macOS client

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 request an account

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 machine

Text-mode session using an SSH client

To get terminal-based access to a remote system, you can use

Transfer data using Secure FTP (SFTP)

Data can be transferred using

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

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.


The KU Leuven/UHasselt, UAntwerp, and VUB clusters also offer 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 and iOS.

  • 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 our documentation on running graphical applications for instructions.

Software development


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

Version control

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