Skip to main content

Logging in

In order to use log in to CARC systems and start computing you will need a terminal that can log in to remote systems using Secure Shell (SSH). If you are using a Linux or Mac machine you are in luck as they come bundled with a terminal that is ready to use. The terminal application packaged with your OS is great, but if you would like something with a bit more customization, utility, and flexibility there are other free options available. Below are a couple of options that CARC recommends. Note that iTerm2 is Mac only.

  • iTerm2
  • Hyper

If you are using Windows it is a little more complicated as there is no native SSH built in to the Windows platform that will communicate with the Linux CARC systems and you will have to download a terminal emulator. Below are some of our recommendations. Note that Git for windows does not come with a terminal emulator and that still needs to be downloaded separately.

  • Cmder
  • Babun
  • Git for windows (with bash) + Hyper (terminal emulator)

Now that you have your terminal open you can log in. To do this type the following from the terminal prompt:


Where yourusername is the username that CARC provided in your account letter, and machinename is the name of the system you are logging in to; Xena, Wheeler, Gibbs for example. If this is your first-time logging in you will likely be prompted to accept your computer as a new authorized host, go ahead and accept that. You will then be prompted to type your password. Use the password provided in your account letter.

SSH keys and config file

Once you start computing you will be logging in to the CARC systems fairly often and having to type your username at the machine address will become tedious. In order to alleviate this tedium it is beneficial to generate ssh keys and a ssh config file. The ssh keys bypass the need to enter your password each time you log in, and the config file stores the addresses of all the machines you are logging in to.

SSH key generation

First, set up your ssh key. To do this type in the terminal prompt:


Just keep hitting enter until the program finishes. We recommend that you decline setting up a passphrase as this defeats the convenience of having a SSH key. Now that your SSH key has been generated you need to copy it to your home directory at CARC. To do, open terminal and type:


Since your home directory is shared across all machines at CARC you only need to do this step once to enable ssh key access across all CARC machines.

SSH config file

To make logging in to CARC even easier we also recommend setting up a ssh config file which allows you to simply type ssh machinename instead of your username at the machine address. To set up this file simply copy the example below and save it to a text document in your ssh folder, which is found at ~/.ssh/. Change the user to your CARC username and you are set to log in quickly and efficiently. You can add machines based on which ones you have access to.

Host wheeler
    user CHANGEME
    port 22
Host galles
    user CHANGEME
    port 22
Host xena
    user CHANGEME
    ForwardX11 yes
    port 22sa