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Home » Documentation » Connecting From AMac OSDesktop

Connecting From a MacOS Desktop

MacOS X comes with command-line tools for both SSH (running commands) and SCP (transferring files). It may also have come installed with an X11 server for running graphical applications on the cluster.

Secure Shell (SSH) client

To connect to the cluster using the built-in SSH client, open the terminal application (located in the Applications->Utilities folder), and type the following:

$ ssh username@login.newton.utk.edu

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 MacOS Terminal application. In this example, we will transfer a test file (Test.txt) from our desktop to the cluster:

$ ls Test.txt
Test.txt
$ scp Test.txt username@login.newton.utk.edu:~/

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

You need an X11 server application running on your desktop in order to run graphical programs on the cluster. If the X11 server application is currently installed on your desktop, it will be located in the Applications->Utilities folder. Otherwise, you will need to install it from one of the installation disks that came with the operation system or computer.

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 username@login.newton.utk.edu

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

$ echo $DISPLAY
localhost:29.0

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