SSH Secure Shell Software

Secure Shell (SSH) gives you a Terminal connection to a remote machine. It encrypts the connections between computers so that usernames and passwords sent across the network can't be snooped.

To log in from one Linux machine to another, use this command:

$ ssh
If you're logging in from home, it's typical to log into your own desktop machine. If you don't have a desktop machine, use the name "login", which points to a fast machine for shared use:
$ ssh
Inside the department, the "" part can be dropped:
$ ssh other-machine
If the originating side of the connection is Linux and you run a program with an X Windows GUI, it will display the GUI on your local screen. This has reasonable performance within the department, and unreasonable performance from home, even with a Cox cable modem. Emacs has both X Windows and Terminal interfaces. To use emacs from home with reasonable performance, you want the Terminal interface flavor, and you get it with "emacs -nw", meaning 'No Window system'. The mouse will not be active and only the keyboard commands will work. To brush up on keyboard commands in emacs, work through the tutorial, which you can access with "C-h t" (Control-h, then t).

SSH will assume that you want to log in as yourself, so it may ask for your password, but not your username. If you want to connect to another system which uses SSH, such as Grove, CISE, Physics, etc. and you need to specify a different user name, use SSH this way:

$ ssh
and then SSH will ask you for the password for your username on the other system. For example, if I log into Grove where my username is macallan:
$ ssh's password:
then Grove asks me for the password for macallan instead of trying to log me in as awest.

ssh client software

If you're using Linux, start up a Terminal and then use the ssh commands as shown above.

If you're using Mac, start up a Terminal and then use the ssh commands as shown above.

If you're using Windows, there is a free ssh client named "putty", available from:
The interface to start connections is GUI, but the idea is the same.

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This page was last updated Tue Sep 25 00:59:34 EDT 2012