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You can manage projects and delete/rename files via maiden. But sometimes you’ll need to copy files between your computer and norns, like audio.

File management between norns and macOS is best achieved via Samba/SMB, but we suggest using SFTP to connect your computer to norns in case Samba is unsuccessful. An SFTP client (such as Cyberduck) can connect to the IP address shown on the norns screen.



This tutorial will help you connect norns to a Mac or Windows computer using Cyberduck, so that you can add and update scripts manually on the norns filesystem. It was written using Cyberduck 6.7.1, macOS 10.13.6, and norns 180828 on September 3, 2018.

Be careful when editing files on norns. If you delete files that norns needs to run, it could corrupt the filesystem which would require a complicated re-flash of the image to get back up and running. You most likely only want to be updating things in the dust subdirectory.

Alternatives to Cyberduck include Transmit for macOS and FileZilla for macOS, windows and linux. While the screens will be different, the goal is the same – to connect to norns over the IP adress provided using SFTP/port 22.

  1. If norns is not already running, boot it up. Navigate to SYSTEM / WIFI. You can either use norns in HOTSPOT mode, or by connecting to the same NETWORK that the computer you’ll be downloading the SFTP client to is on. See the network connect docs for more information about WIFI setup.

  2. Download Cyberduck. You can find direct package installation for free from Cyberduck’s website on the changelog page.

  3. Open Cyberduck and click the “Open Connection” button in the top left corner.

  4. Select SFTP from the dropdown at the top of the dialog that pops up.

  5. Enter the IP address that is displayed on the second line of the norns SYSTEM / WIFI screen in the Server field of the dialog in Cyberduck. Enter “we” in the Username field and “sleep” in the Password field. The completed dialog should look like this (note that the IP address may be different, use the one given on your norns screen):

  6. If this is your first time connecting, an “Unknown Fingerprint” dialog will pop up, check “Always” and click Allow.

The norns filesystem should be displayed in the Cyberduck window. You can add, delete, and rename files in this window, just like you would with an external USB flash drive in your computer’s file explorer application.

Everything you need will be in the dust directory. See the file-tree overview in the main docs for an overview of what’s what.

file tree

Upon logging in you’ll be in the home folder which is /home/we/.

dust is the folder which contains everything we need. Here’s the layout:

  audio/          -- audio files
    tape/             -- tape recordings
  code/           -- contains scripts and engines
  data/           -- contains user data created by scripts
    awake/            -- for example, pset data


You can use Cyberduck to share audio files between norns and your computer. On norns, these files are stored under dust/audio – depending on which scripts you have installed, you may see many folders under audio or just a few.

tape is where the TAPE function stores recordings made on your norns.

Feel free to make folders inside audio to store various samples, field recordings, single cycle waveforms, etc. Each of those folders can also store subfolders, but please note that you cannot nest more than ten folder layers.

If you are importing audio to norns, please note that 48khz .wav files are best.


If you want to make a backup of your scripts, psets or other data simply make a copy of the dust directory in /home/we via SFTP. Restoring from this backup is as simple as copying this directory from your computer back to the /home/we/dust directory on norns.


If things hang and do not connect, try to connect again after restarting norns (and reconnecting on the SYSTEM / WIFI screen), as well as restarting Cyberduck.


Thanks to jlmitch5 for this guide!