Accessing Your University Files Remotely from a Macintosh

Users with a Macintosh workstation or MacBook outside the Computer Science network - at home, in Halls of Residence or elsewhere on the Internet - can access their University files on the School's fileservers.

Users can access their Windows Novell H: drive, their Linux home directory, their Macintosh home directory, their Users web site and their Project web site. This document tells you where to find these files and how you can access the files from a Macintosh.

Access is through the School's SFTP gateway servers. For information about where your files are and which gateways to use, see Accessing Files Remotely.

In addition, users whose Macintosh or Macbook is on the School network, or who are connected via the University VPN, can connect using Microsoft CIFS/SMB protocols.

Connection via SFTP requires a third-party application whereas CIFS/SMB connections can be made through the Finder.

Macintoshes and SFTP

For MacOS X, you will need a third-party application which can use SFTP protocols. One that you can install is Cyberduck. Cyberduck is open source free software for Macintoshes which can access servers using SFTP and other protocols (WebDAV, secure WebDAV and FTP).

With an SFTP application, you can connect to,, or to access your Linux home directory, Windows H: drive, Macintosh home directory and user or project web site files in the School.

Installing Cyberduck

Cyberduck is available from

Connecting Cyberduck to a Fileserver and Accessing Files

Start Cyberduck by double-clicking on its icon in the Applications folder.

Cyberduck will remember previous server connection settings, and even retrieve your password from the keychain. For better security, configure Cyberduck not to do this. In the Cyberduck pull-down menu, select Preferences.

In the Preferences window, un-select Save Workspace and Use Keychain.

In the Cyberduck window, click on Open Connection. A connection panel slides down. Choose SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) as the protocol. Type the name of the fileserver ( in this example) as the Server and enter your username in the Username field. Enter your standard password here, or later when it prompts for one.

(Note - use your standard password even if you are connecting to machome; do not use your Macintosh password.)

Click the Connect button to connect to the server.

When Cyberduck connects to a server for the first time, it may ask you to accept the server's host key.

File list

Once the connection is made, Cyberduck lists the files in the remote directory.

You can access these files in the usual way - double click to open, drag and drop to or from other windows.

Deleting files

To delete files, drag them to the trash from the Cyberduck window, or choose Delete from the Action pull-down menu.

A confirmation panel will slide down to check that you really want to delete the files.

Renaming files

To rename a file, use the Action pull-down menu and select Rename. The name field of the highlighted file in Cyberduck changes to a writable text field where you can enter a new name.


Disconnect from the server by clicking the disconnect icon at the top right of the window.

Terminating Cyberduck

Terminate the Cyberduck application by choosing Quit in its Cyberduck pull-down menu.


Filezilla is a portable STFP application available on all platforms. It gives you a window divided vertically such that the left-hand panel is a view of the local file system, while the right-hand panel is a view of the remote file system. You can drag and drop files between the two.

If you prefer to use Filezilla, it can be downloaded from

Macintoshes and CIFS/SMB

The Macintosh Finder has CIFS/SMB protocols built-in. This will let you mount the home, machome or websites server as a Macintosh volume where you can access files in the normal way. To access your H: drive, use the server Remember that CIFS/SMB protocols will work only if your machine is on the School network or if you have connected to the University VPN.

Connecting the Finder to a Fileserver

Click on the display background to make the Finder the active application.

Click on Go in the top menu and find Connect to Server...

In the Connect to Server dialogue window, type the CIFS/SMB address of the server.

For your Linux home directory, type smb:// followed by the server and finally your username after a forward slash. (Your username is the share name on the server and the volume name for the Mac).

Click the Connect button.

Another dialogue window opens where you will need to type your University password.

If you have typed correctly, clicking on Connect will open a Finder window on your Linux home directory.

Files and directories appear as usual in the Finder window. You can double click to open a file or directory and you can drag and drop from other Finder windows.

A volume icon appears on the desktop. The volume name is your username (the name of the share on the CIFS/SMB server).

You can drag the volume icon to the wastebasket to disconnect from the server, or you can click on the eject arrow alongside the server name under Shared in the Finder window.

The procedure is similar if you want to connect to your School Macintosh home directory or to your Users or Project websites (and other websites that you may have been given access to). Again, choose Connect to Server... from the Go option.

This time, use the server or

The Finder will connect immediately without asking for your password if you are already connected to the home.cs server. If you aren't connected, you will get the password dialogue as above.

Your University Windows home volume (the H: drive) can be accessed using server This is separate from the other two servers and authenticates using a different mechanism. However, the connection process is similar.

In the Finder Connect to Server dialogue, use the server For this server, you must give the share name as COMSCh followed by a forward slash and your username.

Click Connect.

In the password dialogue window, type your University password.

Clicking on Connect should open a Finder window on your Windows home directory.

The files and directories in your Windows H: drive appear in the Finder window. You can double click and drag and drop these as usual.

Note that the volume name for all of the connections is your username (eg c1234567). If you are connected to more than one gateway server, be careful not to use one volume when you mean the other! For example, if you wish to disconect from one of them, it's better to use the distinct server name in Shared in the finder window than to drag the volume icon to the wastebasket.