Home Directory Access from Linux


NOTE: Effective 6/1/2017, the “Icarus” SSH Gateway has been decommissioned. The process for accessing files from off-campus have changed as detailed below.


A. Access from an on-campus computer:

Personal folders are automatically mounted when logging onto a Linux computer using your Engineering credentials. These folders are mounted in the following locations:

  • Home Directory:     /home/username
  • Secure Home:         /home/username/private_home
  • Public Web Page:    /home/username/public_html

B. Access from an off-campus computer:

Access to resources from off-campus requires either a VPN connection, or SSH access through the UITS SSH Gateway.

B1. VPN Access

Full VPN access can be obtained through either a VPN Client, or the Web Access Proxy. The full VPN client option allows members of the university community who have a NetID to securely access University of Connecticut networks and provides full service access to network resources similarly to being on campus. A client needs to be installed on your workstation.

Alternatively, the Web VPN option allows users to access such sites remotely after using their NetID to authenticate to the portal. Please select one of the following options for instructions on each of the following VPN connection methods:

For more information regarding UITS remote access options, please visit remoteaccess.uconn.edu.

Once you are connected to the VPN, you may use standard Linux tools (scp, sftp, rsync) via the Linux terminal to transfer files between your remote computer and any on-campus Linux computer to which you have access using your Engineering credentials (Engr_ID). For example, if you have a Linux computer in your lab named LAB1, you could do the following:

  $ scp /path/to/file EngrID@LAB1.engr.uconn.edu:~/private_home/file

Enter your password for LAB1 and the file will be transferred.

B2. SSH Access

Again, this assumes you have a lab machine named LAB1 on the internal network. Set up an SSH tunnel between the UITS SSH Gateway and an internal Linux machine as follows (NOTE: The UITS SSH Gateway requires logging on via NetID):

$ ssh -fNML 4567:LAB1.engr.uconn.edu:22 NetID@ssh.uconn.edu

This assigns port 4567 on your home computer to act as forwarder to your lab computer. Once set, scp/sftp/rsync from the forwarded port to your local machine, or vice-versa, for example:

$ scp -P 4567 Engr_ID@localhost:~/private_home/file local_path/file
$ scp -P 4567 local_path/file Engr_ID@localhost:~/private_home/file

Graphical File Browsers

Not all GUI file managers are created equal. If the file manager allows the transfer of files via secure channels (SSH, SFTP) these may be used as well; however, an SSH tunnel or VPN connection must be established first. One popular file browser is FileZilla which is available in the standard repositories for all major Linux distributions, including RedHat, Ubuntu, Debian, and Arch.

Note regarding file security:
ECS recommends that you store all your data in the folder private_home. The default permissions on this folder are set so that only you can access it. Storing data in other areas is only for expert users who know what the risks are.

The default permissions should ensure that files in the folder public_html directory are visible to the world over the World Wide Web. Please be very conscious of this and only post information that you have the right to share with the public in that directory.