Aspera Connect problem with "ascp: Taget address not available"
Entering edit mode
2.3 years ago
sbstevenlee ▴ 480


I'm trying to download some WGS data from the European Nucleotide Archive using the ascp command from IBM Aspera Connect. I'm using the latest version (4.1.1).

The following command works just fine in my local Linux PC:

(fuc) [sbslee@localhost Desktop]$ .aspera/connect/bin/ascp -QT -l 100m -P33001 -k 1 -i .aspera/connect/etc/asperaweb_id_dsa.openssh .                                                                                                                      10% 1539MB  1.3Mb/s    38:04 ETA

However, when I enter the same command on a server (let's call it "Server A"), I get the following error:

(fuc) [sbslee@bdcm03 ~]$ .aspera/connect/bin/ascp -QT -l 100m -P33001 -k 1 -i .aspera/connect/etc/asperaweb_id_dsa.openssh .
ascp: Target address not available 
Startup failed, exit

I confirmed that the server is connected to the Internet. Interestingly, when I tried the command in a different server ("Server B"), it worked OK. Therefore, I think the issue is specific to Server A, but I don't know how I should go about solving this issue. For example, user configuration is the same for both servers. Can anyone think of potential reasons for this? As far as I can tell, the firewall is the same for both servers as well. Could there be some Aspera-specific environment variables/configurations I should take a look?

When I searched for the error, there weren't many results to guide me. I did come across a Biostars comment where the user encountered the same problem, but there was no solution (Download of FASTQ files from the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA) using Aspera).

I also found a way to test data transfer, but the same problem persists:

(base) [sbslee@bdcm03 ~]$ ~/.aspera/connect/bin/ascp -T /tmp/
ascp: Target address not available 
Startup failed, exit

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

ascp Aspera • 3.2k views
Entering edit mode

As you describe in the linked thread, you tried it on different machines and it worked. Hence, it is specific to the server you're on. Talk to the admins and discuss whether some firewalls are in place or whether ports that aspera requires are not open. If this all does not work then just use regular wget on the ftp link:


On our HPC I have a 50MB/s download for that, so the file will complete in about 10min. Aspera is nice, but it is not that there are no alternatives.

Entering edit mode

Thanks for the reply. I am planning to talk to the admins, but I wanted to investigate the issue myself a bit before bringing it to them. Basically, I was hoping to be able to check some configuration/environment variables in Server A. I will definitely bring up firewalls and ports when talking to them.

As for using wget, unfortunately, it's VERY slow, giving me the max speed of ~500 KB/s when ascp is giving me ~100 MB/s. So it's just not feasible. In any case, I agree with you about talking to admins. Thanks for your input, and I wish you a Happy New Year!


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