Getting Data from iPlant/Cyverse

Quick tutorial to download data from iPlant datastore to Lightning3/Condo using iRODS. iRODS is currently installed on Lightning3/Condo, to start using it, just load it using modules.

module use /data004/software/GIF/modules
module load iRODS

iRODS provides Unix command-line utilities to interact with the iPlant Data Store. Many commands are similar to Unix (by adding i to the common UNIX commands, you get iRODS commands or icommands).

1. Login to your iPlant account

Sometimes also referred as iRODS account, this is required to access private files from the iPlant data store. This is done by logging in via iinit command.

$ iinit
One or more fields in your iRODS environment file (.irodsEnv) are
missing; please enter them.
Enter the host name (DNS) of the server to connect
Enter the port number:1247
Enter your irods user name:aseetharam
Enter your irods zone:iplant
Those values will be added to your environment file (for use by
other i-commands) if the login succeeds.
Enter your current iRODS password:
#password won't be displayed

Now you are logged in. Although your working directory doesn’t change, all iCommands can now access the iPlant datastore. You can logout anytime by typing iexit command.

Alternatively, you can save this information in ~/.irods/irodsEnv file as follows:

irodsPort 1247
irodsUserName <username>
irodsZone iplant
irodsPassword <your password>

This will let you connect automatically each time you want to login by just typing in iinit command. You can also exclude the last line (password), so that it will prompt only password for logging in.

2. Download files

Navigate to the desired location/directory and use iget command to download the desired file. You can also use any of the standard UNIX command by using i as prefix (eg., icp for copy, imv to move, ipwd to print working directory etc.,)

iget path/to/filename

If there are large number of files to be copied or you just want to sync 2 directories (local and iplant), you can also use rsync command. rsync synchronize the data between a local copy (local file system) and the copy stored in iRODS or between two iRODS copies. You can use rsync to either:

  • synchronization of data from the client’s local file system to iRODS
  • from iRODS to the local file system
  • from one iRODS path to another iRODS path

To synchronize (recursively) the data from the local directory foo1 to the iRODS collection foo2

irsync -r foo1 i:foo2

To synchronize (recursively) the data from the iRODS collection foo1 to the local directory foo2

irsync -r i:foo1 foo2

To synchronize (recursively) the data from the iRODS collection foo1 to another iRODS collection foo2

irsync -r i:foo1 i:foo2

Finally, if you want to transfer a single file from local host to remote (iplant), you can do it using iput command.

iput filename


For more information, follow these links:

  • [iRODS](
  • [iPlant](

Next Previous Table of contents