Using Supporting Applications

Using SecureCRT

You can now establish a SecureCRT SSH session to the host of your choice. In this example, we will connect to best-statdesk.stat.wisc.edu. Go to File->Connect. Left-click the New Session icon (third over on the top). Do not use the Wizard if it is offered. For the "Connection" panel, you can put best-statdesk.stat.wisc.edu in the Name box. The Protocol box should be set to the default of SSH2. Select the "SSH2" panel (from the list on the left) and enter best-statdesk.stat.wisc.edu in the Hostname box, and your user ID in the Username box. Other setting should be good as the defaults (Port box is 22 and Firewall is None). Select the "Remote/X11" panel (from the list on the left) and select Forward X11 packets. This allows Xwindowing operations on the terminal session. Click on OK> at the bottom to save the entry.

To establish a connection while in the Connect window, highlight the session you want to use (in this case best-statdesk.stat.wisc.edu) and select Connect. You may be asked to add this new machine name to the host key database. Select Accept and Save. Enter your password, and if you wish to simplify subsequent authentication to this session, select the Save password option (see the WARNING below). Select OK and you will be connected to one of our servers with most resources available with the X Windows function enabled.

Warning

You may get warning messages from packages like SecureCRT and WinSCP that you should not save passwords with these applications. Passwords saved are encrypted, but they may not be as safely kept as other sensitive system information. So there is a risk that if your system is broken into, these encrypted passwords can be recovered and subsequently cracked. You should not save passwords on shared systems. On private, one-owner systems, you will need to decide between ease of use and security. If you do not save your password, there is just one additional step when a session is started where you enter your password. You can decide your risk tolerance.

Using an X Windows Manager (Xming)

The Xming X windows package allows graphics applications that run on a Linux computer to display with full interactive control on your Windows laptop. With the configuration information provided, you can create a desktop environment on your laptop display that looks and feels as if you were sitting at the console of a Statistics Linux workstation. In addition, it is possible to cut and paste blocks of text between Linux and Windows applications like Word, Emacs, R, SAS and MatLab. Follow the above link for configuration and usage details.

Using WinSCP

Download and install WinSCP. Start WinSCP and select New from the WinSCP Login window. Enter the preferred host name for this session in the Host Name box, for example, best-statdesk.stat.wisc.edu. Enter your user ID in the User Name box. If you want WinSCP to remember your password for this session, enter it in the Password box. If you don't enter your password, you will be asked for it each time you start this session. See the WARNING under Using SecureCRT. The default option of SFTP (allow SCP fallback) should be selected. Click on Save, and if you put in a password, you will get a warning that you can accept by clicking OK. Use the default name in the Save session as: box, or enter a name you prefer. You can add more sessions to other computers of interest in the same way by selecting New again.

You can now connect to a session by double-clicking on the session of interest. You may be asked to add this new machine name to the host key database. If you think everything was entered correctly, select Yes. The WinSCP window will open and you will by default be located in your My Documents directory on the local hard disk (left pane), and your remote Home directory (/afs/cs.wisc.edu/u///) (right pane).

You can now navigate to files on the remote system and, if the extension and format are compatible with applications on your MS Windows system (.doc, .xls, .ppt, .pdf, etc), you can by default double-click them in the remote pane and they will automatically open on your laptop with the appropriate MS Windows application. You can then modify them locally (for those files that can be edited), and when you File->Exit the application, and select Save, WinSCP will save the result on the remote host. Win SCP may pop up a message asking to confirm replacement of the file on the remote host, or it may replace it silently, so make sure you really want to update the version on the remote host.

You can now transfer files between the remote and local systems by dragging selected files from one pane to the other.