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Connecting From a Linux Desktop

Linux comes with command-line tools for both SSH (running commands) and SCP (transferring files) and is usually already running an X11 server used for the display of remote graphical applications.

Secure Shell (SSH) client

To connect to the cluster using the built-in SSH client, open the terminal application, and type the following:

$ ssh

You should replace "username" with your UT NetID. The SSH client may ask whether or not you want to accept the remote host's encryption key (say yes). When prompted, input your UT NetID password.

Once connected, return to reading the Getting Started page.

Secure Copy (SCP) or Secure FTP (sftp) client

Your system comes with a command-line client for transferring files between your desktop and the cluster. The client uses the same SSH protocol that is used for command-line access. Also run this client from the Terminal application. In this example, we will transfer a test file (Test.txt) from our desktop to the cluster:

$ ls Test.txt
$ scp Test.txt

If you need to download a file from a remote system to the cluster, it is faster to do the transfer directly using the scp (for transfers from an SSH server) or wget (for transfers from a website) commands on the cluster.

Displaying X11 graphics

A X11 server application running on your desktop is needed in order to run graphical programs on the cluster. If the Linux desktop that you are using is currently running in graphical mode, then you are most likely already running an X11 server. You will also need to configure the SSH client to tunnel X11 connections back to your desktop. You can do this by adding the "-X" option to the command-line client:

$ ssh -X

When you connect to, the variable $DISPLAY will automatically be set to the correct value. You may verify this (though the number will likely differ from this example):

$ echo $DISPLAY

You can then test that graphics will work by running a simple graphical program such as "xterm".