Why Use SSH?

This is a short practical introduction to SSH and how you can benefit from using it, or atleast how I have. The secure shell (SSH) network protocol is often unknown to new linux users, and probably to 99% of all only-Windows users 😀 SSH is used for remote connections over a network, both computers could be in the same LAN, or you could connect to an external ip from the outside world.

I remember when my friend helped me configure something in Debian with SSH from his home. At that point I didn’t actually see how I could personally benefit from it other than being helped to fix things. Later I got more interested in server stuff, but after giving my second monitor away to the same friend who helped my with the config, I started working with SSH to avoid switching one monitor between 2 computers.

These days I try to install the OpenSSH server on my server-box asap, so that I can have the monitor for the pc that actually has a graphical interface 😀 With Debian/Ubuntu you can find the openssh-server packet on the install cd and in the repositories, if it’s not installed already. You also need a client for the system that you are connecting from, openssh-client for Debian/Ubuntu, and I use Putty for Windows. You can apt-get the Debian packages.

SSH is easy to set up. For example with a fresh install of a distribution, I try to get the openssh-server up and running asap after I get my net setup. This helps me troubleshoot and follow install instructions on my other computer while working on the monitorless computer. I can’t solve everything without a proper browser! Another scenario is if xorg doesn’t work anymore so you can’t really look for help in e.g. google, but luckily you’ve got the openssh-server running and: 1.) another working computer at home 2.) your friend who will let you use his computer for a few minutes. One way or another you can find help much easyer, and continue messing around sooner 😛 Right now I’ve got this pc, with my TinyXp Beast edition, connected to my Debian server with SSH. Both computers are sitting next to each other but I’ve only got one monitor, convenient. As you can see SSH can make your life easyer.

Hopefully this gets the basic idea of SSH through, and opens new doors to linux users. You can find more on how to setup SSH on your distribution by googling around now that you definately want to start using it 😀

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