Unix Timesharing: Using SSH and SFTP (Windows) | University of Pittsburgh

Unix Timesharing: Using SSH and SFTP (Windows)


Your University Computing Account gives you access to file storage space on the Unix Timesharing Service. In order to access this space, you must use one of two secure connection methods: SSH or SFTP.  

  • SSH, which stands for Secure Shell, is a program that enables you to securely log in to a remote computer. SSH should be used in place of telnet, which is an insecure method of connecting to a remote computer. 
  • SFTP stands for secure file transfer protocol. It enables you to transfer files securely between two computers. SFTP should be used in place of FTP because files that are transferred using FTP are not encrypted.

You can use PuTTY to establish an SSH connection to the Unix Timesharing Service. A program called WinSCP can be used to establish an SFTP connection. This document explains how to connect to the Unix Timesharing Service with these two programs. 

Accessing Unix Timesharing with Windows

Using PuTTY as an SSH Client

1.  If you do not already have PuTTY installed on your Windows computer, open a web browser to http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.htmlRight click the putty.exe file in the Binaries section and save the file to your desktop.

2.  Double-click the PuTTY icon on your desktop to launch it.

 PuTTY Icon

3.  You may get a security warning pop-up window asking if you want to run the software. If you do, click Run.

 Security Warning Pop Up

The PuTTY Configuration window will display. In the Host name field, type unixs.cssd.pitt.edu. Make sure SSH is selected as the Connection type. Enter Unix Timesharing under Saved Sessions and click Save. This will save your settings so you do not have to enter them each time you log in.

 PuTTY Configuration Window

4.  Click the Unix Timesharing option and click Load. This will load your saved session. Next, click Open.

Note: The next time that you use PuTTY, you can simply load and open your saved session. You do not have to enter the Host Name each time.

 PuTTY Configuration Window With Unix Timesharing Selected

5.  The first time that you use PuTTY, you may see a PuTTY Security Alert window below. Click Yes to cache the server’s host key in the registry. This warning should not display again.

 PuTTY Security Alert

6.  Type your University Computing Account username and press the Enter key. Next, type your University Computing Account password and press the Enter key.

 PuTTY Login Screen

7.  The Unix Timesharing Service login window will display. You are now securely connected. 

 Unix Timesharing Window


Installing WinSCP for SFTP

1.  Open a web browser to http://winscp.net/eng/download.php. Click the Installation package link in the Downloading WinSCP section.

 WinSCP Downloads List

Your download should start automatically (Note: If it does not, click the Direct Download link on the page).

WinSCP Download Screen 

2. A pop-up window will ask if you want to run or save the application. Click Run

WinSCP Download Pop Up
3.  Click Yes in the User Account Control pop-up that appears.

 User Account Control Pop Up

4.  A security warning may display asking if you want to run the software. Click Run.

 Security Warning

5.  Select the language for the installation and click OK. The WinSCP Setup Wizard will display. Click Next.

6.  Read the license agreement and click Next.

7.  Select Typical installation and click Next.

8.  Select Norton Commander Interface as the interface style and click Next

 WinSCP Set Up Wizard

9.  Click Install to begin the installation process. 

10.  When the installation has been completed, click the Finish button. 

Using WinSCP for SFTP

1.  Double-click the WinSCP icon on your desktop to open the program.

 WinSCP Icon

The WinSCP Login window will display. Enter unixs.cssd.pitt.edu in the Host name field. Enter your University Computing Account username and password where prompted. Leave the Port number set to 22. Ensure that the File protocol is set to SFTP and click Save. 

 WinSCP Login Screen

2.  Enter a name for your saved session (for example, Unix Timesharing) and click OK.

 Save Session As Window

3.  Select your Unix Timesharing session and click Login.

 WinSCP Login Screen with Unix Timesharing

Note: The next time that you use WinSCP, you can simply select your stored session and click Login. You do not have to enter the Host Name each time.

4.  The first time that you use WinSCP, you may see the Warning window below. Click Yes to add the host key to the cache. This warning should not display again.

 WinSCP Warning Pop Up

5.  You are now securely connected to the Unix Timesharing Service. You can copy files back and forth between your computer (left side of window) and the remote system (right side of window). 

 Unix Timesharing File List