Connecting To IMSS Servers from Mac

There are a few choices for connecting to the IMSS Windows and UNIX servers from Macintosh computers. SMB is a way of mounting or mapping a drive or share, and sFTP is a file transfer protocol. Both of those choices may be accomplished via a graphical client or the command line, and both of those choices send passwords encrypted.

IMSS recommends that our users choose an SMB or sFTP connection method, for ease of use and for security.

  • SMB Access Using Kerberos Authentication
  • SMB Access Using The Command Line
  • sFTP Access Using The Fugu Client
  • sFTP Access Using The Command Line

The following procedures were checked during the fall of 2004. The default status of the test machine: logged in with an administrative account, AppleTalk off, File Sharing off, Firewall on (and no services checked as allowed). Changes for using a given procedure are noted.

SMB Access

SMB traffic is limited to campus by the campus border firewall. Therefore if you wish to use SMB from off campus, you will need to start the VPNclient before trying to mount SMB volumes.

Macintosh Mounting SMB Volumes

To mount your home directory on the IMSS UNIX/Windows Filer (

  1. Hit Command-K to connect a network drive. (The Command key looks like a four-leaf clover)

  2. Type for server: “smb://”


SMB Access using the Command Line

Depending on your systems, the smb.conf file may be located in either/etc/smb.conf or /etc/samba/smb.conf. This file should exist so if you tryto open an empty file, you are probably in the wrong location.

cd /etc/samba (or /etc depending on your system)
sudo vi smb.conf

In the [globals] section, which should be near the top, do the following:

if the lines "client lanman auth" and "client plantext auth" exist makesure they are commented out (i.e. a # begins the line). Also comment outthe default "workgroup = " if it exists.

Once this is done, add the following lines in the [globals] section:

workgroup = AD.CALTECH.EDU
client ntlmv2 auth = yes

To access your home directory on the IMSS UNIX/Windows Filer (

  1. Launch the Terminal application

  2. Type “smbclient// username” (without the quotes).

  3. Type your access.caltech password at the prompt


sFTP Access using the Fugu Client

For users who don‘t want to touch the command line, this is a freeware sFTP client. You can download it at:

It‘s easy to use – just typing “ssh” for host and your username will open a file transfer window. After installing and rebooting, Fugu also appears in the Services list under the File menu – handy for quick file transfer. Fugu only does sFTP / scp operations so it is of no use getting to FILES (

Note that Fugu may not be compatible with the most current version of Mac OS X. 


sFTP Access using the Command Line

The same protocol works without the nice graphical client. From the Terminal, type:


Type your access.caltech password at the prompt.

Standard FTP commands apply. As above, this does not give access to FILES.