How To Connect To Linux via SSH

How To Connect To Linux via SSH

The SSH protocol (also referred to as Secure Shell) is a method for secure remote login from one computer to another. It provides several alternative options for strong authentication, and it protects the communications security and integrity with strong encryption. It is a secure alternative to the non-protected login protocols (such as telnet, rlogin) and insecure file transfer methods (such as FTP).

Follow the instructions below for your desktop operating system.

Linux/Mac OS X

Linux and Mac OS X typically uses the OpenSSH client, a command-line utility suite for working with the SSH protocol. On Mac OS X, you can access a shell prompt by using the Terminal application, under Utilities. The ssh command to log into a remote machine is very simple. To log in to a remote computer with a public IP address of as the root user, type the following command at a shell prompt:

ssh root@

If this is the first time you use ssh to connect to this remote machine, you will see a message like:

The authenticity of host '' cannot be established.

DSA key fingerprint is 00:11:22:33:44:55:66:77:88:99:aa:bb:cc:ee:ff:00.

Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?

Type yes to continue. This will add the server to your list of known hosts (~/.ssh/known_hosts) as seen in the following message:

Warning: Permanently added '' (DSA) to the list of known hosts.

Each server has a host key, and the above question related to verifying and saving the host key, so that next time you connect to the server, it can verify that it actually is the same server.

Once the server connection has been established, the user is authenticated. Typically, it asks for a password for authentication. Once authentication has been accepted, you will be at the shell prompt for the remote machine.


By default, Windows does not include a built-in SSH utility. However, there is a popular freeware SSH client for Windows called PuTTY which can be used to connect to your Linux server via SSH.

Step 1: Downloading PuTTY

PuTTY can be downloaded from its official site.

Step 2: Using PuTTY

After downloading PuTTY to your computer, open it. A window will open where you will need to enter some information:

Host Name (or IP Address) - this is the IP address of your Hostway server.
Port - the default port for SSH is 22.

After entering this information, click "Open" to start the connection.

You will likely get a window saying "PuTTY Security Alert". Because this is a server you have not connected to before, PuTTY will ask you to confirm this is the server you think it is, with an rsa2 key. If you're an advanced user you can check this, otherwise just click "Yes", as it is safe in 99% of all cases.

Step 3: Logging into your server

PuTTY will now ask you for your username. By default, this is root:

login as: root

Press Enter. You will now be asked for your password.

After inputting your password, press Enter again. You are now logged into your server. When you are ready to log out of your server, press Ctrl + D.

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