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UiL OTS Labs

How-tos

Storing and Accessing (Research) Data

Last updated on 21 February 2017 by Iris Mulders

Introduction

Experimental data is valuable and often quite large (video recordings, EEG etc). Storing these data just on your local hard drive or on an external hard disk or USB stick is not safe, because every storage device will crash one day, even the hard disk in your computer. Always store your valuable research data in several locations. The university servers are a safe place, because they are backed up automatically.

The drives U: and O: that are made available by the university’s Information and Technology Services (ITS) were not intended to store more than a few gigabytes for each person. To solve this problem, UiL OTS maintains its own data server. This server is used only for research data. It is backed up and you can access your data in the lab, on your own computer, and from home.

To get access to this server, your Solis account needs to be made a member of the UiL OTS lab users group. If this is not yet the case, please read the Introduction Guide for UiL OTS Labs.

If you head a research group and need the members of the group to be able run the same experiment together, or to access/alter each other’s data, you need to ask for a project folder. Please fill out the form Project Folder Request.

Folder structure

These are the folders you will have access to:

  • labhome: This lab-home folder is usually called your private folder. No one but you has access to this folder.
  • dataexchange: The data exchange area is where you can quickly exchange data with other lab users and with lab support. Note: all files in this folder older than one week will be automatically removed!
  • projects: The projects folder may contain certain project that you have access to. Each project gets it own folder, which is stored in the UiL OTS Labs data server and backed up automatically. You can only access a project folder if your Solis ID belongs to a group that grants access rights to that folder.
  • corpora: The corpora folder contains large and structured sets of texts and audio files.

How to access the UiL-OTS data server

The procedure varies a bit depending on your location

When you log in using your Solis ID in the lab, the following drive mappings are automatically created:

Under Windows 7

Open drive L: (Lab Drives).

Under GNU/Linux (Kubuntu v16.04)

On the Desktop use the link called Lab-Drives or alternatively type cd /mnt/symbolic/Lab-Drives in a terminal.

Under GNU/Linux (Ubuntu v12.04)

On the Desktop you will find links to the individual network drives or alternatively type cd /uilots in a terminal.

On your own ‘standard’ Solis PC (managed by ITS), or if your own Solis PC is a ‘special’ (not managed by ITS), the drive mappings will not be created automatically. Follow these instructions to create them manually:

    1. Start File Explorer (second item on the task bar, next to the start button, or use the keyboard shortcut Windows button + E).
    2. In File Explorer, right-click ‘Network’ and select ‘Map network drive’.
    3. In the dialog window that appears, type ‘L:’ for the drive letter. (Do not choose any other letter!). At ‘Folder’, type \\dfs.hum.uu.nl\uilots. Check ‘reconnect at logon’.
    4. Finally, click on ‘Finish’. The File Explorer window will appear again, showing the contents of the L: drive.

On the PCs in the computerleerzalen, PCs in classrooms etc, there are two options:

  1. Option 1: Follow the instructions for On your ‘standard’ Solis PC, or if your Solis PC is a ‘special’ (Windows 7) above.
  2. Option 2: If Option 1 doesn’t work: open Windows Explorer (Start -> Computer), then fill out the network path of the UiL OTS data server in the address bar, \\dfs.hum.uu.nl\uilots. The disk will be mounted without a drive letter. (A consequence of this is that you will not be able to run ZEP from the lab disk).

This method of connecting under VPN does NOT work for students at all; ITS thinks students are too dangerous to allow access over VPN (we are trying to work out a different solution for students).  This method of connecting under VPN DOES seem to work for most employees, but not necessarily for everyone. If you’re having problems, please let us know.

To connect to the data server from home, you first need to make a VPN connection. Follow this link, log in with your SolisID and click on ‘Start AnyConnect’. If installation of AnyConnect through the browser fails, you can download the application manually and install it. Fill out solisvpn.uu.nl in the ‘Connect to’ field. Connect with your Solis-ID and password.

Verify that you have a working VPN connection: look for the AnyConnect icon in your taskbar, it should display a lock:

Once you have a working VPN connection, do the following:

    1. Start File Explorer (keyboard shortcut: Windows button + E).
    2. In File Explorer, right-click ‘Network’ and select ‘Map network drive’.
    3. In the dialog window that appears, type ‘L:’ for the drive letter. (Do not choose any other letter!). At ‘Folder’, type \\dfs.hum.uu.nl\uilots. Check ‘Connect using different credentials’.
    4. In the dialog window that appears, fill out your username as <SOLISCOM\your solis-ID>
    5. Password: <your solis password>.
    6. Click ‘OK’ to confirm.w7_2
    7. If this doesn’t work, try again using <your solid-ID>@soliscom.uu.nl as the username, and make sure you typed your password correctly.
    8. Finally, click on ‘Finish’. The Explorer window will appear again, showing the contents of the L drive.

      • This method of connecting under VPN does NOT work for students at all; ITS thinks students are too dangerous to allow access over VPN (we are trying to work out a different solution for students).
      • This method of connecting under VPN DOES seem to work for most employees, but not necessarily for everyone. If you’re having problems, please let us know.
      • Only Mac OS version 10.12 and later can definitely connect. Albeit the connection seems to be quite slow. Earlier versions of Mac OS have faulty features that cannot be circumvented; OS 10.7 may still work though if you fiddle around a bit (ask Iris for help).

To connect to the data server from home, you first need to make a VPN connection. Follow this link, log in with your SolisID and click on ‘Start AnyConnect’. If installation of AnyConnect through the browser fails, you will be able to download the application and install it. Fill out solisvpn.uu.nl in the ‘Connect to’ field. Connect with your Solis-ID and password.

Verify that you have a working VPN connection: look for the AnyConnect icon in your taskbar, it should display a lock:

Once you have a working VPN connection, do the following to map the Lab-Drives under Mac OS X:

  1. Open any Finder window.
  2. Hit command-K (apple-K).
  3. In the dialog window that appears, type smb://dfs.hum.uu.nl/uilots. (If you find that this doesn’t work, try smb://fb-kng-5.im.hum.uu.nl).
  4. Click on the + sign to store the connection so you can just double-click it next time without having to type it again.
  5. Click on ‘Connect’.
  6. In the dialog window that appears, choose ‘Connect as:’ ‘Registered user’ and fill out ‘Name’ as <your solis-ID>. Password: <your solis password>.
  7. connectregisterednodomainClick ‘Connect’. The mapping will appear in the sidebar of the Finder under ‘SHARED’.


  • These instructions are meant for those that have experience using command-line interfaces effectively.
  • These instructions were tested on an Lubuntu v16.10 installation but are expected to work on nearly all Debian-based distributions.
  • This method of connecting under VPN does NOT work for students at all; ITS thinks students are too dangerous to allow access over VPN (we are trying to work out a different solution for students).

Connect to the Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Firstly, make sure you install the required packages:
sudo apt update; sudo apt-get install openconnect cifs-utils

Secondly, create a tunnel by starting the openconnect client and enter your Solis-ID username and password:
sudo openconnect --background --no-cert-check solisvpn.uu.nl
Unfortunately, the solisvpn’s certificates are frequently out-of-date or ill-configured. Hence we generally will accept that the signer of the certificates are not trustworthy.

Mount the UiL-OTS data server

To simplify the mount command, please set the environment variable SOLISCOM_USERNAME:
SOLISCOM_USERNAME=<Your Solis ID here!>

Ensure that the target directory has been created (we use /mnt/uilots for this example):
sudo mkdir --parents /mnt/uilots

Finally, mount the UiL-OTS data server:
sudo mount -t cifs //dfs.hum.uu.nl/uilots /mnt/uilots -o username=$SOLISCOM_USERNAME,domain=soliscom,uid=$UID,noatime

Disconnect the mount and VPN

If you are finished with the mounts, first unmount the UiL-OTS data server:
sudo umount /mnt/uilots
Secondly, tell openconnect to disconnect:
sudo pkill -SIGINT openconnect

If you have any questions, please call 9102, or e-mail lab support.