Workspaces in Research Cloud are volatile: after they cease to exist, they leave nothing behind. This applies to their data as well - any data stored on the workspace itself would be gone when a workspace is gone. In order to allow persistent storage that will outlive workspaces we provide a feature to connect your personal ResearchDrive account to workspaces you start.

Research Drive requires a personal user account to access it. In order to access your Research Drive storage from Research Cloud’s workspaces, Research Cloud will need to know your Research Drive’s identity.  

In the Research Cloud portal, you can establish this link in two steps: first, you must make your Research Drive space known to Research Cloud; second, you must enable (any of) your collaborations (COs) to reach your Research Drive space.

For example in Linux based workspaces, your Research Drive will be mounted in the "researchdrive" folder in your home directory. If you want to attach your ResearchDrive account to workspaces started for another CO you have to link that CO through the Research Cloud portal as well.

Programmatic Access

This page describes the way to provide user-access to Research Drive. Most of the time this is what you want.

If you want to access Research Drive in a way that is not tied to a particular user, please consider to follow this tutorial.

In order to allow Research Cloud to know your Research Drive identity, you must know your Research Drive username and WebDAV token.

You can get this as follows:

  1. Open the Research Drive portal in a new browser tab or window
    1. If you are using SURF Research Drive the url will be
    2. If you are using your institution's branded Research Drive you can look up the portal's url here.
  2. In the Research Drive portal, go to your name on the top right of the screen and click Settings
  3. From the menu on the left, choose Security
  4. Scroll to the WebDAV passwords section.
  5. You must then type an App name in the text box.

    This name will help you identify which external apps (external to Research Drive) have access to your Research Drive. A good example now would be Research Cloud with the CO name you want to use this password for.
  6. Click on the Create new app password button.
  7. Check which url is specified under "To access your files through WebDAV, please use the following URL".
  8. Leave this window open while you prepare your Research Cloud portal to receive the information.

Research Drive documentation

Knowledge base: Research Drive 

Documentation of the ResearchDrive service:

For more details check: 

Step 2: Linking the ResearchDrive account to a CO

Now, let us prepare the Research Cloud portal to receive the Research Drive information:

  1. In a different browser window, navigate to the Research Cloud Portal.
  2. Go to the CO you want to link your Research Drive to in the profile section
  3. Choose the "Services" tab.
  4. Activate the switch for the Research Drive service.
  5. Fill in your Research Drive username.
  6. Fill in the WebDAV password that you generated on the Research Drive portal.
  7. If you want to use the branded Research Drive of your institution, uncheck the checkbox "Use SURF's Research Drive" and fill in the url that is given on the Research Drive portal. (See Step 1, point 7.)
  8. Press "SAVE" to submit the form


Your Research Drive credentials will be on a workspace without encryption. Only share your credentials with a Collaborative Organisation if you trust its members.


All workspaces of the collaboration will have a directory 'researchdrive' in the home directory.

Here, your can access your files and folders of the Research Drive instance you just connected.

Make sure that you log out of and back in to existing workspaces for the change to take effect.