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Setting up Linux on Windows and Mac - Linux

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  • Last Updated February 15, 2017

Connecting to Linux from Mac and Windows computers

Connecting to LINUX VIA WINDOWS OR OS X computers requires the installation of special software. In is segment, we shall look at the various ways by which you can do that.

Connecting to Linux server via windows using putty

By using putty, you can form a secure connection to your LINUX server from a windows computer. Putty is a free SSH and Telnet implementation software for UNIX and Windows platforms. We shall use this tool to create a connection.

Head over to the putty website located here and ensure that you read through and agree with the license agreement. After the download, launch the application. The next step is to configure your connections.

Configuring your connection

After launching the application, head over to the PUTTY configuration window and enter the following values and open.

Enter your cloud server IP address on the host name

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Ensure to set the connection type to SSH Optionally, you can give your connection a name by clicking the saved session field. You can use any name of your choosing because it is a time saving measure whenever the next time you launch PUTTY. Additionally, you can assign different names to your cloud servers


If you have never used PUTTY to log into your server with SSH before, there will be a pop up warning similar to the one in the figure below.


If you are not sure of the information entered, press no and recheck the information, otherwise press yes. This pop up is a one-time verification and subsequent connections will not prompt for it because Windows will add the host key to your registry. However, if you connect to that server from another computer or install a fresh copy of operating system on your computer, the figure above will pop up.

Enter your password and username

After clicking yes on the warning pop up, the terminal will prompt for your password and username (not in that order). If you have never logged onto the server, make sure to use the root user to log in. If the terminal prompts for the password to the root user, enter the password for the current root user. After entering the password, you have to press enter because the password prompt does echo on the screen. If your password is correct, the response will be a shell prompt:

[root@yourservername ~]#


This will allow you access to your server with all permissions granted. Like most accounts, it is recommended that you change your root account password to something cryptic and personal. Performing this is possible by using the passwd command. This is how you do it.

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  • Enter the password command from the shell prompt
  • Type the new password that you want to use on your servers. Because the password does not echo on the screen, reenter the password and execute.

Type in the new password and press execute. This is your new password and you shall use it with your root account whenever you connect to the server.


Connecting to server via OS X

Unlike on windows where you need to use third party software such as putty to connect to your Linux server, in OS X, you don’t need to install any client. Mac OSX has a inbuilt program, terminal, which is a terminal emulator. You can use this terminal to run SSH.

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How to connect to server

The following instructions are for first time cloud-server connections. When you are a non-root user, use your username instead of root.

Head over to applications >then Utilities and call up the terminal.

This is what the terminal window will display:

Use the following syntax to establish a SSH connection to the server:

For instance,

Because this is your first connection to your server and as the RSA key is not yet in your system registry, a message prompsfor continuation of confirmation.

To add the RSA key to the trusted hosts, you need to click yes and execute. As is the windows setup we did earlier, this prompt will only appear once. Enter your server root password. It is important to note that the server is not echoed onto the screen.

Unless you use the correct password, the shell prompt will not respond:

How to change the password

After logging in for the very first time, it is advisable to change your root password. You can change the password by accessing the shell prompt and using this command.

Below is how you change the password, but it is not echoed onto the screen:

Make sure that the passwords match for the change to be successful. If they match, you will receive a notification (confirmation) of token authentication.

You will use this newly created password every time you log into your root user to connect to your server.

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