Introduction

ssh stands for secure shell and is a program for remote logins into other computers and for running single commands on other computers in a save way, see [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Shell Wikipedia - Secure Shell] for more general information and [http://www.openssh.org/ OpenSSH] for the ssh homepage.

Throughout this document it will be assumed that the following two variables are defined

remote_host=<the remote computer>
remote_user=<your user name on $RemoteHost>

So, if you want to use the recipes below, first set these variables to the remote computer name and the user name on that remote computer. Then cut and paste of the commands below should work. remote_host may also be an IP-address.

Remote login

If you want to login to $remote_host as user $remote_user simply type

ssh $remote_user@$remote_host

Please replace 'meThere' and 'compThere' with the true remote usernames and computer names. A computer name could also be an IP-number. If the usernames on the local and the remote computer are identical, you can drop the meThere@-part and simply write

ssh $remote_host

If this is the first time you login to compThere, ssh will ask you whether you are sure you want to connect to the remote computer. Answer 'yes' and then type in your password, and ssh will do a remote login to compThere for you.

Remote commands

If you just want to run one command on the remote computer, you don't need to login. You can tell ssh to run the command, e.g.

ssh compThere ls *.txt

lists all files with extension .txt on the remote computer. ssh will not log you in on the remote computer.

ssh without password

If you work on a remote computer often, typing in the password each time you use ssh becomes annoying. You can configure ssh such that it does not ask you for a password anymore for that particular connection. You have to generate a private and public encryption key on your local machine and provide the public key to the remote machine. To generate the keys run

ssh-keygen -t dsa

and reply to all questions just with return.

To provide the public key to the remote machine first create there an .ssh directory (if not present already) and then append the public key of your local machine to the authorized_keys file on the remote machine.

ssh meThere@compThere mkdir -p .ssh
cat .ssh/id_dsa.pub | ssh meThere@compThere 'cat >> .ssh/authorized_keys'

From now on, you should be able to login with ssh without password.