Saturday, September 27, 2014

How to control Linux server or Linux VPS from Windows

Controlling a Linux server or Linux VPS from Windows operating system  can be done with SSH  (Secure Shell) . Windows requires a tiny software named PuTTY. PuTTY is a free to download, small, stand-alone application that lets you connect to servers over SSH on Windows. Windows doesn’t come with any software for SSH  so we really need a third party application for that. PuTTY can be downloaded here: You just need ‘putty.exe’. Download it and put it somewhere to your liking. It doesn't require anything else, so just launch it after downloading it. This should show Putty's default screen:

In the ‘Host Name’ field, Type the hostname or IP address of your server. I have chosen to use the IP address here. Now hit the ‘Open’ button. You should get a prompt titled ‘PuTTY Security Alert’. No worries, this is completely normal.

This prompt asks you whether you trust the host. It shows the host’s RSA fingerprint. SSH uses this fingerprint while connecting to see if the server is actually the same as it was before. In order to be able to do this, it needs to have the fingerprint first. So it prompts you whether you trust this host the first time you connect so it. If you say “Yes”, PuTTY will save the fingerprint in the so-called known_hosts file and use that to compare with the host’s RSA fingerprint on future connection attempts. If the host’s RSA fingerprint doesn’t match the known one, the host either got reinstalled or the host is not the one you think it is (possible indicating an attack). So, a quite useful mechanism altogether. Accepting your host’s RSA fingerprint should move you on to the next screen, the actual terminal:

Here it asks you for your username and your password. In this case, I have used ‘root’ as the username. Type in your password and hit enter, this should give you a window like this (on Ubuntu hosts):

You have successfully logged in to your server over SSH! Congratulations! That’s how simple it was.
From here on, you’re on your own from now on. You can use commands like ‘cd’ and ‘ls’ to move around a bit and explore your system, but more on that in a future tutorial!

Thanks:  Maarten Kossen

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