Logging In With SSH

CSE Login Servers

CSE run a number of login servers, allowing you to make use of CSE computing resources away from the CSE network.

You can connect to these servers to access your home directory and run programs in the CSE environment.

There are several servers, designed for different purposes:

General-purpose computing
Databases, appservers, etc.

All CSE login servers use your UNSW zID and zPass for authentication.

Using SSH

From Windows

Windows 10 has an inbuilt 'ssh' command available from the command prompt, or you can install a standalone app called PuTTY.

If you're using the command-line version, run ssh z1234567@login.cse.unsw.edu.au, substituting your zID as appropriate.

If you're using PuTTY, start the app, then enter the appropriate server (for instance login.cse.unsw.edu.au) into the 'Host Name' box, and click Open.

Log in with your zID and zPass when prompted, and you will be presented with a terminal screen that you can use, just the same as the terminal on a lab computer.

From macOS or Linux

macOS and Linux both include built-in SSH clients, so there's no need to install extra software.

To connect, simply open a Terminal window and run ssh z1234567@login.cse.unsw.edu.au, substituting your own zID and the server name as appropriate.

Running graphical (GUI) programs over SSH

By default, SSH clients only support text-mode programs; anything that needs to open its own window on your desktop (such as Gedit) will not work.

However, there is a way to enable this - depending on your operating system, it may take a little setting up.

Running graphical programs over SSH can be fairly slow (especially over a slow internet connection), so we recommend that you don't use this as your main workflow.

From Windows

To run graphical programs on Windows, you will need to install an X server

Follow the instructions there for installing VcXsrv and configuring PuTTY.

If you're running Windows Services for Linux, see the instructions for configuring your DISPLAY variable.

From macOS

You will need to install the XQuartz X server.

Once it's installed, just add the -Y parameter to your SSH command, eg. ssh -Y z1234567@login.cse.unsw.edu.au

From Linux

Linux is the simplest of all, as an X server is installed by default on most distributions.

Just add the -Y parameter: ssh -Y z1234567@login.cse.unsw.edu.au

Persistent logins

Normally, when you close your SSH client (or lose your network connection), any programs running in your shell will also be closed.

This is what you want most of the time, but sometimes it's useful to be able to disconnect and reconnect to the same session.

For text-mode programs, the easiest way to do this is with the screen command. See this tutorial for details.

If you're working with graphical programs, the easiest way to do this is to use VNC instead.

SSH Multiplexing

If you make many SSH network connections to CSE from outside UNSW (such as more than 20 in a minute) then you can trip UNSW Firewall blocks.

You can have multiple SSH sessions through one network connection using SSH multiplexing.

An example configuration for your ssh_config file: Host * ControlMaster auto ControlPath ~/.ssh/controlmasters/%C ControlPersist 10m

Last edited by robertd 08/10/2022