SSH Secure Shell Tutorial

SSH Secure Shell Client Icon SSH Secure Shell is available as part of the Iowa State University site-licensed software ( and is installed on almost all lab computers. This tutorial will guide you through first time usage.

Usually, you will find the icon above on the desktop which you can double-click to start the program. However, on occasion, you may need to go to the start menu and select “All Programs”.

Windows Start Menu - All Programs

Then select “SSH Secure Shell” and click on “SSH Secure Shell Client” to start the application.

SSH Secure Shell Client - Find in Start Menu

A window will open that looks like you can type in it, but it will be greyed out.

SSH Secure Shell Client - Default Screen

Click on file and then connect.

SSH Secure Shell Client - File - Connect

You'll now have a dialog with a few options. First fill in a Linux/BSD/MacOS server address. You can find a list of these on the comparison page. For this tutorial, we'll be connecting to popeye. After the hostname, put in your COMS user id. The port number won't need to be changed for the servers on our list. If you are connecting to a special server, they might tell you something like “SSH is on 32022” in which case you'd change the port number to 32022. You can also ignore the “Authentication Method” setting for now.

SSH Secure Shell Client - Connection Dialog

After you click connect, the following screen may appear. If it appears, you can click “yes” to save the server's “fingerprint”. If you do this, you'll never be asked again unless the fingerprint changes. If you click “no”, you'll still login, but you'll be prompted to confirm the fingerprint every time. Unless you have a good reason not to, choose “yes”.

SSH Secure Shell Client - Fingerprint Verification

Finally, you'll be asked for your password. Type it in and press enter.

SSH Secure Shell Client - Password Entry

If the password dialog appears again, your password was rejected. Otherwise, you should go back to the default screen except you'll have a prompt and be able to type commands. Yes, that's right, you are finally connected.

SSH Secure Shell Client - Logged In

Now for a quick run down of buttons on the user interface. The most important ones are labelled below.

SSH Secure Shell Client - Labelled Buttons

The only two that should surprise you are the “Duplicate Connection” which will open a new window to the same machine you are currently connected to–very useful if you need to check something without losing your place in some code. The “Secure File Transfer” will also open a new window, but this will offer an FTP style interface to copy files to and from the Linux box.

SSH Secure File Transfer Window

The left-hand pane is your local machine while the right-hand is the SSH server you are connected to. To transfer a file, simply drag it from the left to the right or vice versa.

There you have it, the basics of connecting using SSH Secure Shell. If you need any help with *nix commands, check out our Linux Reference FAQ.

faq/remoteaccess/sshtutorial.txt · Last modified: 2011/09/20 11:51 by rassilon
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