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SFTP Instructions

What is SFTP

SFTP storage is intended for sharing scientific datasets. SFTP is a protocol for the secure transfer of large files across the internet. For administrative documents, meeting notes, etc please use the HIRN Document Repository instead.

When to Use SFTP

Sometimes its not convenient to share larger files or datasets via email. Use the HIRN SFTP site to share these files with those in your consortium, or with those across all of HIRN.


You will need two things to access the HIRN SFTP site.

1. A HIRN account. This is the same account given to you to access resources on If you do not have an account or are unsure how to access your account, please click here :

2. A suitable SFTP client. We recommend FileZilla. You can download the FileZilla client here: Please familiarize yourself with the FileZilla documentation if you are not familiar with this application.

Logging In

Assuming you already have an account, enter "s" in the host field, your assigned username in the Username field, and your password in the password field. Enter "22" in the port field, and click QuickConnect. This will initiate the ftp login sequence.

If it is your first time logging in, you will be prompted to have Filezilla remember your password. Selecting this option will make it easier to login in the future.

Upon your first login, you will also be prompted to trust the FTP server's host key. Check the box "always trust this host" and click OK.

Upon clicking OK, you will be logged into the system. If this process was successful, you will see the following status in Filezilla:

Using FileZilla

Upon successfully logging in, you will be greeted with a list of folders - one for each consortium, and a shared folder. By default everyone will have read/write permissions in the shared folder and read/write permissions for the particular consortium(s) you belong to. As it's name implies, the shared folder is intended to share datasets across all FTP users. You will not have read or write permissions for folders belonging to consortia you are not a member of

Directory Structure Explained

FileZilla divides files/folders on your local machine on the left, and files/folders on the remote FTP site on the right.

On the right pane you will see 3 folders:

  • a folder for your consortium - This is where you share files with your consortium
  • a folder called "SharedOpen". This is where you share files with all HIRN investigators
  • a folder called "SharedProtected" From time to time there will be a need to share files with specific investigators. These shares will be created here. If you need such a share, open a helpdesk ticket.

To Upload a File

1. Navigate to the destination folder on the right pane where you want your file to go.

2. Navigate to the source folder on your local machine where the file lives.

3. Drag the file from the source folder to the destination folder.

If the file transfer initiates, you will see something like this:

To Download a File

1. Navigate to the destination folder on the left (your local machine) where you want to download the file.

2. Navigate to the source folder on the right that contains the file you want to download.

3. Drag the file from right to left.

After any file transfer, you can click on the successful transfers tab at the bottom to verify completion.