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Personal Web Space: Using WinSCP to Manage Your Files
As announced on July 6, the University plans to retire this service at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. In order to minimize any potential impact on academic courses, the service will remain available until June 30, 2017. The most recent announcement regarding this can be found here.
This article is an introduction to using WinSCP to manage a personal webspace.
NOTE: You must be connected to a University network (on campus or a VPN connection) to log on to the Personal Web Space.
Installation and Configuration
- If you do not have the WinSCP program, download the installation file. A file named something similar to "winscp###setup" will appear on your Desktop. Double-click on this to start the installation wizard, which will walk you through installing WinSCP
- After installing WinSCP, launch the program by double-clicking the WinSCP3 icon that should appear on your Windows desktop.
- You should see a login and settings window resembling the image below. Use the following settings, replacing InternetID with your University of Minnesota Internet ID (i.e., smit0001):
- Host name: InternetID.email.umn.edu
- User name: InternetID
- Password: Your University of MN Internet password
- If you are going to use your account primarily for posting to your University personal web page, click on the Directories subheading under Environment in the left pane. In the Remote Directory field, enter web-docs as shown below:
- Click on the Save... button at the bottom of this window. You will be prompted for a name as shown below. You may use the name that WinSCP supplies automatically:
This will save these settings as a default, which will be used each time you start WinSCP.
- You will now see a new version of the login screen, resembling the following:
You will see this screen each time you launch WinSCP from now on. To sign in to your account and transfer files, simply double-click on the account name in this window.
- The first time you sign in, you'll likely see a notice resembling the following. Click Yes to proceed:
You are now ready to transfer files from your computer to your University of Minnesota server space. For details on using WinSCP, please see the WinSCP official documentation, which includes a helpful Quick Start guide; or the Help menu within the program. Some basics:
- There are two panes in the default view. The left pane shows files on your computer, and the right shows files on the server. Navigation is fairly similar to navigating on your hard drive:
- To view any file in either location, simply double-click on it.
- To navigate into a folder, double-click on it.
- To copy a file or folder from your hard drive to your University account, click and drag it from the left pane to the right. To copy from your University account to your hard drive, click and drag from right to left.
Setting File Permissions
When you use WinSCP to transfer files, by default they are not accessible by / viewable on the web. If you transfer files into your webspace, for example, they will not be viewable on the web, until you have set the file permissions.
Make Multiple Items in Web-docs Viewable:
- When you are connected to your file space, locate the web-docs folder in the remote directory, and enter it. If you are already located in the web-docs folder, then proceed to step 2.
- Once inside the web-docs folder, if you want everything in web-docs to be viewable, select everything inside the folder. You can do this by selecting the first item in the list, then holding down the Shift key, and clicking the last item in the list. If you only want certain items to be viewable, then Hold down the Ctrl key, and click these items.
- Once everything is highlighted, right-click on any portion of the highlighted area, and click Properties.
- Inside the properties box, verify that the permissions settings correspond to the following figure. Verify that the boxes are checked for Add X to directories, and Set group, owner and permissions recursively. By selecting the Set permissions recursively option you are specifying that these permissions are applied to all folder contents, and sub-folders. By doing this, you DO NOT have to go into each and every folder, to set the permissions for the contents of that folder.
- Click OK to save this setting, and to have the file permissions added recursively.
Make All Uploaded Files Viewable:
By performing the following steps you will ensure that all future files to be transferred to your web-docs will automatically have the permissions you specify.
- With WinSCP open, click on Options, from the menu bar, and click Preferences...
- In the Preferences dialogue, on the left, click on Transfer.
- On the right, under Upload options, check the box for Set permissions. If you would like to make all your transferred files viewable on the web, then verify that the permissions are set as in the figure below. Otherwise, set the permissions that you prefer.
- Click OK to apply this setting. The files you transfer from this point on, will automatically have your specified permissions.
This knowledge has been sourced from the guides found on http://www.oit.umn.edu/personal-web-space/transferring-files/index.htm.