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  • Connect to a HPC Cluster Login Node via XQuartz
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XQuartz is an X Window Server for OS X 10.6 or later.

Background on XQuartz

Apple used to ship an X11 app with OS X but this stopped in OS X 10.6. The XQuartz project was orginally based on the version of X11 include in Mac OS X 10.5 and Apple is a contributor to the XQuartz project.

To install XQuartz on your mac, visit the XQuartz website, download the dmg file. Open the dmg file, and it contains a XQuartz.pkg file - double click on this to start the installer.

XQuartz logo

Daily use of XQuartz

After opening XQuartz for the first time, I recommend selecting the Keep in Dock option.

You will be presented with an X terminal that can be used to ssh to HPC Linux servers (e.g., Cluster login nodes).

I recommend using syntax similar to the following when using SSH to connect to HPC cluster login nodes.  The -Y option will allow graphics to return back to your computer over SSH (securely).

ssh -Y -p 8822 <Your_JCU_userid>

Note that some graphical work will appear to be very slow if you aren't on a JCU campus.  Using RDP is a better alternative for graphical workflows.

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