Last updated: October 2012
This section is about accessing the remote access linux server. This allows you direct access to your DS-Filestore files and to suitable MCS Linux applications from anywhere in the University or elsewhere.
The remote access server can be accessed from any computer with
an SSH (version 2) client (e.g. ssh from a Unix system including
Mac OS X, PuTTY from a Windows system), using your standard Desktop
Services username and password. The host name to connect to is
All of the text mode utilities and tools are available; files can be listed, moved, renamed etc. and modified with a text editor (emacs or vi, for example).
Using X over SSH
If the local client has an X server, and the SSH client supports it, you can also run most graphical applications remotely, e.g.
- from a Windows system, using an X server, for example
- from a Unix (including MacOS X) system with a local X server
ssh -Y linux.pwf.cam.ac.uk. If using
-Yfails then try using
Using graphical applications remotely will require significantly more bandwidth, so a decent broadband or CUDN connection will be required for effective use. Anything which requires physical access clearly will not work remotely, so no USB devices are available, and nothing which plays sounds.
Notes on ExCeed and Cygwin
- ExCeed. Recent versions of ExCeed have SSH support as
a separate module; for older versions you will need to use ExCeed
PuTTYto provide the SSH connection.
- Cygwin. This includes both OpenSSH and an X server.
To install it go to http://cygwin.com/
and select the Install Cygwin link in the left hand menu.
- In the package installation screen make sure to select openssh from Net and xorg-x11-base from X11.
- After install open the "Cygwin Shell" and type
An xterm will pop up; type
ssh -Y linux.ds.cam.ac.ukto establish your connection.
Physics and Computer Laboratory students
The information above also applies to the servers specifically for
students in Physics (
linux.phy.ds.cam.ac.uk) and the
Computer Laboratory (
linux.cl.ds.cam.ac.uk). If you
can't connect to those, but you can connect to the public servers
linux.ds.cam.ac.uk), then it is probably because you
haven't been given access. If you think that you should be able to
connect to one of the departmental servers, then your course coordinator
is the person to contact. If you do have access a departmental server
then you should do your coursework on that server, and not on the public