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Data migration from the ARCHER2 4-cabinet system to the ARCHER2 full system

This short guide explains how to move data from from the work file system on the ARCHER2 4-cabinet system to the ARCHER2 full system. Your space on the home file system is shared between the ARCHER2 4-cabinet system and the ARCHER2 full system so everything from your home directory is already effectively transferred.


This section assumes that you have an active ARCHER2 4-cabinet system and ARCHER2 full system account, and that you have successfully logged in to both accounts.


Unlike normal access, ARCHER2 4-cabinet system to ARCHER2 full system transfer has been set up to require only one form of authentication. You will only need one factor to authenticate from the 4-cab to the full system or vice versa. This factor can be either an SSH key (that has been registered against your account in SAFE) or you can use your passowrd. If you have a large amount of data to transfer you may want to setup a passphrase-less SSH key on ARCHER2 full system and use the data analysis nodes to run transfers via a Slurm job.

Transferring data interactively from the 4-cabinet system to the full system

First, login to the ARCHER2 4-cabinet system (making sure to change auser to your username):


Then, combine important research data into a single archive file using the following command:

tar -czf all_my_files.tar.gz file1.txt file2.txt directory1/

Please be selective -- the more data you want to transfer, the more time it will take.

Unpack the archive file in the destination directory

tar -xzf all_my_files.tar.gz

Begin the data transfer from the ARCHER2 4-cabinet system to the ARCHER2 full system using rsync:

rsync -Pv all_my_files.tar.gz

When running this command, you will be prompted to enter your ARCHER2 password -- this is the same password for the ARCHER2 4-cabinet system and the ARCHER2 full system. Enter it and the data transfer will begin. Remember to replace a2user with your ARCHER2 username, and t01 with the budget associated with that username.

We use the -P flag to allow partial transfer -- the same command could be used to restart the transfer after a loss of connection. We move our research archive to our project work directory on the ARCHER2 full system.

Transferring data using scp

If you are unconcerned about being able to restart an interrupted transfer, you could instead use the scp command,

scp all_my_files.tar.gz

but rsync is recommended for larger transfers.

Transferring data via the serial queue

It may be convenient to submit long data transfers to the serial queue. In this case, a number of simple preparatory steps are required to authenticate:

  1. On the full system, create a new ssh key pair without passphrase (just press return when prompted).
  2. Add the new public key to SAFE against your machine account.
  3. Use this key pair for ssh/scp commands in the serial queue to authenticate. As it has been arranged that only one of ssh key/password are required between the serial nodes and the 4-cabinet system, this is sufficient.

An example serial queue script using rsync might be:


# Slurm job options (job-name, job time)

#SBATCH --partition=serial
#SBATCH --qos=serial

#SBATCH --time=02:00:00
#SBATCH --ntasks=1

# Replace [budget code] below with your budget code

#SBATCH --account=[budget code] 

# Issue appropriate rsync command

rsync -av --stats --progress --rsh="ssh -i ${HOME}/.ssh/id_rsa_batch" \ \
where ${HOME}/.ssh/id_rsa_batch is the new ssh key. Note that the ${HOME} directory is visible from the serial nodes on the full system, so ssh key pairs in ${HOME}/.ssh are available.