Integrating Box with HCC

NU has come to an arrangement with to provide unlimited cloud storage to every student, staff, and faculty member.  This can be useful when used with jobs to automatically upload results when the job has completed.  Combined with Box Sync, the uploaded files can be sync’d to your laptop or desktop upon job completion. The upload and download speed of Box is about 20 to 30 MB/s in good network traffic conditions.  Users can use a tool called lftp to transfer files between HCC clusters and their Box accounts.

Step-by-step guide for Lftp

  1. Login to your UNK, UNL, or UNO account.

  2. Since we are going to be using ftps protocol to access your storage, you need to create an External Password. In the interface, you can create it at Account Settings > Account > Authentication > Create Password.

  3. After logging into the cluster of your choice, load the lftp module by entering the command below at the prompt:

    Load the lftp module
    module load lftp

  4. Connect to Box using your full email as the username and external password you created:

    Connect to Box
    lftp -u <username> ftps://
    Password: <password>

    Be sure to use your fully qualified username; that is, include the domain. For example,

  5. Test the connection by running the ls command. You should see a listing of your Box files. Assuming it works, add a bookmark named “box” to use when connecting later. Optionally run set bmk:save-passwords yes first if you want lftp to remember the password:

    Add lftp bookmark
    lftp> set bmk:save-passwords yes
    lftp> bookmark add box

  6. Exit lftp by typing quit. To reconnect later, use bookmark name:

    Connect using bookmark name
    lftp box

  7. To upload or download files, use get and put commands. For example:

    Transferring files
    [demo2@login.crane ~]$ lftp box
    lftp> put myfile.txt
    lftp> get my_other_file.txt

  8. To download directories, use the mirror command. To upload directories, use the mirror command with the -R option. For example, to download a directory named my_box-dir to your current directory:

    Download a directory from Box
    [demo2@login.crane ~]$ lftp box
    lftp> mirror my_box_dir
    To upload a directory named my_hcc_dir to Box, use mirror with the -R option:
    Upload a directory to Box
    [demo2@login.crane ~]$ lftp box
    lftp> mirror -R my_hcc_dir 

  9. Lftp also supports using scripts to transfer files. This can be used to automatically download or upload files during jobs. For example, create a file called “” with the following lines:
    open box
    get some_input_file.tar.gz
    put my_output_file.tar.gz
    To run this script, do:
    module load lftp
    lftp -f