Getting help with HPSS

HSI help | HTAR help | Troubleshooting tips

The HSI and HTAR "help" information below shows you how to find additional documentation regarding commands and options.

For assistance with resolving any HPSS errors that you encounter, see Troubleshooting tips below.

Also see Requesting HPSS file and directory changes.

HSI help

Enter hsi help at your command line to get a brief ASCII text dump of major HSI commands and techniques. Enter hsi -? for a command line summary.

hsi help


hsi -?

If you have already started an HSI session, just enter help.

[HSI]/home/username-> help

Help with individual HSI commands

For help with individual commands, do one of the following:

  • If a command normally takes at least one argument (like cput or cget), enter the command without any arguments to get help, as in this example.
[HSI]/home/username-> cput
  • If a command does not require an argument (like ls, for example), enter the command with the -? argument.
[HSI]/home/username-> ls -?

Identifying HSI version

Knowing how to determine which version of HSI you are using can be helpful if CISL support personnel need to help you troubleshoot a problem. There are three ways to identify the version.

  • When you first start an HSI session, you will see a banner line that includes version information.
[hsi. Mon Oct 22 17:01:44 MDT 2018]
  • On your command line, you can enter this:
hsi –V
  • From within an HSI session, you can just enter version.
HSI/home/username-> version

In either of the last two examples, the output will include this line:

HSIGW Client Version: [hsi. Mon Oct 22 17:01:44 MDT 2018]

HTAR help

Enter htar -? on your command line to get a list of HTAR options and descriptions of each.

htar -?

If your shell is tcsh or csh, include a backslash as shown here.

htar -\?

Troubleshooting tips

If an HSI or HTAR command fails to execute, generate a text file of the output by running the command with debug option -d4 as in these examples.

For tcsh or csh:

htar -d4 -cv -f mydata.tar MyData >& d4.output.txt
hsi -d4 cput xxx : yyy >& d4.output.txt

For bash or ksh:

htar -d4 -cv -f mydata.tar MyData 2> d4.output.txt
hsi -d4 cput xxx : yyy 2> d4.output.txt


  • Transfer the output file to your workstation.
  • Attach the file to a help request and include this additional information:
    • The hostname of the machine being used (,, for example). If the machine is your own workstation, identify the type and operating system (Mac OS 10.6.8, for example).
    • Date and time of the problem.
    • Approximate number of files and bytes involved.

As an alternative to sending the output file, you can include the full pathname in your email or ticket, along with the additional information listed above.

Do not copy and paste the output file content into your email or ticket.