Terminal Connection (SSH)

How do I connect to the CS machines via SSH?

Most recent operating systems have a built-in SSH client. There would be slight differences depending on the operating system on your laptop. Follow the instructions for Linux, MacOS and Windows in the respective tabs, to open the SSH client, and then follow the commands later.

To use this service from off-campus you must be connected to the CSU’s VPN.
More information here: https://sna.cs.colostate.edu/remote-connection/vpn/

Step 1: Open a terminal on your laptop.

Fire up a terminal. Depending on your Linux distribution and desktop environment, it could be named differently. On CentOS running XFCE desktop environment, one can find the terminal application from the Apps menu: Applications –> System –> Xfce Terminal


Now proceed with Step 2.

From the Launchpad, search for Terminal


Open the Terminal app and you should see a terminal window, as shown below.


Now proceed with Step 2.

Start searching for “command” in the Windows Start Menu. You should see a result with the Command Prompt app. image

Open the Command Prompt app and you should see a terminal window, as shown below.


Now proceed with Step 2.

Step 2: Find a CS machine to connect to.

If you know what machine you want to connect to, skip this step. Otherwise, open the CS Machine Stats webpage (https://www.cs.colostate.edu/machinestats) in your browser. The list is sorted in ascending order by the “load average” in real time. Pick up any machine from the top of this list.

Step 3: SSH into the CS machine.

Use the following command to connect:

ssh your-eid@machine-name.cs.colostate.edu

For example, if you are connecting to the machine named montpelier, use the command:

ssh your-eid@montpelier.cs.colostate.edu

If it is the first time you are connecting to this machine, you might see a warning like below.

The authenticity of host 'montpelier (' can't be established.
ECDSA key fingerprint is SHA256:ZAo+o73OPux05Sf8ASMra1Wbd9l1byA94xYtttXsbr8.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?

If you see the above warning AND this is NOT the first time you are connecting to this machine, contact us!

Say yes to the prompt, the host key for this CS machine would saved on your laptop, and you will be asked your CS password.

Warning: Permanently added 'montpelier,' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
your-eid@montpelier's password:

Once you provide your CS account’s password, you will be shown a banner and land up on the CS machine’s shell:

your-eid@montpelier's password:

For system policies, information, and answers to frequently asked
questions see:


For a list of installed software packages and their locations see


To report systems problems or to request the recovery of accidentally
deleted files, see:


To change your Linux password, log into any CS network linux machine and
run /usr/bin/passwd.  (Note: this does not affect your Windows password.)


The banner contains links useful and important information. The name of machine in the shell prompt confirms you have successfully logged in.

For setting up password-less SSH see the Passwordless SSH page..