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As you might already know, the majority of servers on the internet are running the Linux operating system. While having an on-site server is the most secure way to manage it, in the majority of cases, such a system is either impossible or not optimal for the user. That is why most opt for either having their own servers installed within a datacenter or rent out a ready-made one in a colocation facility.
In such cases, in-person server management can prove to be difficult, making remote server access a necessity. To connect to a Linux server remotely and manage it over the internet you will have to use SSH.
What is SSH?
SSH (Secure Shell) is a network protocol used to send and receive data and other information over the internet without the fear of eavesdropping and getting important data stolen. Once you have developed a secure SSH connection, you are endowed with the permission to manipulate the server by merely typing the commands on your local computer.
When someone wants to manage the computer remotely in a secure way, the person uses SSH commands to get the work done. This protocol is especially loved by system and network administrators for the control and agility it provides to the users. Here are some of the things you can do with it:
- Secure system administration
- File transfer
- Communication across the Internet
- Send and receive valuable information over other untrusted networks
- Encrypt Identities and Passwords
SSH Work Methodology
SSH requires two basic components to complete the process of establishing a connection and allow you to remotely control the server. These components are:
- An SSH client
- Corresponding server-side component
The client is an application which you need to install on your computer to connect to the remote server or other computers within the local network. The remote host information is the key factor the client uses to establish the connection. When these credentials are deemed verified, the client becomes able to encrypt the connection.
The other component, on the server-side, is the SSH daemon that is on a continuous watch to listen to the specific TCP/IP port for any query or possible client connection requests. Once the client has initiated the connection, the SSH daemon will reply and respond as per the software protocol. If the credentials that the client has provided are correct, it will create a favorable environment for them to interact with each other.
Version 2 is the default SSH protocol version for SSH communication between a client and an SSH server.
Enabling an SSH Connection
As per the requirement of the connection, there are two parties involved in an SSH connection; one is the client and the other is the server. You have to make sure that the remote machine and local system both have SSH connections installed and enabled on them.
The most famous open-source tool for SSH is OpenSSH. This tool is comparatively easy-to-use and only requires terminal access to the server to which you are trying to connect.
OpenSSH is one implementation of the SSH protocol on the server and client that is completely open-source.
Installation of Open SSH client
Most of the time, Linux-based distributions already have an SSH client installed on them, however, if you are using Ubuntu, be informed that the SSH server is not installed on it by default.
For Windows-based machines, install PuTTy or any other SSH client software to gain access to the server. Do also keep in mind that you will have to enable OpenSSH on your Windows device.
The process starts with the following steps:
Step 1: Load SSH terminal
Step 2: Press CTRL+ ALT + T at the same time
Step 3: Type in ssh and press Enter
If you have already installed the client on your system, the output will look something like this:
Install the OpenSSH client manually:
Type in the following command:
sudo apt-get install openssh-client
Then, type the superuser password and press Enter to complete the installation.
Install an OpenSSH Server
The installation of the OpenSSH server will require the following steps.
Step 1: Open terminal on the server machine
Step 2: Press CTRL + ALT + T
Step 3: Type ssh localhost and press Enter
If the system does not have an SSH server installation, you will see the following text:
If you see this message, you will have to manually install the SSH server.
Run this command to do so:
sudo apt-get install openssh-server ii.
Now, type in the superuser password. This will install the support file and you will be able to check the status by this command:
sudo service ssh status
What is KiTTY?
The fork form version 0.71 of PuTTY is known as KiTTY. This is undoubtedly the best telnet / SSH client in the world. KiTTY was originally designed for the Microsoft Windows platform and has all the features and add-ons from the original software.
Note that SSH and Telnet is not the same.
Pre-built binaries of KiTTY can be used and are available for macOS and Linux. Use any one of your favorite package managers to install the KiTTY package. It is available for the following:
- macOS with Homebrew (Cask)
- macOS and Linux with Nix
- Arch Linux
- Void Linux
Possibilities are endless and it is specifically designed for power keyboard users. The people who want to control all the work by using the keyboard love the keyboard shortcuts Kitty offers them. However, if you want to use a mouse, you can also do so to achieve your tasks.
Codes in KiTTY are fabricated to be very simple, hackable, and modular. The codes are specifically written in C (for performance-sensitive parts) and Python (for easy hackability of the UI). The dependence is not inclined on large and complex UI toolkit. The most famous and top-rated feature of KiTTY is that it can be easily extensible. You can add new features without any significant effort.
Tabs Top Level Organization
You can run multiple programs and organize them by manipulating various windows. The top-level organization of windows is Tab. There are several windows in each tab. You get the liberty to arrange these windows in various tabs.
Here you can see the keyboard controls for managing windows.
Configuring kitty for SSH
The high customizability allows you to use keyboard shortcuts to perform almost any operation. You can also create your very own keyboard shortcuts. If you want to configure KiTTY with SSH, you must do the following.
Step 1: Type kitty.conf
Step 2: Enter the following command:
Step 3: Begin the configuration by typing the following command:
kitty -o allow_remote_control=yes -o enabled_layouts=tall
Step 4: Open a new kitty window and type the following:
kitty @ launch --title Output --keep-focus cat
You will see a new window that will be running the cat program.
Step 5: To check the accessibility, type the following command:
kitty @ send-text --match cmdline:cat Hello, World
If you want to connect to your routers, switches, and server over SSH you can find great benefits within this protocol. The UNIX shell environment can be perfectly used by a Windows user through Solar-PuTTy. This powerful software is open-source, and it is free for anyone to download and use.
Installation of Solar-PuTTy
Solar-PuTTy is available from SolarWind’s official site. You don’t need to make any special arrangements and go through the tiring installation process to use this software for your SSH communications. Simply download the software from the website and run it on your system. After running the file, you are good to go. The staggering feature is that the file size is only 1MB.
Creating new Sessions
Once you have installed the software, it is time to open and look for the pages that create your session on the system. To create a new session you can manually enter your log-in details.
The most mesmerizing feature of this software is that you don't have to configure all the devices here. You can simply import and use all the SSH configurations from the any previous SSH software if you have used any.
Here are some of the most attractive features Solar-PuTTY offers:
- Save remote sessions
- Supports tabbing
- Supports Login Scripts
- Storage of Login Credentials
- Dedicated Search bar
- Integration with Windows
Bitvise SSH Client
This software gives the users the power to connect to SFTP servers by utilizing a regular FTP client. You can achieve the required client requirements by simply connecting to the SFTP server by utilizing your SSH.
The people using solar-PuTTy when install the Bitvise on their system they can explain this software in a far better way.
There is only one catch for Bitvise; it is not meant for beginners in the field of SSH. It is much more difficult to use Bitvise than it is to use PuTTY. All the environmental features are fused to create a unique and powerful working environment for the users at all levels. It has a simple GUI that comes in a well-organized layout with various categories embedded within it.
Installing Bitvise SSH Server
First of all, download the installer from the Bitvise website and run it.
You can also install the Bitvise SSH server in unattended mode.
For supported command-line parameters type the following:
For a fresh machine, to start it immediately, type:
BvSshServer-Inst.exe -defaultInstance -activationCode=0123...6789
For an automated configuration type the following command:
BssCfg popups show -never -default
Run BssCfg without parameters for help.
Bitvise SSH Client
Install the SSH client from this link and start using your Bitvise right away.
There are advantages and disadvantages to using any of the SSH software mentioned in this article. We hope that by reading this, you are able to make a better-informed decision on which one suits you better. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comment section below.
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I'm fascinated by the IT world and how the 1's and 0's work. While I venture into the world of Technology, I try to share what I know in the simplest way with you. Not a fan of coffee, a travel addict, and a self-accredited 'master chef'.