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SSH telnet FAQ's


  1. What are the basic steps in seting up SSH?

Why is SSH necessary?

Where can I find more info on SSH?

Where can I get SSH client software?

What is SSH?

What are some commands I can use when logged in via SSH?

How do I setup SecureCRT?

Obtaining SSH access

1.  What are the basic steps in seting up SSH? - Top

  SSH is now enabled for your account by requesting it from our support dept . You can access the server using the SSH java based terminal interface supplied within the control panel or obtain your own SSH client, A good free SSH client program is Putty for information on obtaining and using Putty click here.

B. Obtain a SSH client, by downloading and/or purchasing the software.

C. Follow the SSH client side software instructions to generate an RSA key.

D. The server will Install the key for you when you first log into the server using your SSH client if you have generated it and stored it on your hard drive . 

2.  Why is SSH necessary? - Top

As the internet grows it is more frequently the subject of security breaches. The easiest  way to hack a web site is to setup a sniff program, usually at an ISP and grab the username and password where a user is logging into. This is very easily done when a client  uses telnet because telnet passes all information to the server in clear text. When we allowed users to access our network with telnet we had at least one hack attempt per day.  Successful hack attempts result in damaged or destroyed sites, stolen information, and FBI investigations.

We now have one of the most secure networks thanks to the cooperation of all shell  account users who are abandoning telnet and accessing their account via Secure Shell (SSH). SSH does not pass any information in clear text but rather uses secure encryption.


3.  Where can I find more info on SSH? - Top


4.  Where can I get SSH client software? - Top

We highly recommend SecureCRT available at Van Dyke

If you live outside the US and Canada, you may be able to use F-Secure at
Data Fellows

You can find additional SSH clients at

Users looking for a free version or users outside the United States should file through the free implementations at


There is also the totally free internationally available ttssh:



5.  What is SSH? - Top

Telnet is a terminal program that allows you to work on a machine other than your own. If  you use Windows, you might consider it similar to opening a DOS prompt on our machine, instead using the UNIX operating system once you get on our server.

SSH is a different protocol that works much the same way as Telnet, but it utilizes encryption to ensure that your password and all data sent and received during your session are kept safe.  

6.  What are some commands I can use when logged in via SSH? - Top

ls................. show directory
mkdir .............. make a directory
rmdir .............. remove directory (rm -r to delete folders with files)
rm ................. remove files
cd ................. change current directory
man (command) ...... shows help on a specific command
pico (filename) .... easy to use text editor to edit files
pine ............... easy to use mailer
more (file) ........ views a file, pausing every screenful
telnet (host) ...... connect to another Internet site
ftp (host) ......... connects to a FTP site
grep ............... search for a string in a file
chmod .............changes permissions on a file
gzip ............... best compression for UNIX files
zip ................ zip for IBM files
tar ................ combines multiple files into one or vice-versa


Display, combine or append files

cat file1 display

 cat file1 file2 > file1and2
combines file1 and file2

cat file1 >> file2 append
file1 to file2


The command cd my_dir
changes your position to the directory specified, in this case my_dir.
The command cd without an argument moves you to your home directory.

cd (change directory)

cd return to
the home directory

cd .. move
up one directory level

cd ../.. move
up two directory levels

cd subdirectory move
to subdirectory



The command cpfirst_file
copy_file copies the contents of first_file into the file copy_file.
To indicate that the new file is to have the same name as first_file,
use a period (.) instead of of providing a name for the second file. (In this
case, the files must be in separate directories, as two files cannot have
the same name if they are in the same directory.) For example: cpsome_directory/my_file
. copies my_file, located in some_directory, and creates
a file named my_file in the current working directory.

cp (copy)

cp file1 file2 copy
file1 to file2

cp file1 subdirectory copy
file1 to subdirectory

cp file1 file2 directory
copy file1 and file2 to directory



The command grep string
filename searches filename for string. It outputs every
line which contains string. The form grep -v string filename
outputs every line which does not contain string. The argument string
is read by grep as a
as described in the following:

A list of characters enclosed by
[ and ] matches any character in the list. A list of characters enclosed by
[ and ] with ^ as the first character matches any character not in the list.
A range of characters can be expressed by separating the first and last characters
in the range by a hyphen and enclosing them by [ and ]. A period (.) matches
any single character. A regular expression matching a single character (i.e.
not a range) can be followed by a repetition operator:

? indicates that the
preceding item is optional, matched once at most.

* indicates that the
preceding item will be matched zero or more times.

+ indicates that the
preceding item will be matched one or more times.

{n} indicates that the
preceding item is matched exactly n times.

{n,} indicates that the
preceding item is matched n or more times.

{,m} indicates that the
preceding item is optional and is matched m times at most.

{n,m} indicates that
the preceding item is matched at least n times, but no more than
m times.



The command ls lists the
files in the current directory. The form ls -F shows the difference
between directories and ordinary files. The form ls -a lists all files,
even those that are normally invisible in UNIX (files whose names start with
a period, i.e. .xstartup).

ls (list) Does a directory

 ls lists a directory
in columns

ls -l gives a fuller
listing including file permissions, size, date created

ls -al similar
to the above but includes "dot" files

 ls –ald as above
but includes primary user


 The command mv file_name
dir_name moves the file file_name from the current directory
into the directory dir_name, where dir_name is a subdirectory
of the current directory. The form mv old_file new_file renames
old_file and calls it new_file.

mv (move). Moves or renames one
or more files

mv file1 newname renames

mv directory newname renames

mv directory existing-directory
moves directory to a subdirectory of target

mv file1 file2 directory move
files to directory



The command pwd prints the
pathname of the current, or working, directory.


The command whois lookup_string
performs a directory lookup on persons at your home institution, where lookup_string
is all or part of someone's first name, last name, or phone number.

Click here
for more on whois.






^ c

INTERRUPT program ([Del]
in System V).

^ d

END text input (also logoff).


^ h


^ r

REPEAT last line typed (or !!).


^ q

Unlock terminal screen.

^ s

Stop the screen from scrolling.


^ u

UNDO last line typed.

^ w

Delete last WORD typed.

^ z

SUSPEND a running program


The VI Editor

This is an introduction to vi,
a text editor that is available on almost all Unix machines. This is what
you use to create a file or to change the contents of a file. This is only
an introduction.

To start up vi, use the
command 'vi filename',
where filename is the name of the file that you want to change. If you want
to create a new file, you can just say 'vi newfilename',
where newfilename is the name that you want to give the file.

If you get mail or something
else messes up the screen, you can press [ESC]
and then ^l (control-L) to redraw the screen.
This will not affect your file, only your display.

 The tricky part about vi is that
it has two modes, insert mode and command mode. When you are in insert mode,
all you can do is type text, which will go directly into the file wherever
your cursor is. When you are in command mode, you can do everything else,
including moving the cursor, searching, and setting options.

To move from insert mode
to command mode, use the [ESC]
key. If you forget to do this and end up with a ':wq'
or something else that you don't want at the end of your line, just backspace
over the characters that you don't want, then hit [ESC].
If you hit [ESC] when you are already in command
mode, the terminal will beep at you, but it won't do anything to your file.
When in doubt, hit [ESC].

To move from command mode to insert
mode, use the i, a, o, or O command as described below. There are a few others,
but those are the most common.

 To use the following commands,
you must be in command mode:

Cursor Movement:

A handy thing about these commands
is that you can type a number first, and the editor will do the command that
many times. For instance, h moves the cursor one character to the left, and
12h moves the cursor twelve characters to the left. You shouldn't see the
number or command that you type, by the way. If you do, you are in insert
mode; you should backspace over the number and press the [ESC] key, then try


h - moves cursor one character
to the left
j - moves cursor one line down

k - moves cursor one line up

l - moves cursor one character
to the right
^f - moves cursor one screen
^d - moves cursor a half screen
^b - moves cursor one screen
^u - moves cursor a half screen
^ - moves cursor to the beginning
of the line
$ - moves cursor to the end
of a line
w - moves cursor one word forward,
with punctuation and braces as new words
W - moves cursor forward to
the next word
b - moves cursor one word backward,
with punctuation and braces as new words
B - moves cursor backward to
the next word
/pattern - searches for pattern
and moves the cursor there
?pattern - searches backwards
for pattern and moves the cursor there


Deleting Text:

x - deletes the character the
cursor is on
X - deletes the character to
the left of the cursor
dd - deletes the entire line
the cursor is on

d followed by a cursor movement
command deletes that much text. For instance, w moves the cursor forward a
word, and dw deletes to the end of the word. The 5h command moves the cursor
five characters to the left, and the d5h command deletes five characters to
the left.


These commands may seem a little
confusing at first. The i command means that everything you type until you
hit [ESC] will be inserted to the left of the cursor. In other words, this
command leaves you in insert mode with the insertion point to the left of
where the cursor was when you hit 'i.'

Inserting Text:

i - inserts text to the left
of the cursor (leaves you in insert mode)
a - appends text to the right
of the cursor (leaves you in insert mode)
A - appends text at the end
of the line (leaves you in insert mode)
o - opens new line under the
line the cursor is on (leaves you in insert mode)
O - opens new line above the
line the cursor is on (leaves you in insert mode)


How Do I Get Out Of This Thing,

When you hit the colon (:), you
will see it at the bottom of the screen (unless you are still in insert mode,
in which case you should back up over it and press [ESC], then try again).
You will see anything you type after the colon at the bottom of the screen.
After commands that use a colon, you have to hit the key.


:q! - exits without saving changes

:w - write changes
:wq - write changes, then quit



If you, for one reason or another, don't have a better WWW browser availible and want
to see a page (maybe you just edited it, or you want to check this manual while on-line)
type lynx URL to view the URL. (For example, lynx http://www.14all.com/.)
This simple browser of course can't show you graphics, and is bewildered by tables, but
otherwise will show you what you need to see.

Use the up and down arrow keys on your keyboard to move the cursor from link to link.
Press the right arrow, or the enter key, to follow a link. Press the left arrow to back

Press space to scroll down one screen of text, or press 'b' to scroll up one screen.
(If the cursor is in a fill-out form, you must use the up and down arrow keys.)

Press 'z' to abort the loading of a page. Press 'q' to leave the program.

 It's possible that once you see the speed of lynx, you may just start using it

The current version of lynx does have a few bugs, some of which were not present in
older versions. If you see a page that doesn't display properly, try lynx2.4.2 (as in lynx2.4.2
url) with it. Hopefully there will soon be a single best version availible that will
make this note unnecessary.


lynx (browsing WWW)

Back  to Top

7.  How do I setup SecureCRT? - Top

Ensure that the Session List tab is selected and then click on the New button on the right hand side.
This will create the session that you will use each time you telnet into your account.

NAME - In the text box next to Name, input a name that SecureCRT can use to identify this session that you are creating.

PROTOCOL - Select SSH from the drop down box. As soon as you select SSH, additional boxes will appear below that selection as follows.

Connect via firewall - Leave this box unchecked.

HOST NAME OR IP - Enter your domain name or ip number in this text box. (ie. yourdomain.com)

PORT - Leave the default number that is there.

USERNAME - this is the username that you use to FTP to your account.

CIPHER - Select 3DES

AUTHENTICATION - Select Password from the drop down box.

PASSWORD - This is the password for your account, the same one you use to FTP to your account.

Next you will need to click the Advanced. Be sure to hit theAdvance button and not the Advance tab.

In the next screen (Advanced SSH) the Use Global radio button is selected by default, and the text box directly beneath that will automatically be filled in with a file location.

Next locate and click on the Create Identity File button as indicated in the screen shot below. (Everything else on that screen should remain as is.)

The next step will generate the key that will identify to your sessions. This key will be uploaded the first time that you Telnet to your account. Click on Next as indicated.

In the next screen you are asked to insert a Passphrase, by providing this passphrase your key will be encrypted. Next you are asked to Confirm that passphrase just as you are  when you provide a password.

Once you've provided this information, click on.

In the next screen you are asked for a length for your RSA pair, just accept the default and  click Next as indicated.

In the next screen your key is actually generated, move your mouse around until the status bars are complete and then click on Next.

In the next screen you are prompted for a location in which to save your Key and Key Pair, you can accept the default, however if you want this information saved in a different location  be sure to write down the location as it will be needed when you Telnet to your account the first time. Also, you should save both files in the same location. Click on the Finish button  as indicated below when you have selected the location.

You are now returned to the Advanced SSH window, just click on the OK button at the bottom of that
window to close that screen, as which point you are returned to the Session Preferences Window, again click on the OK button at the bottom of that window to close that screen.

You are now ready to Telnet to your account by clicking on File and then on Connect or you can click on the Connect icon (3rd icon from the left).

When you have successfully connected to your account, you will be prompted to save the key that you just generated. Follow the instructions on your screen and once you've done  this you are ready to work within your account. From here it's just like a normal Telnet session.

If you receive a Remote Site Disconnected message, don't be alarmed. Attempt to connect  several more times and then email us with your account name, password, and your dial up account name so that we can track your login so that we can capture the correct  information from your dial up. This process can take up to 24 hours to complete, so be patient and check your login status after 24 hours. If you are still unable to connect after 24  hours, contact Technical Support.  

8.  Obtaining SSH access - Top

Telnet Access has been restricted to experienced Telnet Users ONLY. Due to the amount of server
problems encountered from users with limited experience using Telnet, we now request that all users
wishing to gain access using Telnet, send us an email or fax providing us with your domain name,
username, password, a copy of your drivers license and your dialup account name (ie.  aol.com, earthlink.net, erols.com, etc.) to gain
access priveledges.

Any user requesting such access
In the
event that such user causes any server crashes/damages, their Telnet Access Priveledges will be revoked and denied for any future Telnet use.

If you need telnet access to our servers, it can only be done using SSH. We have it set up to use RSA
authentication. You will need to create a key using your PC's SSH software, then upload  the key to our servers. Once it is uploaded, you will be able to connect to our servers using
SSH. We do not provide an SSH program for your use. However, as a suggestion only, you can visit
http://www.vandyke.com/ and download their SecureCRT software. This software is available as a 30
day trial and afterwards must be purchased. Below we have provided instructions on setting up the
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