Terminal Emulators, SSH and SFTP

SSH Connections
SSH or "secure shell" terminal software is necessary for accessing UNIX and Linux servers.

MS Windows: SSH server connections are available through third-party software, such as Putty, as well as other clients—see comparison.

To use Unix applications that require a graphical user interface, users must install an X-Windows emulator.

Northwestern's Academic Technology division has a site license for StarNet's X-Win32. The following page provides the link to the download page and instructions on how to set up the software for Skew:

X-Win32 installation

Mac OS: SSH is part of your operating system. Locate the Terminal application in your Applications > Utilities folder. Open a Terminal session and, at the prompt, type

ssh -Y netid@skew5.kellogg.northwestern.edu

The "-Y" switch enables X11 forwarding. This allows you to run applications with a GUI (for example, xstata or matlab).

Note that some newer Mac laptops come without X11 support built in, and in order to use the graphical user interface, it is necessary to first download and install XQuartz.

Unix: All Northwestern's UNIX hosts allow secure shell server connections. The SSH protocol clients, such as the command-line tools "ssh" and "sftp," are included in most Unix and Linux distributions.

Secure File Transfer Protocol (sftp)
For secure file transfers, FileZilla is a free client that provides a convenient graphical user interface on all platforms. There are many other clients too (see comparison), such as WinSCP for Windows users, or Cyberduck for MacOS.