WinSCP

WinSCP 3.7.6

WinSCP can be installed locally or used from the Athena platform (in the folder 'Academic').

WinSCP is a secure copy program for Windows. Secure copy is a protocol that enables you to exchange files with the UGentNet servers. Secure copy replaces the former remote copy by using the secure shell protocol For Windows users WinSCP is a user-friendly alternative for FTP over TTSSH. For the exchange of files with helios, version 3.7.6. needs to be used. Previous versions won't work.

Installing WinSCP 3.7.6

  • Download WinSCP 3.7.6
  • It is recommended to close down all running applications, before launching the installation procedure
  • Double-click the file winscp376setup.exe in the place were it was downloaded. This launches the installation procedure.
  • Follow the screens as described:
    • Choose at the welcome-sreen Next
    • Read the Licence Agreement and choose Next
    • If you agree with the standard location at Select Destination Location, choose Next, if desired, the location can be changed.
    • Choose at Select Components for Next
    • If you agree with the standard location at Select Start Menu Folder, choose Next, if desired, the location can be changed.
    • Optionally, Choose at Select Additional Tasks for Create a desktop item For all users and choose Next
    • Choose the desired User Interface at Initial User Settings and choose Next
    • If you agree with the chosen settings at Ready To Install, choose Install

Using WinSCP 3.7.6

When starting WinSCP, you'll see a login dialog box first:

  • Host Name : Enter the name of the server you'd like to connect with. (Note: helios is the new interactive unix / linux server, replacing allserv and genix/eduserv.)
  • Username : Enter your login.
  • Password : Enter your central UGentNet password.
  • Port Number : For connection with DICT-servers leave this option set on 22.
  • Protocol : Select SFTP
  • These are the base settings you need to log in. A number of options on other tabs of the login dialog box are handled in the section advanced options.

The first time you log in on a server the next warning will appear:

WinSCP asks here if the name of the server can be added to the Windows registry. Chhose YES. The next time you log in, this warning will no longer be displayed.

Once logged in with the standard settings, about the following screen will be displayed:

The panel on the left hand side displays the contents of my C: drive. The panel on the right hand side displays the contents of the Helpdesk home directory. Now you can use the mouse to click, select and drag and drop files from and to your home directory. WinSCP can be used much faster and more efficient however by using the command keys. At the bottom of the WinSCP window you can see which commands are bound to some of the function keys at the top of your keyboard.

  • Navigation : Use the arrow keys to move the cursor up and down within a panel. The Enter key will open the folder the cursor is currently on, if you move the cursor to the top of the list on the and then press Enter you will go up one level in the directory structure.
  • Tab : Pressing Tab switches panels, you'll see that the blue bar moves from left to right if you press Tab.
  • Insert : You can use the Insert key to select multiple files and folders. Selected items will be displayed with a blue background.
  • F2 : Rename : F2 enables you to rename a file or folder. Fill out the new name and press Enter.
  • F5 : Copy : F5 will copy the selected files and folders to the other panel.
  • F6 : Move : F6 moves the selected files and folders to the other panel.
  • F7 : Create Directory : F7 will create a new folder in the active panel.
  • F8 : Delete : F8 removes the selected files and folders from the active panel.
  • F10 : Exit : F10 shuts down WinSCP

Changing permissions with WinSCP 3

The function of the F9 key Properties deserves an additional explanation.

WinSCP enables you to change the permissions of files and folders on the server. WinSCP displays the permissions in the column Rights. These are comprised of 3 blocks of 3 characters each. These can be r (read), w (write), x (execute) or - (function disabled). The first block are the file/directory owner (you) permissions, the second block are the permissions for the group the owner is part of and the third one shows the permissions for all the other users on the system. Knowing this we can now determine 8 different types of permission sets which can apply to owner, group and other:

RightsInterpretation
---no permissions
--xexecute only
-w-write only
-wxwrite and execute
r--read only
r-xread and execute
rw-read and write
rwxread, write and execute (full permissions)

If you select a folder on the server in WinSCP 3 and press F9 you'll see this window.

If you select a folder on the server in WinSCP and press F9 you'll see this window. Now you can adjust the permissions for owner, group and other by checking the desired permissions and clicking OK. The option Set group, owner and permissions recursively will only be available if you are modifying the permissions of a directory. If you check this option all the files and subdirectories will get the same permissions as that directory. Tip : if you copy or move files or directories to the server you can set their permissions at the same time by clicking More in the dialogue.

The fields Group and Owner can be used to transfer ownership of a file or directory to a specific user or user group. Be careful while using this feature ! If you make a mistake you could deny yourself access to your files.

WinSCP is also a user-friendly alternative for the chmod command that has to be executed on the server. More information on the function of permissions can be found on our chmod page.

Advanced Options in WinSCP 3

WinSCP 3 with explorer interface as an alternative for a mounted drive.

When you click Preferences - situated on the left in thetree structure - in the login dialogue, you will we able to choose between the default "Norton Commander" interface (of which the workings are described above) and "Explorer like". If you select the "Explorer like" your WinSCP session will look like an ordinary Windows window.

This example will look familiar to people who often use a mounted network drive (aka "the H drive"). WinSCP with the explorer interface almost gives you the same functionality as a mounted drive. You can copy files using drag and drop and all of the Windows Explorer keyboard shortcuts have been implemented. Compared to a mounted drive, the only limitation is the fact that you don't have an additional drive (no "H drive") that can be accessed directly by other applications.

For extra information on WinSCP go to the WinSCP site.