The first thing we need to do is to get you connected to your server. Before you get started, you'll need to make sure that you know your server name, username, and password. You will get this information from your system administrator, not from me. I do not offer shell accounts to random people. Contacting me, and asking for a shell account will, at best, get you ignored. At worst, well, let's not think about that.

There is a great (free too!) program called PuTTY that will get you connected to the server. It's a simple EXE that can run under pretty much every flavor of Windows. You should even be able to do this from work since there is nothing to install. You just download the EXE and run it.

To start, download this file

You can save it wherever you like. I usually throw it on my desktop for easy access. Put it anywhere you like. Just remember where you put it, so that you can find it later.

There are two protocols for connecting to Linux servers to get a shell. The first is 'telnet' and the second is 'ssh'. They are identical with one exception. telnet is a 'plain text' protocol. That means that everything that you type (including your password) is sent over the Internet in a format that allows someone snooping the network to see. This means that by using telnet, you are putting your account at risk. I don't even have telnet installed on my server because of this security risk. I highly suggest that you use ssh, which is just like telnet, but it is encrypted. ssh is short for 'Secure SHell'. This means that everything that you type (including your password) is sent over the Internet in an encrypted format. It's much more secure.

When you start PuTTY, you'll see something like this:
PuTTY Screen Shot
In 'Host Name (or IP address)' enter the hostname that you want to connect to. You can choose to 'Save' the session for later usage. If you do that, you can then 'Load' the session later. Once a Host Name or session is loaded, you can then click on 'Open' to initiate the connection.

If you have never connected to the host before, you will see a window like this:
New Session
This is telling you that you are connecting to a new server. If you've connected to the server before, and you get this message, there may be a problem. Disconnect immediately and contact your system administrator. They may have done some to cause it. If they didn't, then they need to know that someone is messing with their system. If you want to continue connecting, click on 'Yes'.

You will then be presented with a black screen prompting for a username. Enter your username. You'll be prompted for your password. Then enter your password to continue logging in. Once you're in, you can follow the rest of the documents that I have published here. When you're ready to log out, just type 'exit'.

Last Modified: 2006-04-19

Copyright © 2006-2008 - John Evans