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Accessing the Cluster Using SSH

When accessing the cluster, specify as the host.

This page only applies to users from the PSFC lab.
Non-PSFC users with questions should email:

Access to the PSFC Engaging Cluster is by SecureShell (SSH)


To access the cluster, use your personal SSH key. If you do not have SSH key pairs, You will need to generate certificates.

  • Windows: use PuTTY to generate key pairs locally.
  • Linux/Mac OS: Use a Terminal to generate the key pairs.

SSH Clients

  • Cross Platform: FastX is an open source SSH software that uses a graphical user interface to access the cluster. You can connect from a computer running Linux, Windows or Mac OS X. How to set up FastX.
  • Mac: Built-in or you can download XQuartz. XQuartz is required if you wish to forward GUI applications (matlab, rstudio, xstata, sas, etc), aka X forwarding.
  • WindowsMobaXTerm is a terrific option, other clients are PuTTy and SecureCRT, which is available from IS&T:

Data Transfer

  • Mac: From a user can use SFTP or SCP. GUI tools also exist such as FileZilla
  • WindowsMobaXTerm is not only a SSH login client but also contains a SFTP window, making it really convenient. FileZilla is also available on windows as is SecureFX, which is available from IS&T:



Q:  I cannot forward GUI applications on Mac

A:  You must run the latest version of XQuartz to use GUI applications and remember to ssh using the -X flag, for example ssh -X


Q: Since Upgrading to OSX Sierra I can no longer login, instead I receive the following error:

   Bad Configuration option: gssapikeyexchange

A:  Edit your system ssh_config file, MIT IS&T have a good write-up of the process here:


Q: Since upgrading to OSX Sierra I can no longer run GUI applications

A:  Replace your /etc/ssh/ssh_config file with the following content:

     Host * 
           ForwardX11Trusted yes
           ForwardAgent yes
           ForwardX11 yes

You can use the instructions on MIT IS&T website for instructions on how to edit that file:



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