Child pages
  • How do I access the IU SDA (aka MDSS) from the unified Linux systems?
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata


This document provides information about accounts on the Unified Linux Systems managed by the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. There are many other standalone Linux systems in the school that are not part of the unified configuration and, therefore, this document may not apply to accounts on those systems. If you have any questions about Linux systems within the school, please contact us.

SDA Access Methods

The IU Scholarly Data Archive (SDA), which was previously know as MDSS, provides multiple pentabyes of storage space. Anyone interested in using the SDA is encouraged to check out the UITS Research Storage page for more information.

The SDA is accessible from the SICE linux systems using a few different mechanisms.

  1. Web Browser - You can use the IU Globus Web App for SDA to access the SDA via a web browser at IU Globus Web App.  See the SDA Access Knowledge Base Article for more details.

  2. HSI - The Hierarchical Storage Interface (HSI) Software is installed on the SICE unified linux systems and can be used to access the SDA. To use this software, just run hsi and you should be prompted for a "Principal", which is just your username. Then you'll be prompted for your password.

    Once you are logged in, you are ready to issue hsi commands. You can just run help to get a list of commands or see the HSI KB entry for more information. Hsi is similar to ftp but gives you much more flexibility with the ability to do things you can do from a shell, such as moving, copying, and renaming files and using wildcards.

    The KB Article on HSI provides much more detailed information about how to use hsi. This page describes mechanisms for generating data via a pipe and storing it on SDA as well as a discussion on alternate authentication mechanisms. Be sure and pay close attention to the Class of Service you are using and take note of the Related KB Article so your large backups do not fail.

    Here is an example showing how you can use tar on the local SICE system and save the output to SDA using hsi:

    cd /some/directory
    hsi 'put cos=3 copies=2 coslist=large "|tar cf - ." : some_directory.tar' 

  3. HTAR - The HSI package also includes htar which provides a convenient way to read and write tar archives to the SDA. It behaves just like the normal tar command but read and writes tar archive files to and from SDA. For example, you can create a tar archive of some directory with:

    htar cf archive.tar some_directory 

    The resulting tar file, archive.tar, will be written to SDA. Similarly, you can extract files from a tar file on SDA with:

    htar xf archive.tar 

    Each time you run htar you will be prompted for your username (aka. Principal) and password.

    As with hsi, see the The KB Article on HSI for information on alternate authentication methods available with htar.

  4. SFTP or SCP - You can use standard SSH clients to access SDA using the hostname See the SDA SFTP/SCP KB page for details.

Anyone interested in using the SDA is encouraged to check out the The Scholarly Data Archive (SDA) at Indiana University for more information.