Dr. Mark Humphrys

School of Computing. Dublin City University.

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Overview - Remote access


Use your own Linux

How to login to Linux at DCU

There are many different ways to use Linux at DCU.

Go into CA labs

  1. Go physically into CA labs.
  2. Reboot a PC.
  3. Choose Linux.

  4. The School of Computing ("CA") has its own Linux and Windows sysadmins.
  5. For Linux admin problems (e.g. password issues) see docs:

    And can email sysadmins at:


Overview - Remote access to DCU Linux

Access from home and from Windows.
  1. ssh
    • This is a hugely important protocol, in use globally to give you a command-line on a remote Linux/Unix system. More below.

  2. sftp
    • This is a hugely important protocol, in use globally to give you a read-write file system on a remote Linux/Unix system. More below.

  3. Web browser access
    • A more recent invention is Web browser access to do ssh (command line only) or maybe get an entire GUI through the Web browser.
      This is set up for DCU, but may not be set up for other Linux systems you will meet elsewhere.


student.computing.dcu.ie Linux account

All the remote access routes lead to your student.computing.dcu.ie Linux account.
I have my own such account, which is mhumphrysdculab
My account has the following properties:

Your account will be similar (change user name and group name).



A single password is very handy, but sadly is not very secure.
Foreign hackers run bots trying to guess passwords of ssh logins on large numbers of servers.
Your password may be hard to guess, but if there are lots of users, some will have simple passwords and the bots will get in.

DCU now uses a 2FA security system.
The idea is you need something else, that a foreign hacker will not have.
For example, it is linked to your phone.


ssh keys

A simple form of "something a foreign hacker will not have" is to use ssh keys.
This is a key kept as a file on your computer, that must match another key on the server.
The key is huge (like around 1600 characters) so unlike a password cannot be guessed by the hacker's bot.
If you use ssh keys, you do not need the mobile phone 2FA, or even the password.

termcast - Web browser access to DCU Linux Command-line


Use termcast to set up 2FA


Change color on termcast



ssh is the normal way globally of getting command-line access to a Linux/Unix system.
(Web interfaces like termcast are not so common.)

Windows ssh client: PuTTY


Set up ssh using ssh keys

Using ssh with password and 2FA is awkward.
So if you are using ssh, set up ssh keys.

USB key

To transfer files to/from USB key:


PuTTY with private key



sftp or similar is the normal way of getting remote read-write file system access to Linux/Unix systems.

Use ssh keys


Turn an sftp site into a drive

If (as is common) you have a Windows client and a Linux server, you can use sftp to turn the Linux server into a drive on Windows, like the X: drive.

Use your own Linux


On Windows - Recommended


On Windows - Other


On Mac

ancientbrain.com      w2mind.org      humphrysfamilytree.com

On the Internet since 1987.      New 200 G VPS server.

Note: Links on this site to user-generated content like Wikipedia are highlighted in red as possibly unreliable. My view is that such links are highly useful but flawed.