Using WinSCP to access eRSA storage via SFTP

  • Once you have downloaded and put the application where you want to keep it, double-click it to open.
  • You should see a screen like this:

  • Make sure the File Protocol menu is set to SFTP
  • Enter the hostname: sftp.ersa.edu.au
  • Enter your username for your eRSA account.
  • Enter your eRSA password.
  • Click the Login button.
  • You may be presented with a dialogue box, similar to the one illustrated below:


  • If you are presented with this dialogue box, click Yes.
  • You may be prompted for your password again.
  • If necessary, re-enter your password.
  • You should then see a screen similar to that below.
  • Note that there are two main panes:
  • The left-hand pane, which represents the computer on which you are running WinSCP;
  • The right-hand pane, which represents the eRSA storage server.


  • When you first log in to the eRSA storage server with WinSCP, on the right-hand side you will be taken to the top or root level, and this will contain a number of icons representing various folders/directories, including a projects folder.
  • Note: For future reference, the root or top of the folder hierarchy is sometimes represented by the / slash symbol.
  • Note: In this document, we use the term folder and directory interchangeably.
  • All client data are kept in a subdirectory of the projects folder.
  • Double click on the projects folder.
  • This will cause the right-hand pane to change so that it displays the contents of the projects folder.
  • You will see a number of folders.
  • Each of these folders represent the storage allocation for a given allocation.
  • Usually, storage allocated from April 2014 onwards will be named after a shortname that you will have negotiated with eRSA.
  • The correct folder name and path should be provided to you by eRSA when we hand over your storage.
  • In this demonstration, the folder is called ersatest.


  • Double-click on the folder you wish to enter, e.g. ersatest, and the right-hand pane will change to display the contents of that folder.


  • Since this is a brand new storage allocation, the folder is almost empty.
  • You will see an icon with and up arrow and two dots (‘..’ or dot dot).
  • Two dots is a Unix convention meaning “the folder above this one”.
  • If you were currently ‘in’ the /projects/ersatest directory, then your current directory would be ersatest and .. would be /projects i.e. the directory ‘above’ you.
  • You can double click on the .. icon to navigate back up to the projects directory.
  • You will see the “dot dot” icon in all folders except the absolute topmost folder, and .. can be used in the same way wherever you see it.
  • Double-clicking on the dot dot icon will navigate to the folder that contains the folder where you saw the “dot dot” symbol- that is, the parent of the current folder.
  • You will also see a pop-up menu (in the red rectangle above) that has the name of the current folder you have navigated to.
  • If you click this, the menu pops out and you can navigate to any point up the hierarchy using this menu.
  • You can create folders on the eRSA storage by right-clicking and choosing the New->Directory.


  • You should get a dialogue box that looks like this:


  • Enter the new folder name, in this case Testfolder
  • The other portions of the dialogue box let you set permissions.
  • Permissioning is beyond the scope of this basic intro, so unless you are familiar with Unix permissions or you want to change the folder name, just click OK.

  • To move data from your computer to the eRSA storage, you simply navigate to the location of the data on your computer using the left-hand pane.
  • Then drag the data to the right-hand eRSA storage pane.


  • You will get a confirmation dialogue.
  • Click OK.


  • Downloading data to you computer is the same, with the direction reversed; that is, you drag the data from the right-hand eRSA storage pane, to the left-hand pane which represents your computer.
  • Data on the right-hand storage pane can be organised by dragging it to the icons representing folders or the “dot dot” icon, to move it up a level.

  • Most tasks can be done in a number of ways. The methods demonstrated here are relatively simple and straightforward, but others may be more efficient, so click around and explore.
  • When you have finished, simply click the cross icon on the top right of the window to log out.

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