• macOS comes with its own implementation of OpenSSH, so you don't need to install any third-party software to use it. Just open a Terminal window and jump in! Because of this, you can use the same commands as specified in the Linux client section to access the cluster and transfer files (ssh-keygen to generate the keys, ssh to log on to the cluster and scp and sftp for file transfer).
  • Optional: You can use JellyfiSSH to store your ssh session settings. The most recent version is available for a small fee from the Mac App Store, but if you google for JellyfiSSH 4.5.2, the version used for the screenshots in this page, you can still find some free downloads for that version. Installation is easy: just drag the program's icon to the Application folder in the Finder, and you're done.

Connecting using OpenSSH

Like in the Linux client section, the ssh command is used to make a connection to (one of) the VSC clusters. In a Terminal window, execute:

$ ssh <vsc-account>@<vsc-loginnode>


  • <vsc-account> is your VSC username that you have received by mail after your request was approved,
  • <vsc-loginnode> is the name of the loginnode of the VSC cluster you want to connect to.

You can find the names and ip-addresses of the loginnodes in the sections of the local VSC clusters.

SSH will ask you to enter your passphrase.

On sufficiently recent macOS/OS X versions (Leopard and newer) you can use the Keychain Access service to automatically provide your passphrase to ssh. All you need to do is to add the key using

$ ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa

(assuming that your private key that you generated before is called id_rsa).

Using JellyfiSSH for bookmarking ssh connection settings

You can use JellyfiSSH to create a user-friendly bookmark for your ssh connection settings. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Start JellyfiSSH and select 'New'. This will open a window where you can specify the connection settings.
  2. In the 'Host or IP' field, type in <vsc-loginnode>. In the 'Login name' field, type in your <vsc-account>.
    In the screenshot below we have filled in the fields for a connection to ThinKing cluster at KU Leuven as user vsc98765.
    JellyfiSSH Connection Settings
  3. You might also want to change the Terminal window settings, which can be done by clicking on the icon in the lower left corner of the JellyfiSSH window.
  4. When done, provide a name for the bookmark in the 'Bookmark Title' field and press 'Add' to create the bookmark.
  5. To make a connection, select the bookmark in the 'Bookmark' field and click on 'Connect'. Optionally, you can make the bookmark the default by selecting it as the 'Startup Bookmark' in the JellyfiSSH > Preferences menu entry.