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Here you will find an example of how to configure WinSCP, a free S3 client for Microsoft Windows. There are many other S3 client software that can be used for data access. Unfortunately, we cannot assist you in configuring each client. However, the general workflow should not differ too much from client to client, so after working through this guide you can make appropriate adjustments for the S3 client of your choice.

Based on WinSCP version 5.19.3

1. Installation

Download WinSCP and run the installation program:
For the installation you need admin rights.

Step 1 - Installation

Figure 1 - Step 1 Download of the installer.

Alternatively, you can download the portable version, which you can use without installing and thus without admin rights. We will work with the portable version in this tutorial. Therefore there is no extra installation guide. If you need help with the installation, you can consult the WinSCP Documentation.

Step 1 - Installation

Figure 2 - Step 1 Download the portable version.

2. Configure a new connection

Start WinSCP via the WinSCP executable:

Step 1 - Installation

Figure 3 - Step 2 Start the installer.

Immediately after startup, an input window will open, allowing you to configure a new connection.

Step 1 - Installation

Figure 4 - Step 2 Konfiguration einer neuen Verbindung.

Select Amazon S3 in the File protocol field and copy the values listed in the table below into the respective fields of the input mask.

Step 1 - Installation

Figure 5 - Step 2 Configuration as S3 Resource.

There are a total of five input fields to fill in - please refer to the resource configuration in Coscine or RWTH Publications for the corresponding values. In the case of RWTH Publications, you will find the document "Datenzugang_DataAccess.pdf" for your data set. All relevant data is stored there. Note that the Host name field in WinSCP corresponds to the Entry point field in Coscine. If you copy the value, you should paste it without https:// prefix and without port postfix in WinSCP, otherwise an incorrect redirection will be made. For simplicity, you should copy the host name value given below.

WinSCP Coscine
Host name
Port number 9021
Access key ID Access Key (Reading or Writing)
Secret access key Secret Access Key (Reading or Writing)

Now click "Login" to connect to the resource. You can save the connection configuration beforehand for later reuse by clicking on the "Save" button. This is recommended so that you do not have to re-enter the above data over and over again.

If you are prompted with a certificate error, you are probably using an outdated version of the WinSCP client. Compare the version you are using with the version on the download page given in section 1 and update if necessary. You should always use the latest version of the WinSCP client.

3. Open bucket

After the connection is established, you will see the contents of your resource in the right part of the window. However, so far only a "root" directory can be found there, despite the fact that there may already be data in the resource.

You now have to open the directory (in this case the corresponding S3 bucket) to get access to the data. To do this, click on the Open directory/bookmark button or press the key combination (Ctrl+O):

Step 1 - Installation

Figure 6 - Step 3 open data directory.

An input mask opens, in whose input field you have to enter the value of "Bucket Name" from the resource configuration.

Step 1 - Installation

Figure 7 - Step 3 Specification of the resource via the "Bucket Name" parameter.

Confirm your input by clicking the "OK" button. If everything went smoothly, you should now be able to see your files in the right part of the window and interact with them.

4. Interacting with files

Select the files you want to interact with and right-click on them. A context menu will open, allowing you to perform various actions on the selected files. The actions include download, edit, rename and delete.

Step 1 - Installation

Figure 8 - file access after successful configuration.