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Using SSH and sFTP to Access the University's Unix Timesharing Service with Mac

Overview

Your University Computing Account gives you access to file storage space on the Unix Timesharing Service.  In order to access this space, you must use one of two secure connection methods:  SSH or sFTP.   

•  SSH, which stands for Secure Shell, is a program that enables you to securely log in to a remote computer.  SSH should be used in place of telnet, which is an insecure method of connecting to a remote computer. 

•  sFTP stands for secure file transfer protocol.  It enables you to transfer files securely between two computers.  sFTP should be used in place of FTP because files that are transferred using FTP are not encrypted.

Macs have a built-in SSH client that can be used to access the Unix Timesharing Service.  Macs also have a built-in sFTP capability that can be used to access the Unix Timesharing Service, or you can use an sFTP program called Fetch.  The built-in utilities for Mac are already configured to use the secure SSH and sFTP connections.  This document explains how to connect to the Unix Timesharing Service with these programs.

Accessing Unix Timesharing on a Mac Using the Built-in SSH Utility

1.  Click the Finder menu, and select Applications. Double-click on the Utilities folder.

 

2.  Double click the Terminal application to launch it.

3.  Type  ssh username@unixs.cssd.pitt.edu (where username represents your University Computing Account username) and press Enter.

4.  The first time that you use the Terminal application, you may see an unknown Host Alert window similar to the one below.  Type yes to cache the server’s host key in the registry.  This warning should not display again.

 

5.  Type your University Computing Account password and press the Enter key.

6.  The Unix Timesharing Service login screen will display.  You are now securely connected. 

 

Using the Built-in sFTP Utility

1.  Click the Finder menu, and select Applications. Double-click on the Utilities folder.

2.  Double click the Terminal application to launch it.

3.  Type  sftp username@unixs.cssd.pitt.edu (where username represents your University Computing Account username) and press Enter.  

4.  The first time that you use the Terminal application, you may see an unknown Host Alert window similar to the one below.  Type yes to cache the server’s host key in the registry.  This warning should not display again.

 

5.  Type your University Computing Account password and press the Enter key.

6.  If you have successfully logged in, an sftp> prompt will display as shown in the screen below.

 

Using Fetch for sFTP

If you use Fetch as an FTP client, complete the following steps to configure it for a secure sFTP connection. 

 Note:  If Fetch is not already installed on your Mac, you can download it free via the Software Download Service at Pitt.

 1.  Go to the Applications folder and double click the Fetch icon to launch the program.  A New Connection window will display.

2.  In the Hostname field, type unixs.cssd.pitt.edu.

3.  In the Username field, type your University Computing Account username.

4.  Set the Connect using drop-down menu to SFTP.

5.  In the Password field, type your University Computing Account password.

6.  Click the Connect button.

 

7.  When you have successfully connected, files on the remote system will appear in the window as shown below.

 

At this point, you can use the Path button to navigate through directories on the remote system. To begin downloading files from the remote system to your local system, select the file you wish to download and click the Get button.  To begin uploading files to the remote system from your local system, select the file you wish to upload and click the Put button.

When you have completed your file transfer and you are ready to disconnect from the remote system, close the connection window.