How To Use SSH

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SSH (Secure Shell) is a protocol that can be used to:

  • obtain a shell prompt on a remote computer to execute command-line programs
  • forward X11 connections to execute graphical programs remotely
  • establish encrypted data tunnels to act as a makeshift VPN
  • transfer files between computers using the associated SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) or SCP (Secure Copy) protocols

SSH accomplishes all of these tasks using encrypted connections, preventing other network users from evesdropping on your communication and impersonating you. SSH replaces the older rsh, rexec, telnet and ftp protocols, which are not permitted on departmental servers because they transmit usernames and passwords unencrypted.

SSH utilities are available for all common operating systems.

Available SSH Clients

Departmental Windows Workstations

The departmental Windows workstations have PuTTY as well as MobaXterm.

Personal Use on Windows Workstations

There are two Windows-based clients that you may wish to try:

  1. MobaXterm has a free personal edition which provides, telnet, X11/Xterm and secure FTP, CYGwin etc. in one executable file.
  2. PuTTY is a free Win32 Telnet/SSH client.
  3. WinSCP is a free graphical client for transferring files using SCP/SFTP.

Departmental Linux Workstations

The departmental Linux workstations have the OpenSSH version of the ssh, scp, and sftp tools installed.

Mac OS X

Mac OS X includes ssh, scp, and sftp as commands accessible through the Terminal. For transferring files using SCP/SFTP, you may find Cyberduck useful.

Available SSH Servers

The department runs several Linux servers that are accessible by SSH from the Internet. In your SSH client, specify as the hostname to connect to. A load balancer will automatically assign you to one of the available servers.

Researchers' workstations are protected by a firewall. If your client is outside the ECE network, you will not be able to SSH directly to your workstation. Instead, you should SSH to, and within that SSH session, SSH to your workstation.