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Ssh between machines a CS

It is quite simple to get to a machine in the department remotely from another machine in the department. All machines in the labs, classroom and faculty offices should already have an ssh client installed on them and those machines which allow remote access are running an ssh daemon to accept incoming connections.

The short version for getting from one lab linux box to another:

  1. find out the name of the machine you want to get to
    1. is it written on the outside of the box?
    2. if at loging screen, it will be there
    3. if there is an open terminal, look at the prompt
    4. if you can't find it on the machine, figure out the names of the machines on either side of it. They are mostly sequentialy numbered.
  2. log in to a lab linux machine as you
  3. open up a terminal window (xterm, xfterm4 whatever)
  4. enter the command ssh followed by the name of the machine you want to get to.
  5. if it offers you a fingerprint and says something about never having done this before, accept it.
  6. give your password

If you are accessing a machine for a class, you should have been given the name of the machine you are to access. If you don't have it, ask your instructor.

The first step if of course, knowing the name of the machine you are trying to access. If you are reading this page because your lab machine is hung and you are tring to get in to it to fix it, then look on the outside of the machine itself (not the monitor) there should be a sticker labled “al” or “cs” and a number. If not (sometimes they fall off), look at the screen, if you have a terminal open you will likly see the machine name at the begining of the line before the prompt. If not, don't loose hope, the machine name may be used in the name of an open window, look at your window titles. Does one say your username followed by @cs something or @al something? if so, that is the machine name. Still nothing? Well, the machines are mostly in numerical order in the labs. So, if you can't figure it out from looking at the screen you can try to find out the names of the machines on either side of the machine in question and make a good guess that way. If no one is logged in then the log in screen will tell you the machine name. If someone is logged in, ask them to open a terminal and get it from that.

O.K. you know the name of the machine you are trying to get to, and you know your username and password on our system.

Now, log in to some other machine in the department. If it is a linux box use your username and password. If it is a Mac or Windows box you should be able to figure it out.

Once logged in, bring up a terminal (also called an xterm, xfterm4 ) depending on your window manager, there might be a link for a terminal on the desktop, dashboard or on a popup or pulldown menu. On xfce4 there should be a terminal icon, if not try your right mouse button on the desktop then select ``Accessories`` ⇒ ``Terminal``. If on an OsX Mac, the terminal is in ``Applications`` ⇒ ``Utilities`` ⇒ ``Terminal``. Windows is a little different, for Windows instructions, see Windows specific ssh help.

You are 2 steps away from being done. You know your USERNAME and the MACHINENAME you want to go to, in the command example below, put your user name in for USERNAME and the machine name you want to get to in for MACHINENAME. In your terminal enter:


You will see a responce about the authenticity of the host, soon I will have instructions on how to verify that, for now, as you are ssh'ing withing the department, say yes.

Now give your password.

That's it. your in.