Accessing your GRACE file space

The file space for your GRACE course or project can be accessed in a variety of ways, depending on what computer/OS you are using and what software is installed on your machine. Usually, multiple options should exist.

The following list is an attempt to enumerate the various options, and is roughly ordered from the simplest to the most complicated options, in terms of what software might need to be installed and/or configured. The "simplest" options are best if you need to upload or download one file, from a system which has not been configured specifically to access the TerpConnect/GLUE AFS filesystem. The "more complicated" might be harder to set up initially, but sometimes are much more convenient if you are accessing the files a lot. And the order is only an estimate. Some options are limitted, and so each section starts with a listing of pros and cons.

  1. From TerpConnect/GRACE/GLUE systems
  2. Using the course web page
  3. Using the Web based file manager
  4. Using builtin WebDAV access
  5. Using an sftp/scp client
  6. Using a AFS client

Common Definitions

In many of the entries below, we will be referring to certain portions of the Course or Project description. These are:

is the semester and year for the course, e.g. spring2013, summer22013, and fall2013 for the spring, second summer, and fall semesters of 2013.
is the 4 (lower case) letter department code for the course , e.g. cmsc or artt.
is the course number, typically 3 digits, sometimes followed by a (lowercase) letter.
is the section number for the course. Usually a 4 digit number, often starting with a 0, and sometimes with some letters.
is the name of the project, all lowercase.

Note, that PROJECT_NAME is only relevant for Projects, and is the _only_ one relevant to Projects. The rest are only relevant to Courses.

Accessing from TerpConnect/GRACE/GLUE systems

All the required software for access is already installed on TerpConnect/GRACE/GLUE systems.

Cons: This section is only valid for TerpConnect/GRACE/GLUE systems.

NOTE: Please note the expiration calendar. In particular, after the Logins Disabled date, you will no longer be able to log into the GRACE systems unless you are affiliated with a course with a GRACE space for the current semester. However, if you are still affiliated with the university, you CAN still access your files from TerpConnect or other GLUE systems (until the File Access Removed date).

The root directory of your GRACE course space can be found at:
where the uppercase variables are defined above.

If the course has aliases, you can use the department name, course and section numbers for any of the aliases and end up at the same spot.

The path to the root of a GRACE Project space is:
where PROJECT_NAME is defined above.

So if you are in the course MATH 100, section 0101 for the Fall 2013 semester, you can do the following to see the files in the root of your course space, and then go to your work directory: the command:

cd /cell_root/class/fall2013/math/100/0101
cd student/$USER
$USER is an environment variable that expands to your username; you can just enter your username instead if you wish.

You can use symbolic links to make it even easier; continuing the example above:

ln -s /cell_root/class/fall2013/math/100/0101 ~/math100
ln -s /cell_root/class/fall2013/math/100/0101/student/$USER ~/math100-work
Now when you login to a TerpConnect/GRACE/Glue system, you will see what look like math100 and math100-work subdirectories in your home directory. If you cd, etc. into them, you will be in the math100 root directory and your personal work directory for math100, resp.

Accessing the Course Web Page

All you need is a browser, and when it works, it is really easy.

Cons: You can only access files in the public directory, and not all classes have anything there, nor is everything linked. So it is not very liekly to work for you.

Just open your browser to . Or even easier, just point your browser to and follow the link to your course. If your course has aliases, any valid designation for the course will work.

Note that this is best for accessing content that the professor has made accessible for accessing over the web. You cannot upload anything, you cannot access work in your personal course directory, and even things in the public directory might not be linked. But if this works for what you need, it is very easy.

Accessing from Web-based File Manager

All you need is a browser. The file manager is full featured, and provides a GUI for setting AFS file access permissions. It also has built-in hooks for GRACE.

Cons: Files need to be uploaded/downloaded. An application on your PC cannot act on them directly.

Just point your favorite web browser to You will need to login with your standard UMD TerpConnect/GLUE/LDAP username and password. You will be presented with a GUI showing your home directory.

For more information on the use of the file manager.

Of particular interest to GRACE users, in the box on the left, there is a link labelled Class Access. If you click on that, a yellow popup window should appear giving links to the top level directory for every GRACE course and/or project you are a member of. This works for students, instructors, and TAs.

Accessing using WebDAV drivers

Most recent Windows and Mac OSes have built in WebDAV support. Once set up, you can mount your GRACE course or project space, and it looks just as if it were on your local drive.

Cons: The current WebDAV software has problems with symbolic links (they simply do not show up), and access can sometimes be slow. There is no way to modify access rights, etc.

You will need mount your GRACE course or project space. The path to the server is: for courses, and for projects, with variables as defined above.

Where you have to enter the above depends on your operating system. For:

For linux, you might need to install a WebDav client, see for installation and configuration instructions .

Accessing using SFTP or scp software

Most linux systems probably already have command line tools for this installed.

Cons: Windows and Mac users might need to install software for this. You need to upload/download files; it does not look like a local filesystem. You cannot alter access rights.

For information on installing/using SFTP or scp

The paths you need to use for your files are the same as indicated in the section for Terpconnect/GRACE/Glue systems, namely: /cell_root/class/SEMESTER_YEAR/DEPT/COURSE_NUMBER/SECTION_NUMBER for courses and /cell_root/group/PROJECT_NAME for projects.

If you login to a TerpConnect/GRACE/Glue system and set up a symbolic link to your GRACE file space, you can use that symbolic link to shorten the path you need to enter.

Accessing using an AFS client

This gives you full access, with ability to control access rights, etc. Files appear as if they were on your local drive, and because the client uses caching, repeated accesses usually occur at local drive speeds.

Cons: You need to install the (free) OpenAFS client for this.

This is actually how the TerpConnect/GRACE/Glue systems access the space, but on those systems we already installed the client software for you. But installing it is usually not that hard, and all of the TerpConnect/GRACE/Glue filesystems then become available to your PC.