Secure Shell (SSH) Connections

What is SSH?

SSH (Secure Shell) is a protocol used to create a secure, encrypted connection between a client machine, such as your desktop, and a remote server. SSH is the primary way we connect to and interact with SDSU's Linux systems. Once an SSH connection is established, you will be able to interact with the server via the CLI and, depending on the system, will be able to launch a graphical desktop session with VNC.


In order to connect to one of SDSU's Linux systems, you will need an SSH client. PuTTY and MobaXterm are popular clients.

You will also need to know the hostname of the Linux server you would like to connect to, as well as the username and password for your faculty, staff, or student account (whichever is applicable to you).

Connecting to a Server

To connect to a Linux server, open your SSH client. In this example, we will be using the MobaXterm client, but the setup for other clients will be very similar. You will be presented with a prompt like the following:


Linux SSH client showing a command line.

Your username and password to log in to the server will be your current SDSU username and password (for example, first.last). Use your SDSU FacStaff account if you have one -- check with the SDSU Support Desk if you are not sure. If you only have a student account, your username will be the "short" version, the one you use for student wireless, MyState, etc. usually your first and middle initial followed by your last name.

Next, connect by using the following format, replacing 'first.last' for your username and 'servername' for the server name you are connecting to.

ssh first.last@servername

Depending on the address of the server, you may also need to specify, as is the case with the cluster login node. Press Enter and type your password (it will remain invisible as you are typing it into the terminal window). After this step, your session is created.

This animation demonstrates an SSH connection from a client to the Roaring Thunder login node as an example.

Linux console displaying the SSH login process.

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Article ID: 135678
Fri 12/3/21 12:47 PM
Mon 2/27/23 10:58 AM