How-to Instructions

Secure Shell (SSH)

What is SSH?

SSH (Secure Shell) is a secure replacement for telnet, rlogin, rsh and rcp. It encrypts all traffic, and provides a high level of protection against hacker attacks. Main features of SSH include secure remote logins, terminal emulation, fully integrated secure file transfers, and secure tunneling of X11 traffic.

The University of Minnesota central servers require secure telnet and FTP connections. Some compatible client options are listed below based upon operating system.  Consult with your local technical support staff.

Take additional steps to help reduce the risk of SSH password guessing compromises:

  • Set a strong password on all accounts.
  • Do not allow root to log in through SSH.
  • Use host based or network firewalls to limit access to specific IP addresses.

It is particularly important to apply these recommendations to computers running Apple OS/X where administrator accounts are root equivalent.

SSH Clients

SSH clients exist for all common architectures and operating systems. Some are free.



Mac OS X

  • Mac OS X comes with OpenSSH pre-installed. Open the Terminal application from inside the Utilities folder, and then type "ssh user@server_name_or_IP_address" to get started.
  • Portable OpenSSH is available at at no charge. The portable OpenSSH follows development of the official version, but releases are not synchronized. Portable releases are marked with a 'p' (e.g. 2.3.0p1).


More Information