Indiana University Bloomington

School of Informatics and Computing


Q: How can I access my CS home directory from my Linux laptop or home machine?

The two supported ways to access your CS home directory from a Linux system are using SSH and SMB.

SSH Access (command line scp and sftp)

One simple way to do this is to use an SSH file transfer client. The OpenSSH package is installed on just about every linux distribution and includes scp and sftp. You can connect, for example, to your CS Burrow account by just running:


or connect to your CS Sharks account with:


The sftp application is very similar to the old ftp and supports commands like put and get for moving files to and from your CS account. See the sftp man page for a complete list of commands.

You an also use the scp command. For example, you could transfer the file foo.txt to your CS home directory with something like:

scp foo.txt

See the scp man page for more details.

SSH Access (Gnome GUI)

If you are using Gnome, you can use the standard GUI method of connecting. Just select "Connect to Server..." from the Gnome Places menu (or the menu appropriate for your version of Gnome). This pops up a window where you can specify the protocol (use "SSH"), the remote server (like or, the Folder (use /u/username) and your CS username. Leave the Port: field blank and you can also enter an option nme to use for the connection. Once you connect, you will get a file browser window showing your CS home directory.

SSH Access (KDE GUI)

If you are using KDE, you can use an sftp: path in Konqueror. For example, to access your CS Burrow account home directory, you can just use the following path:


If your IU/CS username is different than the username you are using to login to your own system, you can specify your username in the sftp: path as follows:


Samba/SMB Access

Before you will be able to use Samba/SMB, you must be connecting from a machine on campus OR you must setup a VPN connection. Please see the associated KB article for more information about setting up a VPN connection if you are coming in from off-campus.

In order to access your CS home directory, you can mount it from the CS samba server using cifs or smbfs. For example, you can mount your CS home directory onto the /mnt/cs directory using the following cifs mount command:

mount -t cifs // -o domain=ADS,user=username,sec=ntlmssp /mnt/cs

or via smbmount with:

smbmount // /mnt/cs -o domain=ADS,user=username,sec=ntlmssp

These mount commands will usually have to be run as root (or via sudo). In these examples, you will need to replace username with your IU username. This will prompt for your IU ADS account password. If you find that the files in the mounted filesystem do not have the proper ownership then you can use the uid and gid arguments to specify the user and group on the local filesystem who will own the files in the mounted filesystem. So, for example, if your IU ADS username is joedoe but the local username on your personal system is joe then you could use the following cifs mount options:

domain=ADS,user=joedoe,sec=ntlmssp,uid=joe /mnt/cs

You can also connect using smbclient as follows:

smbclient -W ADS -U username //

In this example, you will need to replace username with your IU username. This will prompt for your IU ADS account password. Note that this will only work if you have specified NTLMv2 authentication in your smb.conf file (with the smb.conf directive: client ntlmv2 auth = yes). If you don't have the ability to edit the smb.conf file, you can create your own (call it /u/username/my.smb.conf) and then run smbclient as follows:

smbclient -W ADS -s /u/username/my.smb.conf -U username //

Note that there are other filesystems on the CS servers shared via SMB. See the PC SMB FAQ Entry for a complete list of shared filesystems.

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