Access from macOS#

Since all VSC clusters use Linux as their main operating system, you will need to get acquainted with using the command-line interface and using the Terminal. To open a Terminal window in macOS (formerly OS X), choose Applications > Utilities > Terminal in the Finder.

If you don’t have any experience with using the Terminal, we suggest you to read the basic Linux usage section first (which also applies to macOS).

Getting ready to login#

Before requesting an account, you need to generate a pair of ssh keys. One popular way to do this on macOS is using the OpenSSH client included with macOS which you can then also use to log on to the clusters.

Connecting to the cluster#

Display graphical programs#

X server#

Linux programs use the X protocol to display graphics on local or remote screens. To use your Mac as a remote screen, you need to install a X server. XQuartz is one that is freely available. Once the X server is up and running, you can simply open a terminal window and connect to the cluster using the command line SSH client in the same way as you would on Linux.

NX client#

KU Leuven On the KU Leuven/UHasselt clusters it is possible to use the NX Client to log on to the machine and run graphical programs. Instead of an X-server, another piece of client software is required.


Most VSC sites offer some form of support for visualization software through Virtual Network Computing (VNC). VNC renders images on the cluster and transfers the resulting images to your client device. VNC clients are available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS or can be even used directly on web browsers.

On the KUL clusters, users can use NX NX start guide.

VNC is supported through the Web portal interface.

On the UAntwerp clusters, TurboVNC is supported on all regular login nodes (without OpenGL support) and on the visualization node of Leibniz (with OpenGL support through VirtualGL). See the page Remote visualization @ UAntwerp for instructions.

On the VUB clusters, TigerVNC is supported on all nodes. See the documentation on remote desktop sharing for instructions.

Software development#


Eclipse is a popular multi-platform Integrated Development Environment (IDE) very well suited for code development on clusters.


To get the full functionality of the Parallel Tools Platform and Fortran support on macOS, you need to install some additional software and start Eclipse in a special way as we explain here.

Version control#

Most popular version control systems, including Subversion and git, are supported on macOS. See our introduction to version control systems.