Transferring Data Between Home and CEC

[ Thanks to Philip Kimmey for modifications to this page ]

While some students do all of their CSE131 work at CEC, you may find it convenient to work at home.

File safety issues

An issue you must consider when working at home is the safety of the files you create and modify. You could accidentally delete files, or your home computer may experience an event that damages or wipes out your files.
You are responsible for ensuring your files' safety. CSE131 does not grant extensions or relief from assignments due to problems you have with your home computer.
An advantage of using CEC is that they take a snapshot of the entire file system every four hours. If you make a mistake, you can always restore a version of your files from one of those snapshots.

Working from home

If you want to work at home, you'll need a way to move files back and forth beween home and your CEC account. If you want to do some of your work at home, you have several options:
  1. Carry your data with you on a USB drive (or email it to yourself). This works, but you might forget, or you might accidentally leave your USB drive in one of the CEC computers.

  2. If you want to do the work on CEC remotely, you can use Remote Desktop Connection that lets you use CEC from home as if you were there. The advantage of this is that you don't move any files back and forth. Everything is always on CEC. However, the terminal server can be quite a bit slower that running Eclipse on your own computer. For details, see this information about using the CEC Terminal Server.

  3. You can use a program called SSH (Secure Shell) that allows you to copy files back and forth over the network.

  4. Or, finally, you can mount your CEC H: drive so that it appears as if it's one of the disk drives on your home computer, with some limitations.
If you'd like to try either SSH or mounting your H: drive, you can follow the instructions below.

Setting Up and Using SSH

NOTE: The SSH client provided by CEC (link below) is for Windows only.

Set-up: Download and install the Windows SSH Client from here as described on the SSH Access page. If prompted, enter your CEC username and password to verify that you are authorized to download the file.

To use SSH:

  1. Run the "Secure File Transfer Client" you installed with SSH.
  2. Click Quick Connect. Host name is, username is your CEC username, port number is 22.
  3. When it asks for a password, enter your CEC password.
  4. The contents of your H drive appear in the right side of the window. Either drag and drop files to folders on your computer, or right click files/folders in the Remote Folders panel and click Download.
For Linux and OSX Users
There are visual clients available, but one easy way to transfer files is using sftp via a command-line interface.
  1. Enter "sftp" in a terminal window.
  2. Use the usual Unix commands to navigate to the directory where you want to place or retrieve files. For example, cd workspace
  3. Use put to upload your file(s) to CEC.

Mounting your H: drive from home

  1. Download and install VPN Client (for Windows, Linux, or Mac OSX) from the CEC VPN page. If prompted, enter your CEC username and password to verify that you are authorized to download the file.

  2. Start up the Cisco VPN client and create a VPN session.
  3. Follow the instructions provided by CEC.
  4. Once the drive is mounted, you can drag and drop files just as if your H: drive were a local drive.

The next time, all you have to do is (1) start up VPN, (2) double-click on the connection entry you already saved, and (3) mount your H: drive. If you check the box to save your password, then this three-step process is fairly fast.