Transfer files between computers

Transferring a large amount of files between two computers directly can be challenging. The computers may even be at different institutions. There are a few ways to do this, depending on the sensitivity of the data involved.


The most direct way is to use a tool called rsync to transfer files and their attributes directly from the source location to the target. On macOS and Linux machines, you can run the following command to copy your home folder (~/username) to the folder from-mcmaster located in the home folder of your account on targetmachine at a maximum bandwidth limit of 8192 KB/s (approx ~8MB/s):

rsync --bwlimit=8192 -avz ~/username user@targetmachine:~/user/from-mcmaster 

Unfortunately this method does not work on Windows 10 (unless you do it via WSL, but setting that up is beyond the scope of this page).

Network folders

Another way to transfer files is to mount or map a network drive, and then copy your files to (or from) the network drive.


Yet another way to transfer files is to sync your desired files up to a cloud service, such as OneDrive or MacDrive.

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