Data Transfer Services


There are many different ways to transfer data to and from ICDS-ACI, including:

  • Command line File Transfer
    • scp is a non-interactive command that takes a set of files to copy on the command line, copies them, and exits. sftp is an interactive command that opens a persistent connection through which multiple copying commands can be performed. sftp differs from a standard ftp client in that the authentication and the data transfer happen through the SSH protocol (encrypted) rather than the FTP protocol (not encrypted).
    • rsync is a utility that can be used to copy files and for keeping files the same on different systems as a rudimentary version control system. If an scp is stopped for any reason the restart will begin as if no files were copied over. The rsync utility will only copy the files that were not successfully moved over in the previous command.
  • Graphical File Transfer
    • WinSCP and FileZilla provide a free secure FTP (SFTP) and secure copy (SCP) client with graphical interface for Windows, Linux and Mac using SSH, allowing users to transfer files to and from a cluster file system using a drag-and-drop interface. For more information, please visit the WinSCP homepage or the FileZilla homepage. You can see the connection process in this ICDS tutorial video.
  • Web-based Services
  • File Permissions

Additionally, there are other specialized data-transfer software available for specific needs. Contact the iAsk center if you have any questions regarding using one of these specialized tools on ACI.

Getting Started: 

You can find out more about Data Transfer at Penn State and  on the service's view step-by-step breakdowns of the above mentioned transfer methods information page or by  logging in to your ICDS-ACI Account directly. 

More Information: 

Data Use Agreements FAQ


This service is part of the Research Data category.



  • This is an active service


  • Users must be approved for an ICDS-ACI account, for which they must possess the follwing:
    • Penn State access ID and password
    • Duo, the Penn State two-factor identification system
    • a Principal Investigator (PI), under whom they are authorized to perform research


Information Security: 

  • University Policy AD95 outlines the different information classification types and the security controls you are required to use for each of them
  • The Information Classification Tool assists researchers in determining the classifciation level of their data and refers them to the appropriate policy section for determing the mandated data transfer security protocols