Starting a Remote Session

If you cannot physically sit at a Linux computer, you may still be able to remotely login from a terminal or computer at some other location, such as an Instructional Technology Center (ITC) or home computer.

What You Will Need

  1. A device with an Internet connection
  2. Client software, either a text-based or software that uses a graphical user interface (For a text-based interface, a Secure Shell (SSH) client, and if you're off campus, virtual private network (VPN) software).
  3. A web browser

Establishing a VPN Connection

If you are going to use an SSH client and are NOT on campus, you will need to set up a VPN connection. See Configuring AnyConnect Client for details.

Using FastX

Information on a GUI Linux environment is a web browser tab.  See FastX Overview

Using SSH

Many SSH clients are available. Some operating systems provide SSH clients. For example, Apple Mac OSX and Linux distributions come with OpenSSH. Free SSH clients, such as PuTTY, are available for Microsoft Windows. The Windows client SecureCRT is available for free download for anyone at The University of Iowa.

You will need to configure your SSH program to utilize the Secure Shell Protocol version 2 (SSH2). Read your SSH client's help files or manual pages for assistance on how to do this. For further help on using SSH, see SSH Configuration.

Gateway Hosts

When logging in remotely from off campus, login to No other Linux machine is available for remote login from off campus. Once you have logged into, you can then ssh into another Linux machine. Please do not run long-running or resource-intensive jobs on Use a different machine, instead.

Other Remote Connection Software

As of this writing, incoming telnet and rlogin remote services have been disabled or removed from managed Linux workstations. You may still use those services for outbound connections to other remote machines. Because these connection protocols send information in clear text (or plain text), they are considered HIGHLY insecure, and we strongly recommend not using them unless you absolutely must do so.

Remote Windows Desktop

The CLAS Linux Group also offers a remote Windows desktop service. Information about this service can be found at the Remote Windows Service Description.