Logon from Mac OS X

Required software

Mac OS X comes with a Terminal application that can be found in the Applications folder. Since Mac OS X is based on BSD UNIX, using Terminal (which is a built-in SSH client) is almost identical to access from other UNIX systems.

All the examples below refer to the ARC2 facility. Simply replace arc2 with the correct machine name to use with our other HPC facilities.

Logging in

To log into the ARC2 cluster by secure shell simply issue the following at the command prompt (where username is your regular University username):

$ ssh @arc2.leeds.ac.uk

Image of Mac Terminal

You should then be prompted for your password.


Secure shell allows X display traffic (for graphical applications) to be tunnelled and encrypted through the SSH connection.

The latest versions of OS X do not have an X11 client installed so this will need to be downloaded and installed seperately. X11 for Mac can be obtained from the XQuartz. This is a dmg file so will prompt you with the correct instructions for installation.

Once installed, an X11 connection can be started by using the -Y flag with SSH:

$ ssh -Y @arc3.leeds.ac.uk

File transfer

Like all Linux and Unix systems, there are a number of command line clients for file transfer. scp (secure file copy) and sftp (secure version of FTP) will work on the ARC systems. For day-to-day use though, we would recommend a graphical application like Cyberduck or FileZilla. These should be set up with an sftp connection to the relevant cluster.

User and machine names

If your local username (the username on your Mac) matches your username on the HPC platform, there is no need to specify the @ portion of the commands above. Furthermore, if you are connecting from a machine within the leeds.ac.uk network, it is not necessary to include this either

$ ssh arc2

will log you into ARC2, provided you are connecting from a machine which is on campus and your usernames are identical on the local and remote machines.