Transferring Files Between Your Computer and HPC

For many HPC users, the most convenient way to transfer files between their computer and HPC is to use a GUI (graphical user interface)-based SFTP client. The SFTP client is installed and run on your computer. It works by connecting to the SFTP server running on, enabling you to transfer files back and forth.

Along with USC login credentials, Duo two-factor authentication (2FA) is required for HPC access. Most third-party SSH clients can be configured to use 2FA, and to maintain an open connection so as to minimize the number of authentication requests during a transfer session. Refer to the documentation for how to do this for your preferred client.

You are welcome to use any SFTP client you wish. We frequently receive requests for help setting up FileZilla and Cyberduck. For convenience, these instructions are below.


You can download FileZilla from the vendor website at

Make sure to download FileZilla client. Once the installation is complete you will need to create an HPC profile. You can do so by going to the Site-Manager:

Create a new site and enable these settings:

  • Protocol: SFTP – SSH File Transfer Protocol
  • Host:
  • Logon Type: Interactive
  • User: Your USC NetID/HPC username

After the General tab settings have been filled out, select the Transfer Settings tab:

  • Check Limit number of simultaneous connections
  • Maximum number of connections: 1

These settings will keep a single connection open so you will not have to re-authenticate.


You can download Cyberduck from the vendor website at

Save your HPC login setting by creating a new “bookmark” with these settings:

  • Server:
  • Username: Your USC NetID/HPC username
  • (Optional) SSH Private Key: The path to your private key (usually ~/.ssh/id_rsa)

To configure Duo compatibility select Preferences/More Options and set Transfer Files to Use browser connection.