Using SSH

From OS X or Linux (or other UNIX OS’s)

Most UNIX operating systems come with an ssh and sftp client. To use SSH, open up a terminal, and type into the prompt:

hblanks@terra:~$ ssh

If this is your first time connecting, you may get a message asking you if you want to trust the remote host’s key. Say yes, and enter your password. That’s all there is to it.

Transferring files is as easy or easier. If you want to use a graphical client, FileZilla is a good SFTP client, as is Fugu for OS X. These programs’ websites should have pretty ample instructions on how to connect; just remember that:

  • the server you connect to is
  • the port is the default (22)
  • the protocol is sftp
  • the username is your username (without the

If you want to use a command line client, you may choose from either sftp, a command line FTP-like client, or else scp, a sophisticated version of the normal UNIX cp program. To use sftp, type into the prompt:

hblanks@terra:~$ sftp

and once you’re logged in, you can get and put files just like with a normal FTP client. Alternatively, you can use SFTP to transfer one group of files or directories to/from a remote server.

An example would be:

hblanks@terra:~$ scp -r -C public_html

which would copy my public_html directory, recursively and with compression, over to the server For more information on scp, sftp, or ssh, check the manual pages, which should also be available on most UNIX systems by typing:

hblanks@terra:~$ man ssh

and so on.

From Windows

Alas for such an abbreviated note on Windows – but if you find yourself needing more of an explanation, please let us know. The SSH client we recommend is PuTTY, available at:

And the SFTP client is FileZilla, at:

You can use the same settings given above, namely a servername of, and a port of 22.