I find the front end on macos way more convenient and I would like to keep my notebooks on my macbook. On the other hand, I have access faster multi-core linux machines behind a LAN.

Hence I would like to be able to use machines with multiple cores which are within a private LAN as remote kernels for a Mathematica front end running on a mac laptop.

The setting is the following:

Mathematica graphics


  • I know how to set up the (mac) front end on the laptop to run MathKernels on the front-end. (dark green MathLink connection)
  • I know how to set up the the (linux) front end to run MathKernels on the compute nodes. (light green MathLink connection)
  • If I put my laptop within the private LAN I can run MathKernels on the compute nodes


How do I simply setup the extra options in this dialog box Mathematica graphics

so as to tunnel through to,say compute 2 from my mac laptop?


@Szabolcs suggests this set of updated scripts

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Might be useful: library.wolfram.com/infocenter/Conferences/7250 $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 21:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Szabolcs Thanks. I did find this but it seems to involve mma 6 and looks a bit complicated. $\endgroup$
    – chris
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 21:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Finally found it: stackoverflow.com/q/6226196/695132 Take a look at the comments for a newer version of the same (by 'sakra'). I don't use this myself anymore so can't give much advice ... the reason is that I found remote connections to be extremely unreliable when I was using Windows XP (freezing front end), so I gave up. I remember others told me they couldn't reproduce the problems I saw on more modern systems, so you shouldn't give up on OS X because of this. $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 21:16
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks again. I ll try tomorrow at work! $\endgroup$
    – chris
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 21:18

1 Answer 1


Having convinced our SysAdmin to grant me access to one compute node by VPN,

I managed to connect to one compute node (b1) using the following parameters in the KernelConfiguration submenu in the Evaluation menu.

Mathematica graphics

Note that I added both to MLOpen and to Launch command the extra parameter

   -Linkhost xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx 

where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is the IP address of the front-end through the VPN. (which you can access via ifconfig on the frontend host), e.g.

   utun0: flags=8051<UP,POINTOPOINT,RUNNING,MULTICAST> mtu 1500

in my case

Then, having launched this tunnel1 Kernel, I am able to drive another sets of three compute nodes via the following command (each of them 40 cores):

      "ssh -x -f -l `3` `1` math -mathlink -linkmode Connect `4` \
-linkname '`2`' -subkernel -noinit", 40]] // Length) & /@ {"b2","b3","b4"}


(* 160 *)

I am now in a position to use 160 kernels instead of 4, which is pretty cool ;-)


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