Getting started with HPSS

Access | Project codes | Archiving and managing files | Permissions

Review each of the topics below to get off to a quick start using HPSS. Also, familiarize yourself with:

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Most users access HPSS after logging in to the Cheyenne HPC system. Once you are logged in there, using HPSS requires no further authentication.

To use HPSS on NCAR systems that are outside of the HPC environment, see Kerberos and HSI.

If you are a principal investigator or the project lead for an allocation, you may request user accounts and HPSS access for additional individuals by contacting

Project codes

To use HPSS, you must have an allocation and a project code to which your HPSS usage can be charged. Your HPSS project code may be the same as the one associated with your allocation for use of computing resources.

While you might have more than one project code, one is designated as your HPSS default project code. Unless you specify otherwise, files written to HPSS use that project code.

See Projects and charges for information on changing project codes.

Archiving and managing files

HPSS is shared by a large number of users, so efficiency and best practices are critical. The number of file actions that users can execute concurrently with the tools described here is subject to individual and global limits. See Use and storage policies for details regarding those limits.

Warning: Transferring numerous files  warning

Use HTAR if you need to archive large numbers of files. Do not use HSI to move hundreds or thousands of individual files to HPSS.

See File size guidelines for HPSS for additional information that will help you use this system most efficiently.

Failure to follow these guidelines can result in suspension of your access to HPSS


Properly setting up directory and file permissions can help you prevent unintentional overwriting or deletion of the data that you store in HPSS.

As explained in our HPSS permissions documentation, it is how you set permissions on the parent directory that protects your HPSS files, not permissions on the files themselves. This is important to keep in mind because of the way some HSI commands are implemented.

While directory permissions are important for protecting data, file permissions serve other purposes. We recommend that you always set the permissions on files directly after writing them.


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