Accessing the Palmetto Cluster via Terminal


Teaching: 15 min
Exercises: 0 min
  • How can I access the Palmetto cluster from my local machine?

  • SSH client, Terminal, MobaXTerm

An alternative to the web-based access is the SSH (“Secure shell”) protocol. Palmetto runs the SSH server; on your local machine, you will need to run SSH client which connects to a server using a command-line terminal. The commands that are entered on the terminal are processed by the server on Palmetto.

To start the SSH client on a Mac, you can open the Terminal Application (which is usually located in ApplicationsUtilities) and run the following:


For Windows, first you need to download and install MobaXterm Home Edition.

It is important that you unzip the downloaded installer prior to installation. The zipped installer file contains an additional data file besides the installer executable. This data file is not accessible if the installer executable is called from inside the zipped file (something Windows allows you to do).

After MobaXterm starts, click the Session button.

Main MobaXterm Windows

Select SSH session and use the following parameters (whichever required), then click OK:

MobaXterm SSH Session

At this stage, for both Mac and Windows, you will be asked to enter your username and password, then DUO option.

Login interface

When logged in, you are presented with a welcome message and the following “prompt”:

[username@login001 ~]$

The prompt in a bash shell usually contains a ($) sign, and shows that the shell is waiting for input. The prompt may also contain other information: this prompt tells you your username and which node you are connected to - login001 is the “login” node. It also tells you your current directory, i.e., ~, which, as you will learn shortly, is short for your home directory.

In the figure below, MobaXterm also gives you a GUI browser of your home directory on Palmetto. For Mac OS and Linux terminal, you will only have the command line interface to the right.

MobaXterm interface

Key Points

  • Palmetto can be accessed by an SSh (secure shell) client

  • Windows user can use MobaXTerm application

  • Mac users can use the Terminal application