Nova: How do I transfer files between my computer and Nova?

SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) is a method of moving files from one computer to another over the Internet. It can be used to upload files from your computer to remote systems such as Nova. It can also be used to download files from remote systems to your computer. Regular FTP is not allowed in your class as it does not provide a secure means to move website files. If your class allows it, you may also use Web Authoring Software instead.

We recommend using a full client such as Core FTP.  Core FTP LE is available for use free of charge for unlimited personal and educational use. See their website for details:

1. Download Core FTP

Step 1: Go to the Core FTP download site:

Step 2: Select a mirror by clicking on any of the links under the heading: Core FTP LE 2.2: Free Version. Make sure you choose the appropriate 32-bit or 64-bit version for your computer system.

Step 3: Once the coreftplite.exe file downloads, locate the file on your computer and double-click it to begin installation.

Step 4: You may need administrator rights on your computer to install the file.

On the User Agreement window, click I agree.

On the Select Components to Install window, click Next to accept the default selections.

On the Destination Folder window, click Install.

After the installation, click Close on the Completed window.

2. Run Core FTP and Enter Site Information

Step 1: When first starting Core FTP, you will be prompted to make Core FTP your default FTP client. Select Cancel to leave your browser settings unchanged (recommended).

Step 2: Open Core FTP. The Site Manager dialog box will appear.

Note: If you do not see the Site Manager dialog box, click on Sites from the top menu, select Site Manager, and the dialog box will open.
When Core FTP is initially installed, you will need to create a new site to connect to Nova.

If you have used Core FTP to connect to your Nova account previously and you see Nova listed (where New Site is highlighted in the image to the right), click on Nova to highlight it and verify the information listed in Step 3 is correct. If it is correct, you can skip to Step 5.

Step 3: To create a New Site to connect to Nova, complete the fields in the Site Manager window as shown below:

Site NameThis can be anything you choose, but it is recommended that you enter the server name into this field. (In this case, type Nova.)
Username: Enter your nova username
Password: Enter your nova password
Connection: In the dropdown box, choose SSH/SFTP as your connection type.
Port22 (When SSH/SFTP is selected as your connection type, the port number should automatically show as 22.)

Step 4: Depending on the version of Core FTP you are using, you may also see the following fields:

Remote Start Folderwww (if you have subfolders within the www directory, such as admn635, then you could type in www/admn635)
Local Start Folder: Use the browse button to the right of the text box to select the folder that holds your web pages.

Step 5: Once you have filled in your information, click Connect. This information will be saved for future connections.

If you receive an error, try typing your login name and password again. If you continue to encounter login problems, log directly into your account with an ssh client such as PortaPutty. If you password has expired, you will be prompted to reset it. Nova passwords expire every 180 days.

Step 6: If you have previously used Core FTP to connect to Nova, you should see Nova listed under the Site Manager window. In this case, click on Nova and verify the connection information. See Step 2 above for instructions.

If the information is correct, click Connect at the bottom of the Site Manager window to connect to your Nova account.

Step 7: Once you click on the Connect button, the Site Manager dialog box will disappear and you will only see the main window. The connection may take a few moments, so it may appear that Core FTP isn't connecting to Nova. You can tell that a connection to Nova is being attempted by looking at the Session Log box. 

By default, the right window pane (remote system) shows the contents of the server (e.g., the University of Maryland University College Nova server). The left window (local system) shows the contents of your hard drive.


3. Transfer Files

Step 1: After you have established a connection to your Nova account, the Core FTP window will have a split screen. The left side will show your local (C:) drive and the right side will show your Nova account.

Step 2: To transfer a file or selection of files (hold down the Ctrl key to select multiple files), select the file(s) and drag them to the other window (or click one of the two arrows in the center of the screen named Upload or Download which points in the direction of desired file transfer.)

For example, if you wish to transfer a file from your computer to your www folder on your Nova account,  locate the file on your computer (left side of the screen). Next, open the location on Nova you wish to transfer the file to. All website files must be transferred to the www folder. To transfer to the www folder, double-click the www folder on the right side of the screen to open it.

Next, highlight the file(s) on the left side that you wish to transfer. With the file(s) highlighted, click on the arrow in the middle of the window pointing to the right to transfer from your computer (left) to your Nova account (right).

Step 3: To transfer files that are currently on your Nova account over to your computer, locate the files on the right side that you wish to transfer. On the left side, open the location you wish the files to be transferred to. Select the files on the right that you wish to transfer and click on the arrow in the middle of the window that is pointing to the left to transfer from Nova (right) to your computer (left).

Step 4: After a period of inactivity, the connection will time out and you will need to establish a connection to the system by clicking on Reconnect on the far right of the remote site (two blue plug ends). You can also click on file in the top left corner and select Reconnect.