SSH How To

How to Access Computer Science Department Servers

This section is provided for those persons who have never connected to a Unix-based server before. The primary method used is a protocol called Secure Shell or SSH.

Note: If you have connected to Linprog servers before, and if you are now having trouble logging in, it may be that you need to clear old cached security certificates. See the Linprog Certificates entry for help.

Linux or MacOS

Computers running MacOS and most distributions of Linux include a secure shell command-line program already. (Try opening a terminal window and typing ‘ssh‘.) You don’t need to download or install any additional software. (If your distribution of Linux did not include the ssh program by default, search for the ‘OpenSSH’ package with your distribution’s package manager.)

If you’re trying to create your CompSci account, use the following command-line:

  • ssh

Once you have created your account, replace newacct with your own CS account name.


As a student taking Computer Science course(s), you are permitted to use department owned SSH Client software Tectia. Please download from this link and unzip it into a local folder. Run either x86 msi or x86_64 msi based on your operating system and follow its installation instructions.

Note: You must be on CS network to download this software. Distance learning students, please open a helpdesk ticket for Tectia downloading credentials. We cannot post the access credentials here due to license restrictions.

Steps to install Tectia if you download the

1. Download if you haven’t done so.

2  Unzip it to a directory (Very important! Do not skip this step!. Do not run installer inside this zip. unzip it first).

3. Go into the directory that contains unzipped Tectia. You should see five files.

4. Run ssh-tectia-client- The installer will automatically add license.

5. Now run Tectia.

If you have a broken Tectia on your computer, do following steps:

1. Uninstall Tectia from your computer.

2. Reboot your computer.

3. Download again.

4. Unzip it to a directory (Very important! Do not skip this step!. Do not run installer inside this zip. unzip it first). To unzip it, right click the file and select “Extract All” option and select a destination (go with the default).

5. Go into the directory that contains unzipped Tectia. You should see five files.

6. Run ssh-tectia-client- The installer will automatically add license.

7. Now run Tectia.

Important Note: You must unzip into a directory and then run installation from that directory. DO NOT run installation without unzip it first. If you install Tectia without unzip it first, you will have to uninstall it, restart your computer, and reinstall it after unzip it.

Before making your first connection, run the “Tectia – SSH Terminal” program as administrator (right-click on the program name in the Start menu or the desktop icon and select “Run as administrator”, and select “Yes” on the following popup), select “Edit” -> “Tectia Connections…” from the menu bar, and change your Default Connection settings to match those in the following screenshots.  Note that these are NOT the default settings!

Tectia-CiphersTectia-MACs Tectia-KEXs

Next, click “Help” -> “Import License File…” and select the “stc65.dat” file you downloaded with the installation file.  If there is no “Import License File…” option, you are all set and can skip this step. If you cannot see the license file while browsing in the file selection window, it is likely your computer added a hidden file extension, which you will need to remove before you can import the license file.

If you run into “Failed to start Broker GUI ” error, try following fix:

  • Open a command prompt. (hold the Windows Icon key and then R key, a ‘Run’ window opens. type ‘cmd’ in the ‘Open:’ field and click ‘OK)
  • Inside command prompt, type in: ssh-broker-gui and hit ‘Enter’

(Tectia Connection Status window should appear)

  • Go back to command prompt window and type in: ssh-client-g3

This would bring up the Tectia.

You only need to this once. From that point forward, Tectia should run by double click the desktop icon.

If your Tectia still won’t run, try:

1. completely uninstall current Tectia. Remove everything related to
2. restart your computer
3. download the from Systems website
4. Extract the to a directory —- very important. DO NOT SKIP.
5. Go to the directory that has extracted Tectia files, then run the x64
installer. Make sure your account has admin right.
6. proceed to install it.

First Connection

Before connecting to CS servers, make sure the ‘Authentication Method’ is set to “<Default Settings>“. See screenshot:

When you connect to a new server for the first time, your SSH client may prompt you to save the identity information of the server for future connections. Should the server identity certificate change, your client may warn you about the change and prevent you from connecting. If you want to verify the identity of the server, you can compare the key fingerprints of our most common servers. If the server’s identity has changed (because of software or security upgrades), you may have to clear your certificate cache.

Next Steps

Now you can move on to the next part of the tutorial, Creating a CS account.