Most people use one of these three options:
- On macOS, OpenSSH is preinstalled. It is accessed by running the ssh command from the Terminal application.
- Recent versions of Windows also include OpenSSH. The ssh command can be used from the Command Prompt or PowerShell.
- PuTTY is a very popular free graphical ssh client for Windows. It requires no local installation and is a perfect tool to slap on a USB memory stick for secure access from anywhere. Putty also comes bundled with some versions of WinSCP, which is an excellent tool for managing files hosted on our service. PuTTY 0.75 or later is required if you are using RSA keys (not recommended).
Other options also exist, but are substantially less popular:
- OpenSSH is also available through Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and Cygwin.
- The far-and-away best graphical ssh application for both Windows and Mac is VanDyke Technologies' Secure CRT. This program is rather expensive ($99) but worth every penny if ssh is a part of your daily life.
- Almost all versions of Linux and BSD preinstall OpenSSH or make it available as a package.
Once you have found or installed your ssh program, give it your connection information to get connected to your site hosted on our service. From there, you will get a shell prompt, which may look something like:
Actual prompts can vary widely but tend to end in $ or %. To reflect these variantions, in our documentation, we use:
YourPrompt$ echo "Hello, world!"to indicate that you should type the command echo "Hello, world!" (but not the YourPrompt$ part) at your shell prompt, whatever it looks like.
Due to the variety of ssh options and the complexity of the Unix shell, the full details of their use are well beyond the scope of a FAQ. Many online tutorials exist, like this one. For a deeper dive, many community colleges offer continuing education classes covering one or both topics.