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How can I transfer files between Athena and my computer?


Effective Thursday, June 13, 2019, Duo two-factor authentication is now required to access via secure shell (SSH) or secure file transfer (SFTP/SCP).

Note: These instructions are for transferring files to Athena. If you're interested in logging in to Athena to run programs, please see: How can I connect to the Athena dialup servers?

Using file transfer software

The easiest way to transfer files to and from your Athena account is to use secure file transfer software. This software must be capable of connecting via SSH File Transfer ("SFTP"/"SCP"). You can download pre-configured secure file transfer clients for Windows and Mac from the IS&T website.

SecureFX is the preferred client for Windows, and Fetch is the preferred client for MacOS X. However, if you have your own client that supports SFTP/SCP (e.g. WinSCP), you may use it. The following configuration information will be helpful for third-party clients:
username or login name: Your Kerberos username (your e-mail address, without the @MIT.EDU part)
directory or remote location: /mit/(your username)

If you're trying to upload files to a location other than your home directory, you must know the name of the locker. You can then change to the directory /mit/(name of locker).


UNIX/Linux users and users of the Mac OS X "Terminal" application can also use the command line program "scp". To upload using scp, you would run something like:

scp file1 file2

To download using scp, you would run something like:

scp local_file

Using removable media

Athena workstations can use USB thumb drives and portable USB hard drives in most common formats. Simply plug in the drive, and a window should open displaying the contents of it. Most mobile devices are also recognized, such as iPhones, iPods, and Android devices. Some Athena workstations have memory card readers for SD cards and other common formats.

If you supply your own media, you can also create CDs and DVDs on Athena, and of course the workstations can read files from most CDs and DVDs.

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

June 14, 2019

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