Rsync (recommended method)
We recommend that you download data via rsync using the command line, especially for large
For example, when downloading ENCODE files to your present directory (./), use an expression such
$ rsync -a -P rsync://hgdownload.soe.ucsc.edu/goldenPath/hg19/encodeDCC/wgEncodeDir/wgEncodeFile ./
To download the entire directory (note the trailing slash), use an expression such as:
$ rsync -a -P rsync://hgdownload.soe.ucsc.edu/goldenPath/hg19/encodeDCC/wgEncodeDir/ ./
To obtain a file's location (URL) to use with
rsync (rsync://hgdownload.soe.ucsc.edu/...), navigate in your browser to our FTP site at
ftp://hgdownload.soe.ucsc.edu/ or our
downloads page at http://hgdownload.soe.ucsc.edu/downloads.html, and look for your file of
interest. To learn more about rsync's options, type "man rsync" on the command line.
Downloading from a web browser
If you are not comfortable using the command line, you can download your file via FTP in your
browser at ftp://hgdownload.soe.ucsc.edu/goldenPath, or from our downloads page at
However, downloading via your browser will be very slow or may even time out for large files (i.e.,
bigBed, bigWig, BAM, VCF, etc.). Also, Safari does not support FTP inside the browser. When you
enter a FTP URL in Safari, you may have to select "Guest" and click submit to log in
before a FTP file system will open in a window on your desktop.
FTP from the command line
We do not encourage the use of FTP for downloading large data files.
Rsync is a more efficient and convenient transport mechanism, and is therefore quicker and easier to
use for downloading our data files. However, here are the command line steps for FTP, should you
choose to use it:
$ ftp hgdownload.soe.ucsc.edu
Password: <your email address>
ftp> cd goldenPath
ftp> cd <assembly name> (e.g., hg19)
ftp> cd <data directory> (e.g., liftOver)
To download multiple files from the UNIX ftp command line, use the "mget" command. You may
want to use the
prompt command to toggle the interactive mode if you do not want to be
prompted for each file that you download.
ftp> mget [filename1] [filename2] ...
Or to download all the files in the directory:
ftp> mget -a