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 the commercial (but free for University use) "SSH Secure Shell" version installed, as well as PuTTY.

Personal Use on Windows Workstations

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

  1. PuTTY is a free Win32 Telnet/SSH client.
  2. WinSCP is a free graphical client for transferring files using SCP/SFTP.

Departmental Solaris / Linux Workstations

The departmental Solaris / 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. You may also find these graphical utilities helpful:

  • Fugu is a free graphical client for transferring files using SCP/SFTP.
  • SSHKeychain helps manage SSH tunnels and keys.