See also

For triton specific instructions see Connecting to triton page.

ssh is a easy, secure way of connecting to remote computers. The Internet is practically run on it. This page tells you how to make ssh work nicer.

Basic use: connect to a server

ssh is the basic method of use - username is the username, and is the server to which you connect, for example See connecting to triton.

Login without password: ssh keys

You may get tired of typing a password all the time: and you should, using a key is faster and more secure. You make a ssh key on your own computer, copy the public key to the other server, and then can login without a password.

Note: this section is only for connecting to Triton. Once you are connected the first time, a key for internal connections is automatically made.


We highly recommend you follow these steps on the first login to set up passwordless SSH. This will make your life much more pleasant, and can be used when connecting to computers other than Triton. Using keys will save you the trouble of entering passwords every time, since ssh stores the key once and uses it for logging you in in the future.

First, create the keypair on your own computer. Do not copy private keys from other computers - one computer=one private key, and copy only the public key (.pub) to any computer you want to log in to. Protect your SSH keyfiles with a passphrase. When asked to enter one, use 3+ words, mixing languages, CAsE, or inflection, but make it something you can remember without sticky notes. xkcd has some opinions on this. A key without a passphrase is like a password just sitting on disk - so be careful here. Passwordless keys are OK in certain cases, such as internal triton connections.

ssh-keygen -o

Then, copy the key to computers you want to log into: Use the ssh-copy-id script to copy the public key file to Triton. This will put the key in ~/.ssh/authorized_keys (you can check this file to see everything that’s there). (To do this manually, put the contents of .ssh/ file into ~/.ssh/authorized_keys on Triton. If you do this yourself, you may set set the permissions on .authorized_keys file: chmod u=rwx .ssh/, chmod u=rw .ssh/authorized_keys.)

Finally, you should be able to login automatically. A program called ssh-agent (or gnome-keyring) decrypts the key once and holds it and uses it each time you need to connect. If it doesn’t work automatically, try running ssh-add yourself once.


You can follow same instructions from Linux.


Realistically, on windows setting up keys takes some time. You don’t need to worry about it (you will still have an ssh key on triton that is used for internal connections).

You can make keys using puttygen. Here is a tutorial. You should make a new key for each computer you have.

Config file: don’t type so many options

Openssh on Linux and Mac can be made nicer if you set up a config file (.ssh/config):

# Host alias triton: "ssh triton" instead of "ssh".
# You can set more options here.
Host triton
    # Only if not on Aalto networks:
    # Next line *automatically* proxies you through  You
    # probably want to set up a "kosh" host if username is different, and
    # set up public key authentication on kosh too.
    ProxyCommand ssh -W %h:%p
# Defaults for all hosts.
Host *
    # Following two lines allow SSH to reuse connections - second connections
    # open very fast.  If problems (channels exceeded), disable it.
    ControlMaster   auto
    ControlPath     /tmp/.ssh-USERNAME-mux-%r@%h:%p