The file transfer protocol, or FTP for short, is one of the oldest means of transferring data between systems. Although it's tried and true, it's also somewhat slow, but it's been around for so long that most institutions have the service in place so its ubiquity factor is high.

SFTP or Secure FTP is a newer incarnation of the protocol which actually encrypts the data during transfer. SFTP is not only more secure, but also tends to be more reliable, so it is the recommended option when available.

The following links provide the details of using FTP, from both inside and outside the institution:

Using FTP

Getting started with FTP on CGD systems.

The first thing you will need to do is request a FTP directory from CGD/ISG by sending an email to help@ucar.edu

Once the directory is created, you can access it from any linux workstation by:

$ cd /ftp/pub/<username>

On MS Windows, click on All Programs, and in the search bar, type:


When prompted for a password, use your CIT password.

Once you have access to the directory, simply copy over the files you want to share. Outside users can access the directory either through the web or via an FTP client. From the web, simply point them to:


* Most modern browsers have no FTP support via the browser and you will need to use a FTP client instead

From there they can click on the file(s) to download them. There are also any number of FTP/SFTP clients that can be used to connect, such as:
WinSCP, FileZilla, FuGu, CyberDuck, etc.

Using any of these clients will require the remote user to authenticate, so use the following to configure your client:

  • Server: ftp.cgd.ucar.edu
  • Username: anonymous
  • Password: my_email_address@my_institution

Once logged in, cd to the /pub/<username> directory to download files.

FTP Etiquette

FTP storage is limited, so don't try to put too much data there at once. You can use df1 -h on the linux systems to see how much disk space is available. Likewise, once you've distributed your files, please remove them from the server to make space available for other users.

If you don't clean up your files, they will nevertheless be removed after 30 days, please see FTP Scrubbing for more information.