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Mounting Storage on Desktop or Laptop

In addition to connecting to the cluster and launching compute jobs, many scientists use FASRC file systems for storage of lab data. Many, but not all, file systems can be mounted on your desktop to simplify data transfer. FASRC file systems which are available to be mounted are shared via the Windows SMB protocol so this process is fairly straightforward.


– Scratch space (/n/holyscratch01) cannot be mounted in this manner. It is only available on the cluster. If you need to transfer data to/from scratch, you can use an SFTP or SCP client to connect to the cluster and then change to /n/holyscratch01/[your lab’s space] . You can also use Globus for large external transfers.

– Shares on holystore01 cannot be mounted in this manner. If you need to transfer data to/from scratch, you can use an SFTP or SCP client to connect to the cluster and then change to /n/holystore01/[your lab’s space] . You can also use Globus for large external transfers.


  1. Connect to the VPN

    If using wireless connections, cluster storage must be routed through a VPN connection. If on wired connections inside Harvard, the VPN client is not required. If you don’t already have one setup, follow the VPN setup instructions. NOTE: If you have set up custom DNS on your computer, this may cause issues connecting to shares.

  2. Find the filesystem path (If you already know the path, skip to the next step.)

    Mounting your HOME DIRECTORY

    If you have cluster access, you can mount your home directory as a drive. You can figure out the path to your home directory by using ssh to login to the cluster. Use cd ~ to go to your home directory (on a Unix-like system, the ~ character is a shortcut to ‘my home directory’). Then type pwd to show where your home directory resides. [jharvard@boslogin02 ~]$ cd ~ [jharvard@boslogin02 ~]$ pwd /n/home08/jharvard  The home08 is the part we need in this example in order to construct the full path to your home directory.  Since all home directories are mounted from the same server, we don’t need to figure that part out. The path, therefore, that you will need for connecting is the combination of the server name, followed by the word homes to signify that it’s a home directory, the sub-folder your home directory resides in (home08 in this example), and your RC username. For this example, this would result in: For Windows \\\homes\home08\jharvard
    or For Mac OSX smb://

    Mounting a LAB SHARE

    If you don’t already know the path, ask a lab-mate as your share may have its own path. Your share may also be on a common fileserver, and from a login node you can derive the full path with some deduction. Bear in mind that we have several different types of filesystems, so the output of the following command will vary. We’ve included an examples that’s most common. First, from your SSH session, cd to your lab’s share: [jharvard@boslogin02 ~]$ cd /n/jharvard_lab [jharvard@boslogin02 jharvard_lab]$ pwd -P This will return a path that looks similar to one of the following: /net/fs2k02/srv/export/jharvard_lab/share_root The server short name is the word after “net” or “n”, in the case above, fs2k02. To construct the server full name, you will need to add The share name comes after a server path which you will disregard and which will vary, in this example it is/srv/exportIn the example above the share name is jharvard_lab. Disregard anything after the share name such as share_root. The share name will almost always be your lab group’s Unix group name, with one or two exceptions. You will use just the server full name and sharename to form the full lab share path. For this example, this would result in: For Windows \\\jharvard_lab or For Mac OSX smb:// Again, some labs will have their own specific path, so check with a lab-mate or your PI if it’s not obvious. You can also contact us and we can look up the path for you.

  3. Macs use Connect to Server

    If you’re using a Mac, go to a Finder window (or click on the desktop) and choose Go > Connect to Server from the menu. Mac Connect to Server In the server address box, enter the server and path combination as described above prepended with the smb:// protocol specifier (please note that Macs use “/” where Windows uses of “\”). Using the example information above, the value might be smb:// to mount the home directory of user jharvard. If you are mounting a lab share path, enter that instead (example: smb:// Mount home directory on a Mac If you’ve selected the proper volume, you should get a login prompt. Use your FASRC credentials here. Note that you must include the rc\ domain specifier at the beginning of your user name. Use your Odyssey credentials to connect. Don't forget the `rc\`.

  4. PCs use Map Network Drive

    You can connect to shared storage on a PC by using the Map Network Drive control panel application. This should be available from a Windows Explorer window.Access Map Network Drive from the "Computer" menu on Windows Explorer.In the Map Network Drive utility, select a drive letter, then enter the combination of share and path. For the example described above, the correct entry would be \\\homes\home08\jharvard. If you are mounting a lab share path, enter that instead (example: \\\jharvard_lab). It is important to select the Connect using different credentials box. Usually, PC logins are not the same as FASRC usernames and passwords. If you don’t select this checkbox, it will attempt to login with your PC information and may result in a lockout. Also, make sure you are connected through the VPN if on wireless or off-campus — this connection cannot be made outside of the VPN with these connection types/locations. Windows 8 Map Network Drive. Note that "Connect using different credentials" should be checked. When you are prompted for a login, make sure and prepend the rc\ domain to your username. Login to Odyssey storage using rc domain credentials.

  5. Linux using a terminal window

    You can mount storage on a Linux system by using the desktop GUI or from the command line. Run id command on your Linux machine to determine your uid and gid, then enter the following commands (set username to your RC username and set uid and gid to your local account values): mkdir /mnt/cluster mount -t cifs -o workgroup=rc,username=jharvard,uid=1000,gid=1000 // /mnt/cluster This will prompt you for your password. If instead you get an error message about a read-only filesystem, it could be because the mount.cifs command is not installed on your system. Using this method, you will need to reissue the command every time you boot your computer.

  6. FileZilla If you are unable to mount your lab storage due to SMB errors or other reasons, we offer FileZilla as an alternative.Note that Filezilla uses SSH, so you will need to ensure your home directory has been set up.
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