GridFTP Quick Start Guide


We recommend GridFTP for transfering large files across high-speed WANs.  As of June 2017, support for GridFTP has been taken over by the Open Science Grid

If one or both of your endpoints have regular GridFTP server setup, you should look into using Globus Online.

Here is a 'quick start guide' to installing GridFTP with ssh support only (i.e.: no X509 support). Do these steps on both the client and server hosts.

First install the Globus repo:

rpm -hUv

Then do a 'yum install':

yum install yum-plugin-priorities  # globus installer needs this
yum install globus-data-management-client globus-data-management-server

Next, enable sshftp using this command:

/etc/init.d/globus-gridftp-sshftp reconfigure

The GridFTP server is now automatically launched via sshd. Make sure you can ssh to both the source and destination host. Here are some sample commands (note: you should not  be root when trying these): 

 # directory listing
globus-url-copy -list ssh
# copy file /etc/group
globus-url-copy ssh file:/tmp/group
# parallel transfer of file /tmp/mybigdatafile
globus-url-copy -p 4 ssh \
# test network throughput
globus-url-copy -vb -p 4 sshftp://gridhost.


Once you have GridFTP installed, you can test it using our GridFTP test Data Transfer Nodes (you must be connected to a research and education network).

NOTE: there appears to be a bug in the GT6.0 version for ssh access. You may need to edit /usr/share/globus/gridftp-ssh, and replace @[email protected] with full path to ssh (i.e. "/usr/bin/ssh").

For More Information 

Recommended: Configuring and running GridFTP
Useful: Explanation of globus-url-copy command line options


Server Logging Options

We recommend enabling GridFTP's additional logging capabilities, which make performance analysis and troubleshooting much easier. These more detailed logs can be used to identify your fastest and slowest endpoints, and see settings such as number of parallel streams and TCP buffer sizes your remote users are requesting.

To enable this additional logging, add the following to /etc/gridftp.conf:

log_single /var/log/gridFTP/gridftp-auth.log
log_transfer /var/log/gridFTP/gridftp.log
log_module stdio_ng

 Note that the log directory must be writeable by all GridFTP users.

For More Information 

Recommended: GridFTP server documentation


Back to Top

Firewall Issues

Many sites run firewalls that prevent GridFTP from working. Protocols such as FTP which use dynamically assigned ports often get blocked by the firewall. Often firewalls are configured to only block incoming connections, not outgoing connections. In this case you may be able to solve the firewall problem by initiating the transfer from inside the site with the firewall.

If both sites have a firewall that blocks incoming connections, things are trickier. You will have to talk to your firewall administrator about opening up set of ports for your data transfer connections. You might also consider placing your data server outside the firewall - an example of this is the Science DMZ architecture. This has the added benefit of avoid potential performance issues caused by the firewall. 

For More Information 

Recommended: Globus GridFTP client firewall information


How to specify port ranges for a GridFTP server

You can specify the ports that the GridFTP server uses by editing these files:


Modify GLOBUS_TCP_PORT_RANGE to the ports you want. For example:


To specify which ports are used by the client, you can modify the file:


Look for the line:

   /usr/bin/ssh $port_str $remote_host $remote_program 

use something like this instead:

   /usr/bin/ssh $port_str $remote_host GLOBUS_TCP_PORT_RANGE=x,y $remote_program