The most reliable single approach to using a POSIX system similar to the department machines is to use the department machines. This can be done in person, of course, but it can also be done remotely using a secure shell and a secure copy.

Tools exist for using these on just about all operating systems.

Lab accounts have been created; see your email for your initial password.
If you have changed it and can’t remember what it is now, or otherwise don’t have an account, email the department system admins at cshelpdesk@virginia.edu.

Windows

  1. Download PuTTY (get the putty.exe file)
  2. Run the putty.exe
  3. In the “Hostname” field type labunix01.cs.virginia.edu, labunix02.cs.virginia.edu, or labunix03.cs.virginia.edu (it doesn’t matter which one)
  4. When prompted, give your lab account username and password (you won’t see the password as you type)

At the end of this, you will have a terminal running on a lab machine. You won’t be able to open windows (try nano, emacs or vim if you need an editor) but you can use cd, gcc, ./a.out, ./driver.pl, and so on.

Windows is pretty nerfed when it comes to open-source tools. You can try the pscp.exe or psftp.exe from the PuTTY site, but results vary. See [Files to-and-from lab machines] for how to use pscp.

Chrome

I have had reports that this chrome extension works well for ssh, though I have not used it myself.

Mac, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Haiku, etc.

ssh, scp, sftp, rsync, and the like are installed by default.

Working on lab machines remotely

  1. Open a terminal
  2. Type ssh mst3k@labunix##.cs.virginia.edu where ## is 01, 02, or 03 (it doesn’t matter which one) and mst3k is your computing ID.
  3. Type your lab account password (you won’t see it as you type)

At the end of this, you will have a terminal running on a lab machine.
You won’t be able to open windows (try nano, emacs or vim if you need an editor) but you can use cd, gcc, ./a.out, ./driver.pl, and so on.

Files to-and-from lab machines

  1. Open a terminal
  2. cd to the directory, you want to share
  3. To send a single file:
    scp localFile.c mst3k@labunix##.cs.virginia.edu:~/remote/path/
    

    To retrieve a single file:

    scp mst3k@labunix##.cs.virginia.edu:~/remote/path/filename.c ./
    

    Note those are tildes ~ not hyphens -; the tilde stands for “my home directory on that machine”.

For more complicated file moves, try sftp or rsync. Learn more with man sftp or man rsync.

Cross-platform File Transfer with FileZilla

If you have trouble with scp, you might try FileZilla.

  1. Download and install the FileZilla Client
  2. Run FileZilla
  3. The top-left icon is the “site manager”; click it
  4. If you already set up a site, you can reuse it; otherwise, create a New Site
    1. Host labunix03.cs.virginia.edu (or another labunix##)
    2. Protocol “SFTP”
    3. Logon Type “Ask for password”
    4. User mst3k — your computing id
    5. Connect ()
  5. In the FileZilla window, you have your local directory in the left pane and the labunix directory in the right pane. Navigate to the files you want to move, then drag and drop.

Hint on changing passwords

Remember, once you log in to a Linux machine, in person or remotely, you can change your password by typing

yppasswd -p mst3k

Also remember that if you have a lab Windows account, the two have different passwords (unless you change them to be the same, of course). ssh and scp use the Linux account.

Due to a current issue with the password management server, password changes may not take effect for several hours after running yppasswd. This will be changed at some point, but probably not until after you’ve all set your passwords for the semester.