The HEC login node has a high bandwidth connection to luna, the ISS-managed research data archive. While users can transfer files between folders on luna and the HEC using their PC, for large file transfers using the smbclient tool to connect from the HEC directly to luna is much faster.

To connect to a folder on luna, smbclient needs two pieces of information:

  1. Faculty code: Faculty codes are typically the faculty's acronym (e.g. FST for Faculty of Science and Technology, FASS for Faculty of Applied and Social Sciences) and are viewable from the top level of the \\luna tree under the Windows File Explorer.

  2. The folder path: The path is the series of subfolders required to navigate the tree to the required subdirectory.

The command to connect to a folder on luna is then:

  smbclient -D folder-path //luna/faculty-code

Here's an example for accessing the py/gondor folder - a restricted-access folder for a research group in the Faculty of Science and Technology:

wayland% smbclient -D py/gondor //luna/fst

Enter your password: 

Domain=[LANCS] OS=[Hitachi NAS Platform 13.0.4323.02] Server=[Hitachi NAS Platform 13.0.4323.02]


You will be prompted to enter your password to authenticate your acecss to the requested folder. The smb: prompt will then allow you to use ftp-like commands such as put and get to transfer files and cd to navigate between subfolders. You can use the help command to view a list of possible commands. Here's an example of uploading a file to the folder:

  smb: \py\gondor\> put myfile 
putting file myfile as \py\gondor\myfile (529105.6 kb/s) (average 529105.6 kb/s)

The transfer speed here is notably higher than transferring via file transfer on Windows, as the data is passed directly from the HEC to the folder on luna without having to pass through the user's PC first.

More information

 Using kerberos tickets

If you use smbclient several times during a session, you may find it useful to use a kerberos ticket to remove the need to repeatedly enter a password for authentication. Logging in to the HEC will automatically generate a kerberos ticket for you which is valid for 24 hours. To use the kerberos ticket, simply add the -k argument to the smbclient command:

  smbclient -k -D folder-path //luna/faculty-code

If your ticket has expired, you can generate a new one by running the kinit command and entering your regular password.

For more advanced usage of smblcient, use the command man smbclient to view the command's manual page.

Related pages