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[ connection-guide.md ]

Connection Guide

Written by Jesse H. Downing

Created:  11 Aug 2018
Modified: 05 Jul 2020

Table of Contents

Hello there, members of the Moss Point Millsaps computer club! Today I'm going to give you all a quick tutorial in connecting to our Linux server, which you should have an account on. If you don't have an account, just ask the current sysadmin (probably the president) to create one for you.

The recommended way of doing this 99% of the time is connecting via ssh. If you have vintage devices that you want to get hooked up via telnet, there's a section for that too!

Connecting via SSH

First off, you're going to need an SSH client. The good news is, your computer probably already has OpenSSH! From your command line, just try running the command ssh. If the program exists, you're good! On any Mac, Linux, or BSD machine, you should be able to access it from your terminal. On the newest versions of Windows (Windows 10 in 2018 and onwards), you can access it from the Command Prompt. If you have WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) installed, you can also access it from there.

If you would like a more robust SSH client for Windows, or if you just don't have one installed, you can always get PuTTY. It's an excellent terminal emulator with lots of features that will help you venture into the world of text-based computing (and I guess X11, if yer a prude).

Okay! So here's the deets you need!

Hostname:    mpcclub.info
Port Num:    422
Username:    <provided by your sysadmin>

The syntax for the SSH command is simple, just type in:

ssh -p PORT username@hostname

So in our case, it would be

ssh -p 422 username@mpcclub.info

You will then be prompted for your password.

PLEASE change this with the passwd command. A password does you no good if someone else knows it, even if it's just the sysadmin!

And that's it! If you want to use PuTTY, just enter in the correct hostname and port number and mark the service as SSH. You can configure the rest however you'd like. SSH keys are also welcome (and more secure)!

Connecting via Telnet

Since Telnet is, by its nature, an insecure protocol in which your passwords may be snooped upon, the telnet port is not open to the public internet. However, the telnet daemon is available on the actual machine, so all you need to do to access it is to tunnel the port via SSH.

Keep in mind that this tutorial is for a DIRECT implementation of OpenSSH and not an alternate client like PuTTY, so this won't work on Windows versions before Windows 10 (v1809 onwards)!

If you want that, look up "PuTTY port forwarding". Here's a tutorial from 2008 I found in a quick search.

Note that you will need your computer's LOCAL ip address. Under Windows, you can get it using the ipconfig command. On Linux/MacOS, you can get it using either the ifconfig (traditional) or ip addr (newer) command. Simply look under the adapter you're using to connect to the internet. On most home networks, your ip will be in the form 192.168.x.x (the one that is NOT the gateway/router address).

In order to do so, open up an SSH tunnel using the -L flag (note it is capitalized, and that matters). Use -N (also capital) if you do not want to open a shell:

ssh -N -L <your computer's ip>:<port you want to forward it to>:127.0.0.1:23 -p 422 username@mpcclub.info

So, let's say I want to forward it to port 9029 on my local machine and my computer's local ip address is 192.168.0.29. (Keep in mind that ports 1-1023 are privileged ports, which means you will have to have root/admin rights in order to use them):

ssh -N -L 192.168.0.29:9029:127.0.0.1:23 -p 422 jebug29@mpcclub.info

Now I should be able to connect via telnet from another computer on the same network by pointing it at :9029. Assuming the same as above, I'd do the following:

telnet 192.168.0.29 9029

This would then give a login prompt. Use your username and password, and you will get a shell. Whenever you're all done, simply use ^C (Control-C) to close the ssh command.

Enjoy! Please consider sending pictures of connected vintage machines to the Discord chat in #general!

Transferring Files

Files can be transferred via SFTP or SCP on the same port with your user credentials. Go for it, my dudes. Just don't fill up our server with junk (we haven't got that much storage). If you want to share files with other members, do it in the /usr/pub (~/public_drop) directory!

If you need help with SFTP or SCP, please see this tutorial on Sector Disk on how to use them. Just use your Computer Club credentials and the host/port information in Connecting via SSH.

Note that the syntax for specifying a port with SFTP or SCP on the commandline is DIFFERENT than with regular ssh. You'll need to do so as follows:

sftp -P PORT user@host

or

scp -P PORT user@host:file_to_get file_to_put
scp -P PORT file_to_get user@host:file_to_put

Note that the -P (which is capitalized) goes BEFORE the host/file arguments.

So, for example, if I want to put the file helloworld.txt into my home directory as hellow.txt via SCP, I would do the following:

scp -P 422 helloworld.txt jebug29@mpcclub.info:hellow.txt

(Again, please see the tutorial linked above for more help with SCP and SFTP)

END

That's all! Have fun with yer shell!