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SSH: Logging in

The single most handy tool for any Linux administrator is SSH. Short for Secure SHell, it is a way to connect to another computer, using the terminal. It is immensely powerful, and gaining confidence with it can be a bit of a challenge. Before you can do ANYTHING else, you need to know a few basic commands:

  • ssh user@server
  • ssh -p #### user@server

Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it? But, wait a minute; what are we actually doing? The first command tells the terminal to connect, using SSH, to a server, identifying as a user (obviously, you would need to replace user with your username and server with the address of the server). The second command does the same thing, but specifies which port to use (and yes, you need to make the same replacements as before, as well as replacing #### with the port number you are trying to access).

Having logged in, we can perform a number of tasks, such as setting folder permissions, creating users, running tests on the network, and much, much, much more. This, though, connecting and logging in, is where it all starts. Without that, nothing that you know how to do makes any difference.

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