Information Services Division


How to mount the Research Data Storage Service on Linux

This guide outlines options for mounting the Research Data Storage Service on Linux.

This guide is aimed at...

  • Researchers

Before you start...

Previous versions of our service did not allow storage to be mountable directly (though there were some third party tools that would allow it). Our new GPFS/Spectrumscale facility which launched on 9th November 2017, allows direct mounting through the CIFS protocol.

CIFS is the standard Windows way to mount network storage, but Mac OS and Linux can also mount it (see related guides below for other operating systems).

Please consider that choosing to mount your storage (especially in Windows), opens your data up to some additional risks from malicious software such as WannaCry. You can mitigate this risk by keeping your antivirus software up to date and by accessing the storage only by SSH or SFTP (i.e. not mounting).

Also, please note that you need to have registered a project with RDS in order to be able to access the storage. If you’d like to do that please read the Research Data Storage Service overview for details.


A package is required to be installed for CIFS share mounting in Linux: cifs-utils

This can be installed with (for example): 
sudo apt-get install cifs-utils (on Debian/Ubuntu derived OSs) 
sudo yum install cifs-utils (on RedHat/CentOS derived OSs)

The share can then be mounted with the command:

sudo mount \
   -t cifs \
   -o domain=ad.ucl.ac.uk,user=<ucl_username>,uid=<local_user> \
   //live.rd.ucl.ac.uk/<project_name> \

where: <ucl_username> is your UCL seven letter id./username, <local_user> is your local user name on the Linux system you are mounting on, <project_name> will be given in your welcome email and is of the long form: ritd-ag-project-rdabcd-abcdefg, and <destination> is where you would like to mount the CIFS share.

The uid=<local_user> term can be omitted if only root will be writing data or if write access is not needed for other users. It can also be replaced with noperm, which will give all users on your local machine access to the remote storage as though they are you. There are some other permission settings you may wish to change: please see man mount.cifs for help.

Related guides & other info

Help & Support

For further help and assistance you can contact researchdata-support@ucl.ac.uk


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