SSH/SFTP for Windows and Mac

SSH Secure Shell Client and Secure File Transfer Protocol

SSH Secure Shell Client is a command-line utility designed for logging into and executing commands on a remote system (opal.ils.unc.edu for example). SFTP is a way to transfer files in a secure manner from a remote system to a local system using the command-line. Apple OSX and Windows 10 has a built in SSH client. If you need to download it to your personal computer (not running Apple OSX or Windows 10) follow the instructions below. Multiple alternative SSH and SFTP clients exist and free clients such as PuTTY and Filezilla are also available for download.

Instructions for installing or launching SSH/SFTP for Windows and Mac can be found below.

Windows SSH/SFTP

Note: Windows 10 has a built in SSH that can be launched by navigating to "Apps and Features", selecting "Manage optional features" and clicking "OpenSSH Client". The instructions below are for Windows 9X systems.

1. Download SSH/SFTP Secure Shell from https://shareware.unc.edu (software is listed alphabetically on the page). Remember where you save the download.
2. Click on the icon to install the client.
3. At the Welcome window, click Next.
4. At the License Agreement window, click Yes.
5. At the Choose Destination Folder window, click Next .
6. At the Select Program Folder window, click Next.
7. At the Select Components window, click Next.
8. At the Check Setup Information window, click Next.
9. When the Setup Status is complete, click Finish.

Mac SSH/SFTP

First open a terminal window

  • Open Finder -- select Applications -- select Utilities -- then select the Terminal icon. 

Terminal icon

Using SSH

At the prompt, type in this command:

ssh remote_username@remote_systemname

Replace remote_username with your username and remote_systemname with the name of the system you are connecting to (for example, onyen@opal.ils.unc.edu ). 

Terminal interface

 

Enter your password when prompted. You may also be prompted to accept a host security key. You must type "yes" to continue. 

Key prompt in the Terminal interface

 

Using SFTP

Unless you are really knowledgeable about the file structure of your computer, it is a good idea to navigate to the folder you want to transfer files into or out-of on your computer before you open a connection to a remote system. Use pwd and cd at the prompt to navigate to a suitable folder on your system. Once there, type:

sftp remote_username@remote_systemname

Where remote_username is your username on the system and remote_systemname is the name of the system you are connecting to (for example, onyen@opal.ils.unc.edu ).

Enter your password at the prompt. Now when you cd around the system, you are moving between folders on the remote system. Change to the remote folder where you will be transferring files to/from. Use put, get, mput, or mget to transfer files between the remote system and your own. Type quit to exit the SFTP session.