You are here

Using ssh on a Mac

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Introduction

For background reading see connecting from outside the University - an overview.

Macs come with ssh installed. ssh can be used to login safely and securely to School of Informatics machines from elsewhere on the internet.

When using ssh it's important to know how to use it securely, so before reading further on this page you should read about Host Key Management. (That page refers to Linux but ssh is identical on MacOS and Linux.)

Kerberos and GSSAPI

This stage is optional but highly recommended. The most secure way to authenticate with the Informatics SSH service is to use GSSAPI (Kerberos). To use this you will need to set up Kerberos on your Mac. After that read the instructions for Using GSSAPI (Kerberos) authentication. Once again the instructions on that page are for Linux, but ssh on the Mac should be configured identically. Once you have configured ssh as shown on that page you will be able to ssh to School servers without being prompted for your DICE username and password each time you connect.

How to use ssh

To use ssh first start the Terminal application.
The Mac Terminal icon
You can find this in the Utilities folder which is on the Finder's Go menu.

Choosing Utilities from the Finder's Go menu

Once you have a Terminal window running, this is how to use ssh:

ssh username@servername

... replacing username and servername with the correct values. Replace username with your DICE username, for example s1234567. Replace servername with the name of the server to connect to: student.ssh.inf.ed.ac.uk for undergrad and MSc students and staff.ssh.inf.ed.ac.uk for staff, visitors and research postgrads.

If you are using Kerberos and GSSAPI as recommended you will now be logged in to an Informatics ssh server. If you aren't using it, you will be prompted for your DICE password at this point.

Public Keys

The Public Key Support section of the External Login page explains why using ssh public keys is a bad idea. To remove a public key which you may previously have generated on your Mac, open Terminal once again and type

rm ~/.ssh/id_rsa*

The key's filenames may be different - see the FILES section of

man ssh-keygen

on your Mac.

Last reviewed: 
09/03/2016

System Status

Home dirs (AFS)
Network
Mail
Other services
Scheduled downtime

Choose a topic