MSU IT Techbase

AFS: Accessing your AFS Space - TB2468

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MSU provides free remote file storage space called AFS (Andrew File System). This space can be used to back up files, post personal websites, and access files from anywhere you have a connection to the Internet. Your AFS space makes your files accessible in a wide variety of ways. For instance, an MSU student working on a paper might sometimes work on his or her own computer and sometimes work on at a Computer Classroom. Memory sticks, CDs, and floppy disks can get lost or become defective and are very limiting in the amount of space available. AFS storage offers similar portability, yet is a more reliable way of keeping data safe.

This document will describe the many ways you can access your AFS space both on- and off-campus.

Using Netfiles

Files saved to AFS space can be accessed over the internet with Netfiles, a web-based graphical interface. MSU Netfiles allows users to upload and download files from the MSU AFS system. It will also allow users to copy, paste, and rename files or folders, along with managing folder permissions.

For more information on Netfiles, refer to Techbase article TB7897. To access MSU Netfiles, browse to

Using Secure FTP

The AFS system is capable of FTP over SSL with explicit encryption. This allows a secure connection via an FTP client (ftps). It also offers an alternative to using OpenAFS. Currently we recommend Filezilla for Windows users. For MacOS, current versions of Fetch, set to use "FTP with TLS/SSL" will work.

Using FTP

Using FTP is the most reliable method of connection when off-campus, when using a dial-up connection, or when behind a firewall. Using an FTP client such as Filezilla (Windows) or Fetch (Mac), log in to the host with your MSU NetID (User ID) and password. When logged in you will be in the root directory of your AFS space.

Note: Set your FTP client to use "passive FTP".

We highly recommend that you do not attempt to delete any of the default folders you find in your AFS space including your mail, web, snapshot.afs and public folders. You may also find a win2k folder and/or AppleDouble and AppleDesktop folders in your AFS space if you use the public MSU microlabs.

Mapping your AFS space as a logical drive

Users connected on-campus (not off-campus) can map their AFS space as a logical drive. This allows the user to access the mapped space as you would any attached storage device such as a CD hard drive.

Mapping personal or course AFS space (on-campus):

Mapping your AFS space using OpenAFS

OpenAFS allows you to successfully map your MSU AFS space without having to enable plain-text passwords, which could leave your sensitive information vulnerable. OpenAFS allows your AFS space to appear as a logical drive on your computer just like in the computer classrooms. Refer to OpenAFS Configuration for Windows.

Note: Users who log in to a classroom computer have their AFS space automatically mapped as the P: drive. This mapping is done for convenience of access, however, the use of the P: drive as an live, open read-write storage device is not recommended. See TB15422 - Using the P: drive in a classroom setting for more information.

Keywords for this Document

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Date Last Modified: 4/22/2016 3:25:05 PM

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