in your .ssh/config for proxied connections (Direct Mode). Then you can transfer files, such as data sets or application files, directly to Discover or Dirac from your terminal.

In standard bastion configurations, you can run the following: $ scp /my/file.txt userid@discover.nccs.nasa.gov:/target/directory

You will be asked to provide both your PASSCODE and your NCCS Password for all scp commands.

If rsync is available on your client, it might be a better alternative to scp because say if there is a network issue, you can still finish a given transfer (and it should work with the standard bastion configuration for ssh). For example: $ rsync -av --progress --partial /my/file.txt userid@discover.nccs.nasa.gov:"/target/directory"

If the file transfer fails and --partial is set, the target file will be named as the actual file name (i.e. FileYouAreSending.txt), even though the file isn't complete. You can later complete the transfer by running rsync again with either --append or --append-verify: $ rsync -av --progress --append /my/file.txt userid@discover.nccs.nasa.gov:"/target/directory"

For more assistance with either of these commands run "man scp" or "man rsync" to see their manual pages.


MobaXterm is recommended for Windows users because its built in scp/rsync is similar to Linux/MacOS configurations.

Download MobaXterm

1) If you have not yet enabled local terminal in Moba: Go to settings -> Misc , and select "Terminal" for the "Open the following tab at startup" field. Click OK. If Moba requires a plug-in download, it will prompt you for it. Once downloaded, restart your Moba. Now you should see a terminal upon launch within the application window.

2) The new plug in will allow you to use scp, rsync, and other file copy utilities. You may verify if you can use the utility by running: "man scp", or "man rsync". This will open the manual pages for the commands, which will provide further documentation for the command entered.

3) Test file transfer by running either: $ scp /my/file.txt userid@discover.nccs.nasa.gov:/target/directory
$ rsync -av --progress /my/file.txt userid@discover.nccs.nasa.gov:"/target/directory"

It will ask for your credentials (RSA Token and NCCS Password) and display the transfer status. Now ssh to adaptlogin in Moba and verify that the file was transferred successfully.

For WinSCP users

This video instructional describes how to perform a secure file transfer between the Discover systems and a local windows workstation. The user will be given instruction on how to download and install the PuTTy terminal emulator software as well as the WinSCP secure GUI file transfer utility necessary to accomplish file transfers.

Users are highly encouraged to use the new versions of Putty 64-bit (0.70) and WinSCP (5.13.3)

  1. Use configuration files to automatically connect to discover, discover-nastran, etc.
    Download and use the following configuration files to automatically fill in required settings that will enable you to safely connect to the NCCS systems. These files can be found under Tools→Import/Restore. The INI file does not include usernames which the user will need to supply themselves (NASA AUID).
    Note: These INI files assume that Putty is installed in the default location for Windows 10 64-bit.

    WinSCP requires the user to edit, update the "password" field on the Proxy tab with the current RSA Tokencode, which can be found under the advanced settings section. Once you have entered the passcode hit "ok" followed by "save" and then "open." This process needs to be repeated every time a user attempts to log into the systems.

    Note: If the user doesn't edit and update the RSA Tokencode they will lock out their RSA Token.

  2. Configure WinSCP as shown below, adding any other settings of interest, and then save the session. WINSCP session tab screen shot for demonstration
    Hostname NCCS-HOSTNAME 
    e.g., discover.nccs.nasa.gov  or dirac.nccs.nasa.gov 
    Username your NCCS userid
    Password _LEAVE_BLANK
    Advanced Options make sure to click to select
    Proxy Tab

    WINSCP proxy tab screen shot for demonstration
    Proxy Tab local
    Local Proxy Command "C:\\Program Files\\PuTTY\\plink.exe" -pw %pass -l %user %proxyhost direct %host
    (This assumes that plink.exe is found under C:\\Program Files\\PuTTY. Also note that "-l" in the command above is a "dash lowercase L". )
    Username your NCCS userid
    Password RSA Tokencode
    Proxy Hostname login.nccs.nasa.gov
    Do DNS name lookup at proxy end Yes
  3. Once you complete the configuration of WinSCP, here is how to launch WinSCP:
    • Open WinSCP
    • Load your saved session
    • Click on the proxy branch in the left pane
    • Enter your PASSCODE (RSA TOKENCODE) in the password field
    • Click Save, and then Login
    Note: A WinSCP feature request that asks for WinSCP to prompt for the proxy password if it is left blank is currently being tracked as bug #468, however the original bug was filed in 2009 so it's unclear how much traction it has at the moment.
    One caveat that is noteworthy to WinSCP users: once you have configured WinSCP as described above, do NOT launch PuTTY using the button embedded within WinSCP. Doing so will cause WinSCP to connect back to login.nccs.nasa.gov using a previously used PASSCODE resulting in a locked token. Launching the standalone PuTTY should always work fine.