How To: Enable SSH

In today’s article, we’ll learn about enabling SSH. SSH is a useful tool for remotely managing your Linux computer. This is a pretty simple, painless, and quick exercise.

Let’s say your computer is in another room, another state, another country, or on another continent entirely. How are you going to manage it? After all, we have servers across the world and it is not even remotely economical to send a person to administer each one of them in person. 

On a home-use note, it’s perfectly suitable to manage my own router using SSH. It’s quick, easy, lightweight, effective, doesn’t require an attached monitor, and more. What’s not to like?

Installing SSH on Linux

My homemade router doesn’t have a keyboard attached. It doesn’t have a monitor attached, so it’s not like I can just easily walk over and deal with it.

I just got a new computer, a lovely laptop that I got for a fantastic price. I got it to test Lubuntu. I don’t always want to have to go over to the device and physically use it. 

I have a dedicated server in Las Vegas. I live in Maine. It wouldn’t be practical to fly out to Vegas every few days to run updates on the server. It wouldn’t make financial sense to go out there every time the server needed to be rebooted.

These are all great candidates for SSH. SSH stands for “Secure Shell” and it’s a protocol. It’s not an application, and you can use SSH for all those things. A great many applications can communicate over the SSH protocol, including every terminal emulator that I’m familiar with.

The man page defines SSH as:

ssh — OpenSSH remote login client

It has been around since the mid-90s and does nifty things beyond allowing you to control the remote system with commands, it also allows you to transfer files with things like SCP and SFTP. It’s right full of nifty features and you might as well become familiar with it. I’ll possibly cover both of those in a future article.

It’s very, very easy to get going. Simple use your keyboard to open the terminal, by pressing CTRL + ALT + T.

Now, simply type (this one can be easily adjusted to other package managers):

There… You’re done. Well, you are more or less done. You now effectively have SSH running. It starts itself after you install it. That’s pretty handy!

Now, make sure you’re on the same subnet, and you can connect to the remote computer – the computer where you just installed and enabled SSH. You can do that in a couple of ways. You can do it like this:

You can switch the obvious for the obvious, but you will need to know the IP address for the remote computer. That seems a bit tedious, so let’s just skip that part. Rather than remembering the IP address (which may change), just remember the name of the device.

So, instead, you’d run:

If that doesn’t make sense, this is how I’d connect to the new laptop:

Obviously, the hostname is ‘kgiii-msi’ and your hostname will be different. It’ll be the name you gave the computer during the installation process, typically during the same phase where you generated your user account. If you don’t actually know your hostname, you can easily find it. It’s simply:

There’s more to this and we’ll likely cover that soon enough, but that’ll get you started. If you have a firewall installed and enabled, you may need to let SSH through if you want to use it. This is such a simple thing that I’d be remiss in my duties to not make folks aware of how simple it is.

And, with that, I thank you my dear reader for taking the time out of your day to humor this old fool. Your feedback is appreciated and keep signing up to that whole newsletter thing. Being old, I tend to forget to submit and share these articles elsewhere. Signing up means you have no excuses for missing an article!

Smash a Button
[Total: 3 Average: 5]
About Me: I'm just some retired dude with a little bit more free time on my hands. If you want to support the site, why not help yourself out too by ordering some inexpensive web hosting so that you can start your own site?


Installing Google Earth on a Remote Computer

I wanted to test Google Earth Pro, but I didn’t want to install it on this computer. I wanted to install Google Earth Pro on a remote computer and test it there.

This is really just an expression of why I like Linux as much as I do. It allows me to be elegant and lazy!

First, I went to Google’s site for their Google Earth Pro application and found the download. It tried to make me download it automatically, and I canceled that. Instead, I right clicked on their link to ‘try again’ if the download didn’t start automatically and copied that link. Tada! 

Then, I opened my terminal…

I entered my password and was logged into that computer in the terminal. 

The next steps were just as easy.

Then I just waited and let it finish the task I’d set for it. Now, when I next go to that computer, or if I login with VNC, I can use Google Earth Pro and won’t have to go find the download, download it, and wait for it to install before I can use it. It’s already there, waiting for me to play with it.

Smash a Button
[Total: 2 Average: 4.5]
About Me: I'm just some retired dude with a little bit more free time on my hands. If you want to support the site, why not help yourself out too by ordering some inexpensive web hosting so that you can start your own site?


How To: Find the hostname.

The hostname is, for many of you who will be reading this, the same as your username. This is not always true.

Why is it important? Well, if I want to connect to a box on my network, I use its hostname. For example:

ssh kgiii@kgiii-lmde.local

That means I don’t need to know the IP address of the box, I merely need to know the hostname. That, as I said, is usually your username. On the off-chance that it isn’t, it’s easy to find.

cat /proc/sys/kernel/hostname

And there you go.

Smash a Button
[Total: 0 Average: 0]
About Me: I'm just some retired dude with a little bit more free time on my hands. If you want to support the site, why not help yourself out too by ordering some inexpensive web hosting so that you can start your own site?