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 You shouldn't have to know how to build a powerful computer to do research. Why invest the time, effort, and money into building a computer when there is already a super computer built specifically for research with all they software you could want? All you have to do is connect to it. The Secure SHell (SSH) protocol is used to securely access remote servers. This is the bread and butter of Research Computing; we create and maintain our cluster, SPORC, and allow researchers to access it via SSH.

In this guide we will connecting to SPORC by using the host name: sporcsubmit.rc.rit.edu. This can be substituted with any other computer you have remote access to. Keep in mind connecting this provides no GUI, if you need a GUI look into using FastX.

Mac / Linux

  1. Open the terminal application. On Mac it is found under Application/Utilities or search for terminal. On Linux search for terminal or find it on your application dashboard. Fun fact: On many distributions of Linux there's a keyboard shortcut to open the terminal. In Ubuntu it's Ctrl + alt + t.
  2. On the command line run: ssh RITusername@sporcsubmit.rc.rit.edu 
  3. On your first time connecting, your will be asked to recognize the authenticity of the host. Click yes. 
  4. Enter your RIT password and now your are connected. 

Windows

Using PuTTY

PuTTY is a simple SSH client and terminal emulator for Windows. PuTTY also installs with PuTTYgen and Pageant which you will use if you want to use SSH keys

  1. Download and install PuTTY from the PuTTY website. Based on your computer, choose either the 32 or 64 bit MSI under MSI (‘Windows Installer’).
  2. Open PuTTY and in the Host Name (or IP address) field enter RITusername@sporcsubmit.rc.rit.edu and then click 'Open'.
  3. On your first time connecting, your will be asked to recognize the authenticity of the host. Click yes. 
  4. Enter your RIT password and now your are connected. 

Using MobaXterm

If you want something more advanced and colorful than PuTTY then MobaXterm is the way to go. Fun fact: MobaXterm comes with games, so if you need to take a break from doing research you don't have to go far to be entertained. 

  1. Download and install the free version from the MobaXterm website.
  2. Open MobaXterm and click 'Start local terminal'.
  3. You now have a Unix-based terminal that supports SSH. On the command line run: ssh RITusername@sporcsubmit.rc.rit.edu.
  4. On your first time connecting, your will be asked to recognize the authenticity of the host. Click yes. 
  5. Enter your RIT password and now your are connected. 

Next Steps

If you are new to Research Computing and following the getting started road map, see Basic Unix Commands to learn how to navigate the terminal.

If you want extra security or don't want to have to enter your password every time you connect to a remote server, look into Creating and Using SSH Keys.


If there are any further questions, or there is an issue with the documentation, please contact rc-help@rit.edu for additional assistance.