Secure Shell on Windows

To log in to the CS Department computers, you will need a SSH client. There are several free SSH clients available for Windows. We have used PuTTY with great success. We have also used WinSCP to copy files between Windows and Unix computers.

  1. Download PuTTY from or another PuTTY download source. The “putty.exe” download is good for basic SSH.
  2. Save the download to your C:\WINDOWS folder.
  3. If you want to make a link to PuTTY on your desktop:
  4. Open the C:\WINDOWS folder in Windows Explorer.
  5. Right click on the putty.exe file and select Send To > Desktop
  6. Double-click on the putty.exe program or the desktop shortcut to launch the application.

If you wish to copy files between the your computer and your linux account, you will want to get…

  1. Download the latest portable executable version of WinSCP from
  2. Like PuTTY, this program requires no installation.
  1. Open up PuTTY
  2. Type in the host name as “”. Make sure you are connecting using SSH, not telnet or other protocols.
  3. Select 'Open'
  4. Enter your user name. Your user name is likely the first two letters of your first name and your whole last name, all in lower case.
  5. If this is the first time connecting to this host, you will be informed that the host is unknown and are prompted as to whether to remember the host's address. Confirm that the fingerprint is __ and choose yes.

Once you have logged in, you should see a bunch of messages welcoming you to the computer science department computer system. The last line is the shell, with a cursor waiting for you to type a command. If this is your first time, try typing ls to get a listing of files in your home directory.

When you have finished and want to end your connection, type exit into the shell.

Note - it is sometimes handy to paste text from your Windows clipboard into the Linix terminal. PuTTY uses the convention of a right mouse click to accomplish pasting. Selecting text in PuTTY is equivalent to copying to your clipboard as well.

To copy files over a network, say from your computer to the computer science department's computer system or the other way around, use WinSCP.

  1. Run the WinSCP executable you downloaded earlier.
  2. Enter the hostname, “”, your user name, and password. The default port number (22) is correct.
  3. The first time connecting, you will recieve a message that “The server's host key is not cached in the registry” or similar. Click on “Yes” to have the software remember this host.
  4. You will be presented with a window with two main panels which both display files. The files on the left are on your local computer and the files on the left are in your CS account. Drag a file between the panes to copy it.

ssh help | User Info | CS Department