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External Access to Computing Resources

Secure Shell

You can connect remotely (from home etc.) to the Computer Science student server,, using secure shell, ssh. Using ssh gives you the ability to use the UNIX command line on a server that has exactly the same software as in the CAT suites. The connection to the server is encrypted so that no one else can see what you are doing. As long as your are comfortable working on the command line, including using a command line text editor, you should be able to do most assignment work in this way. You can login to the student server using:

% ssh

Secure Copy

One of the programs that comes with secure shell is secure copy, scp. scp gives you the ability to copy files between computers over an encrypted connection too. You use scp in the same way that you use the Unix command cp except that you can put a computer's name followed by a colon (:) in front of a filename. For example, to copy a file bob.cpp from the current working directory to my login directory on the student server, you could use:

% scp bob.cpp

You need to be careful when working with files that have spaces in their names. So that the commands do not get confused you may need to put string quotes (") around the files names. For example, if our file was called Really Useful, we could copy it to the student server, using:

% scp "Really Useful""Really Useful"

An alternative is to put the back slash character (\) in front of each space:

% scp Really\ Useful\ Useful

Secure Shell Software

If you are using a Linux or Mac OS X system the secure shell software is already installed. Just open a terminal window and the commands shown above should work. note: the percent (%) is just the command line prompt, yours may be different.

If you are using a Windows system you may need to download a program that can login using secure shell. A popular example is putty but there are lots of other options too.


Another way to achieve remote access is to use the University's Citrix server,, which gives you remote access to a Windows desktop or just individual Windows applications. This will want to install the program Citrix Receiver which is a web browser plugin that helps the graphical display work as intended.


Yet another option is to install cygwin which provides a Unix style shell. You can ask cygwin to install useful tools such as subversion and various compilers. Once installed, you can use the ssh and scp commands as shown above.


Docker is available on OS X, Windows and Linux systems. It lets you run containers that are Linux environments that come pre-configured with useful software. In the Computer Systems course we have used docker to provide a working Linux environment with the same C++ compiler and libraries that are used by the Web Submission system to mark assignments. Using docker allows students to run the same Unix environment even if they only have a Mac or Windows PC.

School of Computer Science

Level 4, Ingkarni Wardli
North Terrace Campus


T: +61 8 8313 4729
F: +61 8 8313 4366

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