Globus file transfers

Created by BJ Smith, last modified on 2022-05-06

Globus is the most efficient way to transfer files – large files, in particular – between NCAR file systems such as Campaign Storage, GLADE, and non-NCAR resources, including XSEDE facilities and other storage systems.

Page contents

Image of Globus web app login screen

Globus has both a web interface and a command line interface (CLI) that are described below. To use either interface, the first step is to create a free personal account and log in using a Globus ID or Google, as shown in the image to the right. (UCAR and NCAR staff: Do not use the NCAR RDA organizational login.)

Several public endpoints are set up on the Globus system for transferring files to and from NCAR storage systems.

These endpoints include:

  • NCAR Campaign Storage
  • NCAR Data Sharing Service
  • XSEDE NCAR GLADE (for users who have XSEDE credentials)

Globus also offers a feature called Globus Connect Personal for moving files to and from a laptop or desktop computer and other endpoints.


  • The Globus interface for transferring data does not handle symbolic links and does not create symbolic links on a destination endpoint.
  • It is possible to corrupt data when performing a transfer if you accidentally specify the same files as both source and destination. To avoid inadvertently deleting data when using the web interface, activate the sync option in the Transfer & Sync Options menu. Sync can be set to allow a file transfer only if the file does not exist on the destination, if there’s a difference in checksum or file size, or if the source copy is newer than the destination copy.
  • Transferred files assume the user's umask permissions on the destination system regardless of permissions on the source system.

Transferring files with the web interface

When transferring files between systems, keep in mind that your username might not be the same on each system.

Follow these steps to transfer files. See the image below for reference.

  1. Go to the main Globus page ( and log in using your personal Globus ID
  2. Go to File Manager.
  3. Use the Panels button to display two endpoint panels side by side.
  4. Enter the name of your source endpoint in the Collection field on one panel.
  5. Specify the path where your source files are located.
  6. Enter your username and authenticate as you do when logging in to NCAR systems. The default credential lifetime is 24 hours. Here's how to extend it.
  7. Identify your target endpoint in the other panel.
  8. Specify a destination path.
  9. Select the files you want to copy.
  10. Click the Start button to initiate the transfer.

You can check the status of your transfers any time through the web interface and will be notified when they are complete.

Image of web interface screen for checking transfer status

Transferring files with the command line interface

The Globus CLI application can be used to make both manual and unattended file transfers.

The application is:

To begin, log in as shown in this example for using the data-access nodes. (If your UCAR username and your username on your local computer are different, follow the alternative example.)

ssh (alternative: ssh

Run globus login and follow the on-screen instructions.

globus login

Output example (if you are not already logged in):

Please authenticate with Globus here:


URL to copy and paste into your browser.


Enter the resulting Authorization Code here:

Copy the lengthy URL and paste it into your browser. It will take you to a consent form that looks like this:

Image of Globus CLI access screen

Click Allow to give the CLI app the necessary access and you will receive an authorization code.

After entering the code, you will be logged in to the Globus CLI and in your /glade/u/home directory.

The default credential lifetime is 24 hours. Here's how to extend it.

Your default shell on the data-access nodes is tcsh. To change your current shell, just enter bash or another preferred shell.

Executing CLI transfers

For details regarding how to make batch transfers and single-item transfers, manage endpoints, and more, see these resources:

Globus Connect Personal

To set up your laptop or desktop computer to use Globus Connect Personal:

  • Go to Globus Connect Personal and follow the instructions to download and install it on your local system.
  • Add your local system as an endpoint by following the instructions on the Globus Connect website.
  • Start Globus Connect, and then sign in to

Your local system should now appear as an endpoint that can be used for transferring files.