Data Transfer Guide

Transferring Files to DesignSafe's Data Depot

DesignSafe supports multiple ways of moving data in and out of the Data Depot – which one is best depends on how you will use DesignSafe. While the web interface in the DesignSafe portal is easy for moving small numbers of modest size files, if you need to move large volumes of data, large numbers of files (> 25) or move folders, the Globus, Cyberduck or Command Line tools are the recommended way of moving data in and out of DesignSafe.

This document details the various methods you can use to import and export your data from DesignSafe.

  • Globus bulk data transfer
  • Cyberduck
  • DRAG AND DROP/ file select from the browser
  • Integrating BOX.com
  • Integrating DROPBOX.com
  • Command-line Utilities


See the DesignSafe Globus Data Transfer Guide

If you need automated transfers using Globus, see the Globus CLI Automated Transfer Guide.

While the web interface in the DesignSafe portal is easy for moving small numbers of modest size files, if you to move large volumes of data, or large numbers of files or directories, the Globus tools are the recommended way of moving data in and out of DesignSafe.

Globus supplies high speed, reliable, asynchronous transfers to DesignSafe. Globus is fast, for large volumes of data, as it uses multiple network sockets simultaneously to transfer data. It is reliable for large numbers of directories and files, as it can automatically fail and restart itself, and will only notify you when the transfers are completed successfully.


Cyberduck is an open source graphical user interface tool to accomplish large data transfers.

See the Cyberduck Data Transfer Guide for more information on how to use this tool.

Browser-based File Upload to Data Depot

User can easily transfer files and directories to their "My Data" or to specific projects via web browser. Data Depot provides a user interface with a familiar desktop metaphor for manipulating files. The UI for a typical "My Data" window is shown in below.

  • Browser-transfer should be limited to 100 MB, 25 files and a few directories. For larger transfers, use Globus, Cyberduck or Command line tools.
  • Login to DesignSafe
  • Click Research Workbench and navigate to Data Depot
  • Navigate to the directory where you want your data to be uploaded (these areas are on the right-hand side. Folders are blackened and have a folder icon If no folder exists, create a new one by clicking "Add"


  • Add new folder
  • Give the folder a name and then click create folder
  • Choose the folder you want to use
  • Click Add
  • Choose the file upload or folder upload based on your data
  • NOTE: you may add another folder if needed. Subfolders are permissible
  • From the upload window, select the file(s) via a traditional "file manager" browser by clicking the "choose files" button
  • Once the upload is done, you can see your data in the work space

Browser-Based File Transfer to Data Depot.

  • Navigate to the "My Data" section
  • Click the box next to the file or folder you want to transfer is located


  • Click the "Move" or "Copy" button options at the top of the page


  • Move: Move the file to another directory and remove it from the My Data director



  • Note you can select more than one file to be moved
  • Once you have chosen the location: you will have 3 options


  • Select Name: Selecting another folder will bring you into that folder, allowing you to choose any other specific sub directories to drop the file or folder into.
  • Select Action: This will allow you to drop a file or folder into the folder without choosing if it belongs in a specific area of the folder.
  • Move to: This will move the file or folder directly to the surface tree of this directory.
  • Copy: Similar to the Move option, following the same directions, this will copy the selected files or folders to another directory, but leave copies in the current file location.
  • The "upload" button will open a separate form. From the upload window, you may select files via a traditional "file manager" browser by clicking the "choose files" button, or simply drag and drop files from your desktop into the "Drop files here" section. Once the upload is done, you can see your data in the work space.

Integrating Dropbox and Box.com with the DesignSafe's Data Depot

DesignSafe provides user the capability to connect to your favorite cloud storage provider. We currently support integrating your data from Box.com and Dropbox.com

Follow the steps below to integrate your Dropbox and/or Box.com accounts into DesignSafe portal:

At this point, your data is still in Box.com or Dropbox and is simply viewable. We do not actively sync your data. In order to use your data in DesignSafe, you will need to copy the data from Box or Dropbox into My Data or My Projects.

You are just copying the data to DesignSafe, which means original data still resides in Box or Dropbox. If you make any changes to those files in My Data or My Projects, it will not be replicated at Box or Dropbox. You can copy files back to Box or Dropbox from My Data or My Projects.

Command-Line Transfer Utilities

Users can take advantage of some common command line utilities such as scp, sftp, rsync to achieve higher performance and to transfer large amount of data seamlessly. Web browsers have some restrictions on transferring data on large volume. Command line utilities may come in handy in those situations. TACC requires Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for command line access. 

To use command line transfers, you must first have an allocation on Corral (or the relevant storage resource). DesignSafe access alone is not sufficient.


Data transfer from any Linux system can be accomplished using the scp utility to copy data to and from the DesignSafe. A file can be copied from your local system to the remote server by using the command:

scp filename username@data.tacc.utexas.edu:/path/to/project/directory 

localhost$ scp test.txt siva@data.tacc.utexas.edu:/corral-repl/projects/NHERI/shared/username

The above command will transfer your files/folders to your home directory.

Consult the man pages for more information on scp.

localhost$ man scp


The rsync command is a reliable method to transfer files, especially if you transfer files in stages, as it compares files automatically to make sure that files in the source and destination are the same. It is recommended for users who need checksum method since it involves calculating checksum for each file to make sure that the transfer is complete and accurate.

Below is the usage of rsync command for transferring a file named "myfile.c" from the current location on your desktop to your project directory in the DesignSafe

localhost$ rsync myfile.c username@data.tacc.utexas.edu:/corral-repl/projects/NHERI/projects/project_id

The above command will transfer your files/folders to your specified project directory.

An entire directory can be transferred from source to destination by using rsync as well. For directory transfers the options "-avtr" will transfer the files recursively ("-r" option) along with the modification times ("-t" option) and in the archive mode ("-a" option) to preserve symbolic links, devices, attributes, permissions, ownerships, etc. The "-v" option (verbose) increases the amount of information displayed during any transfer. The following example demonstrates the usage of the "-avtr" options for transferring a directory named "Nheri" from the current location on your desktop to DesignSafe's project area.

localhost$ rsync -avtr Nheri \

For more rsync options and command details, run the command "rsync -h" or:

localhost$ man scp
localhost$ man rsync

** If rsync is used as a mode of data transfer, existing data written to the staging area will be overwritten only if the contents change. Use --ignore-existing to change this behavior. If any other data transfer protocol is used, files or folders with an existing name will be overwritten.

Last update: August 15, 2017