Connecting from Mac/OSX

Connecting from Mac/OSX

If you are connecting to HPC2N from a Mac, you have a number of options, aside from the built in SSH client Terminal. Several exists, both commercial and free. Here are some of the more common ones:

  • ssh (built-in in Terminal)
  • iTerm2 (free)

If you want to be able to open graphical displays (say for opening the Matlab graphical interface), you need an X11 server. It is not installed as standard on Mac, but you can get it by installing XQuartz.

You also need to transfer files between your own home computer and HPC2N's systems. You need to use a secure protocol, so either sftp or scp will work, but not standard ftp. These are some of the options:

  • scp, sftp (built-in in Terminal)
  • Cyberduck (free)

On this page we will give brief examples for ssh, Cyberduck and iTerm2.

In all cases, we strongly advice against saving passwords.

The simplest way to connect to HPC2N is to use the built-in ssh from Terminal.

NOTE: remember that the accounts at HPC2N and SUPR are separate. In the welcome mail you got when your HPC2N account was created was a link to create a first, temporary password. When you have logged in using that, please change the password.

SSH clients


  1. Launch Terminal
  2. Connect to Kebnekaise by doing:
    ssh -l username 

    where username is your username at HPC2N.

  3. If you need to open displays from the remote host on your local machine (say, for graphical interfaces to some software), you need to make sure XQuartz is installed and running. It should be set up automatically during install.


  1. Download iTerm2
  2. Install and launch
  3. Connect to Kebnekaise by doing:
    ssh -l username 

    where username is your username at HPC2N.

  4. You now have access to a number of nice features, like split panes, search, paste history, etc. Read more about that here.

File transfers


  • Download from here or from the Mac App Store
  • Install
  • Launch the program
  • In the Open Connection dialog:
    • Select SFTP as protocol
    • Enter Server:
    • Leave Port at default: 22
    • Enter your Username and Password at HPC2N
    • Click Connect
  • When you connect the first time to a remote host, you will be asked if you want to Allow or Deny an unknown fingerprint. Allow it.
  • You are now logged in. You will end up in your home directory. You can change directories and you can upload/download files with drag-drop. If you want, you can pick Bookmark -> New Bookmark from the top menu to save the connection settings for next time.
Updated: 2024-06-15, 11:05