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MemberManual / ShellAccess

This is the chapter of the MemberManual that describes how to log in to our machines, and provides a brief explanation of what our machines do.

Logging In

Only ssh.hcoop.net is accessible to members. To login, use SSH where

Your HCoop username


host key fingerprint

You may also use MitKerberos for /PasswordlessLogin.

The current shell machine is marsh, and is running Debian GNU/Linux Stretch. Further information about our servers is on the Hardware page.

GNU/Linux, OS X, BSD

Open a shell and run:

ssh USERNAME@ssh.hcoop.net

Microsoft Windows

If you use Windows and are unfamiliar with SSH, you will most likely want to install Putty, a popular and FreeSoftware SSH client. See the putty getting started guide for more information.

Security Restrictions

We have some security restrictions in place on the shell servers designed to thwart would-be attackers. Basic http, irc to trusted networks, etc. work by default, and we liberally grant requests for additional network permissions (See FirewallRules).

Installing Software

Our shell server is running a basic installation of Debian Stretch. You may find that all of the software you need is already installed, but if not you may request installation of packages available in stretch and stretch-backports.

Software not provided by Debian may be manually installed somewhere like ~/local/ in your home directory.


Changing Your Password

On your first login, and thereafter on some regular basis (quarterly is generally alright), you should change your password. To do this, login to the shell server and run


It will prompt for your current password and your new password twice.

(We use kpasswd instead of the standard UNIX passwd because of an unfortunate interaction between MitKerberos and Debian's default PAM configuration).

Changing the Default Shell

If you wish to change your login shell, then create a symlink called ~/.loginshell whose target is your shell of choice. Here is one example:

ln -sf /bin/zsh ~/.loginshell

Resetting you bash profile

If you wish to change your bash profile, the template file is called /etc/skel/.profile, which should be on any accessible member machine.

This directory is where the default files are kept, and they are copied to each user's home directory when user is created.

Our file is just a stock/basic version with no HCoop-specific customizations.

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MemberManual/ShellAccess (last edited 2019-01-30 20:47:49 by SrikanthSastry)