How do I use SSH and SFTP on Mac OS X?

If you can't connect to tigger.uic.edu due to incorrect username or password, change your password (even to the same password as before). A password change event may be required to enable your access to tigger.

Mac OS X has a built-in SSH client called Terminal which can be used to connect to remote servers. By default, Terminal.app is located in Applications > Utilities folder. Double-click on the icon to start the client.

Using Terminal for SSH

At the prompt type:

ssh NetID@hostname

​where NetID is your UIC NetID and hostname is the hostname of the server you are trying to connect to. For example, if user example1 wants to connect to tigger.uic.edu, she would type:

ssh example1@tigger.uic.edu

To save a remote connection (so that you don't have to type in the command every time):

  1. Select Shell then New Remote Connection... from the top menu
  2. Under the Server column, click on the + icon to add a new connection.
  3. Enter the hostname when prompted by the dialog.
  4. Enter your username (usually UIC NetID) in the User field and click Connect.
    Terminal.app - New Remote Connection

Fetch Secure FTP for Mac OS X

Fetch is an application that is compatible with Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.

Installing Fetch

  1. Fetch is available for free download from the Webstore.
  2. Save the .dmg file to an easily accessible location, like your desktop
  3. Double-click on the .dmg file.
  4. Drag the Fetch.app dog into your Applications folder.
  5. Then a dialog box will open asking whether you want to install the Fetch Dashboard widget. Click Not Now or Install Widget.
  6. Click OK when the Dashboard widget is installed.

Using Fetch

  1. Double-click on the Fetch dog icon in your Applications folder.
  2. The connection dialog box opens. Fill in the Hostname:, Username:, and Password: boxes with the name of the machine you're connecting to, your login ID on that machine, and your password on that machine.
    In the figure, example1 is logging into tigger.uic.edu and her NetID is example1.
    The Password: is her ACCC common password.
    Select SFTP from the dropdown list, and click Connect.
    quick connect screen for fetch
  3. If this is a connection that you will want to use again, click the heart icon at the end of the Hostname: line before you click Connect, and click Make Shortcut in the small dialog box that opens. This opens another dialog box where you enter the name for the shortcut. The default name for the shortcut will be the host name. If you also click Make this the default shortcut, it will be opened by default for you when you open Fetch. Click OK to create the shortcut. The shortcuts are listed in Fetch's other screen, Fetch Shortcuts, which is at the top left of your desktop, where you can delete or edit them. You can use them from the heart dialog box.
  4. Then example1's home directory on tigger will be displayed in Fetch's screen:
    home directory on tigger displayed in Fetch
  5. You can highlight a file and click Get to download it, or click Put to open up a Mac file dialog box to select a file to upload. But it's easier to double-click on the name of a directory that you want to open, double-click the name of a file that you want download, and drag and drop a file from your Mac to the Fetch screen to upload it or vice versa.
  6. To change a file on the server's permissions or to delete it, Control-click on its name, and select Get Info or Delete item respectively. To change the permissions, click in the type of permissions you want to give and click Apply.
    SFTP Mac Fetch Permission settings

Need help?

Last updated: 

September 20, 2016

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