Home Directory Access using the Command Line


NOTE: Effective 6/1/2017, the “Icarus” SSH Gateway has been decommissioned. The process for accessing files from off-campus has changed.

OpenSSH (OpenBSD Secure Shell) is a set of computer programs providing encrypted communication sessions over a network using the ssh protocol. Any computer with a working command line OpenSSH client (Linux, MacOSX, Windows + Cygwin, etc) can use command line applications to update personal webpages.

Additionally, FUSE plug-ins such as SSHFS provide additional command line access methods.

scp can be used similar to the UNIX cp command. For instance, to copy the file /tmp/index.html to one’s private storage space, the command would be:

scp /tmp/filename.txt username@server.engr.uconn.edu:/home/username/private_home/filename.txt

sftp is an interactive text-based application to transfer files to and from a remote system. To make an sftp connection one would type sftp username@server.engr.uconn.edu. Then, in the ftp> prompt, files can be transferred with mget and mput, and directories can be navigated with cd.

ssh allows interactive or non-interactive execution of remote commands on a computer running and OpenSSH server. One can launch a remote interactive shell with the following ssh username@server.engr.uconn.edu and then modify files in /home/username/private_homeusing the UNIX command line (for example with a text editor like vim).

For additional information on usage for any of these commands, type man <command> into the terminal.

For additional instructions on using SSH to access home directories, please see Home Directory Access from Linux.

ECS recommends that you store all your data in the folder private_home. The default permissions on this folder are set so that only you can access it. Storing data in other areas is only for expert users who know what the risks are.

The default permissions should ensure that files in the folder public_html directory are visible to the world over the World Wide Web. Please be very conscious of this and only post information that you have the right to share with the public in that directory.