XARTS Network Drive

For Users with Full Lab Access

content last updated 8-4-2021


Think of your XARTS Network Drive as a “cloud drive” that’s always there no matter which computer you log into in any XARTS computer lab. Because it’s “in the cloud”, you can access it no matter which computer you log into – and you can get to it from non-lab computers, too, both on and off campus. You can also use it to share files with lab users, receive files from lab users, or publish a live website.


Your network drive has a finite amount of disk space called your disk quota:

  • Students: 26 GB
  • Faculty, Staff, and Lab Assistants: 34 GB

See the topics below on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to learn how to monitor the size of your network drive:

  • "XARTS Network Drive doesn't accurately show capacity or free space"
  • "Which of my files are consuming disk space on a lab computer or my XARTS Network Drive?"


Folder Icon Username (top level)

This is the top or “root” folder of your network drive. All lab users can view the files or folders that you put in the first level of this folder, but they can’t edit or delete them.

Folder Icon Documents

This is your private folder. Only you can open it. The files and folders you put inside it are not visible to other lab users.

Folder Icon Additional private folders (optional)

You can make additional private folders just like your predefined, private "Documents" folder. On a Mac, first create the folder. Now click on it once to highlight it and select File ➔ Get Info. Click the padlock in the lower right corner of the information window that appears. In the “Sharing & Permissions” section, delete the “ACCOUNTS\Domain Users” line and change the privileges for “everyone” to “no access”.

Folder Icon Public

All lab users can view (and, by extension, copy) the files that you put in here, but they can’t directly edit or delete them. Use this folder to share files with the lab community.

Folder Icon Drop Box (inside Public)

All lab users can deposit files inside this folder, but they can’t open it; only you can. Use this folder to receive files from other lab users.

To transmit a file to another lab user, deposit it into their Drop Box folder. See the topic, "How do I deposit documents into another lab user's Drop Box folder?", on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to learn how.

TIP: You can make additional “drop box” folders with customized names by launching Applications ➔ Utilities ➔ XARTS Drop Box Maker.

Folder Icon Sites

This is the root folder, a.k.a. top-level folder, of your very own web server. The URL for your server is https://xarts.usfca.edu/~username where username is your myUSF username, and the symbol preceding it is a tilde, i.e. the shift-character on the accent symbol key [ ` ] to the left of the [ 1 ] key on a standard keyboard.

The filename for the home page of any website you host in your Sites folder must be index.html, index.php, or default.html.

CAUTION: Anyone in the world can use a web browser to view the websites and files that you put in this folder.

See our "How to Access" section below to learn how to upload and download files to and from your Sites folder.



You can access your XARTS Network Drive by using an FTP application, a.k.a. an "FTP client," that supports the SFTP protocol. CyberduckTransmit, and Fetch are a few of the many SFTP apps available for Mac. WinSCP is just one of many popular SFTP apps available for Windows.

No matter which FTP client you choose, you'll need some or all of the following information:

  • Server a.k.a. Host: xarts.usfca.edu
  • Connection Method: SFTP
  • Username and Password: your XARTS Labs username and password
  • Port Number: 22 (standard port for SFTP)


From an XARTS Lab computer

Macicon for the "XARTS Connect Network Drive" utility

Click the "XARTS Connect Network Drive" icon in your Dock. Your drive will appear as an icon your Desktop and in the sidebar of any Finder window.

To connect your drive every time you log in, click and drag the "XARTS Connect Network Drive" icon from the /Applications/Utilities folder into the Login Items pane of  ➔ System Preferences ➔ Users & Groups.


Click the "XARTS Connect Network Drive (X)" icon in your Start menu. (Items are listed alphabetically.) Your drive will appear as your "X:" drive in the “Computer” section of any Windows Explorer window.

To connect it every time you log in, click once on the "XARTS Connect Network Drive (X) Every Login" icon in your Start menu.

From another computer

Heads up! When not using an XARTS Lab computer (or any other Ethernet-connected USF-owned computer), you must first log into the USF Virtual Private Network (VPN) before you can access your XARTS Network Drive via file sharing.
Learn more about the USF VPN


Switch to the Finder and select Go ➔ Connect To Server. Enter xarts.usfca.edu/Users/username for the server address (where username is your myUSF username), and click Connect. Enter your myUSF username and password when prompted, then click OK.


Steps vary depending on the version of Windows you're using. Search online for these keywords: windows [version] map network drive



The files you save on your XARTS Network Drive are not backed up by the department and could be lost in the event of user error, a severe hardware failure, or other catastrophe, so it’s essential that you save and/or back them up to other locations, such as a personal storage device or to an online file storage service such as Google Drive (part of Gmail and USF email) or Dropbox.


Your XARTS Network Drive is on a remote file server, i.e. you access it "over the network". Officially, Adobe says you should not work with files over the network and doing so can result in, at best, erratic application behavior, or at worst, file corruption or data loss. Unofficially, your mileage may vary, and depending on the file and/or the application, you might meet with success. But since Adobe says it's unpredictable and unsupported, we recommend that you avoid it -- or at the very least, be aware of it.

Workaround 1: Store and work with your Adobe files on a personal, high-speed storage device.

Workaround 2: If you need to work with an Adobe file that's stored on your XARTS Network Drive, copy the file down to the lab computer (to your Desktop, for example), work with that duplicate, and then copy it back to your XARTS Network Drive when you're finished.