Knowledgebase: SSH
Getting started using SSH at AABox Web Hosting
Posted by Michael Sasek (Import) on 23 February 2008 03:02 AM


What is SSH? It is Secure Shell, an encrypted command line connection to your account. It is very powerful and allows you to do many things that are simply impossible over FTP or HTTP connections.

If you need to move files, copy, rename, find, zip/unzip, tar/untar right on the server, SSH is how you do it.

Think of the following scenario:
You have 10,000 pictures you need uploaded to your server. You can either ftp them one at a time (even batch ftp still has to upload each file one by one) or you can zip all the images into one file, and FTP that single zip file to the server, then unzip it on the server.

Now, the problem is that you cannot unzip the file through FTP. You need a way to unzip it. That is where SSH comes in. Once you have uploaded your zip file, you will then need to connect to the server via SSH. Once connected, you can simply type unzip at the command prompt and you are done! The files are extracted into place, and it takes seconds, instead of hours. This is just one example, but you can see the power of SSH. You are able to remotely execute files/programs on the server.

The Basics of SSH

First, in order to use SSH on our servers, you need an SSH client. This is just a program the runs on your computer and gives you an interface to type commands and store your connection information. We recommend puTTY for windows based users, which is free. You can download it here:

Once you have downloaded and installed puTTY on your computer, start it. Fill in the connection information that was provided in your welcome email. The information you need to fill in is the host name and port which should have been provided to you in your welcome email. The places to enter this info into puTTY is highlighted below:

Once you have entered the correct information, click the Open button and puTTY will attempt to connect to your account. You will get a message about a key, click Yes. See image below:

Finally, a terminal window will open and look like the image below. Type in your cpanel username at the login as: prompt and hit enter. Then enter your cpanel password (It will not appear in the window) and hit enter. See the below pic:

After you enter your username and password, if your login is successful, you will see the following screen and will be ready to do whatever you need to do via SSH:

If your welcome email did not provide SSH connection information, your account may not allow SSH access and you will need to upgrade your account to one that does allow SSH access. Contact support here.

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