Engineering Computing Services
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


UNIX and WWW accounts

What's this ssh thing I might've heard about somewhere?
How can I get ssh?
Okay, then, what's this SCP thing?
My professor told me I need a UNIX account. How do I get one?
What systems does a UNIX account get me access to?
What applications are available on the engineering UNIX servers?
What applications/software can be installed on student laptops or computers?
Where can I get access to my UNIX account?
How can I change my password on my UNIX account?
How can I make my own web page?

Other questions

How can I get my Link Blue/myuk account password reset?
How can I get an account on the supercomputer?
My question isn't in this FAQ. How can I get an answer?

UNIX and WWW accounts

What's this ssh thing I might've heard about somewhere?

ssh is "Secure Shell", a program that lets you log in to computers remotely, from other computers. It's a lot like telnet, which you might also have heard about, only it wraps all your communications in a layer of encryption, so it's harder for someone listening on the network to figure out what you're sending.

It's not perfect, and there are ways of breaking or intercepting ssh transmissions, too, but it's a lot better than plain telnet.

How can I get ssh?

ssh is installed already on all of our UNIX systems. To use it, just type "ssh remote.system" at the prompt. (Use the real name of the remote.system, of course.) If your username is different on the remote system, you can type "ssh -l username remote.system" instead.

For Windows users, we have a couple of ssh clients available on our launchpad, on the software page. Download both "puTTY" and either "FileZilla" or "WinSCP", they'll both be useful.

puTTY is a zipped package of executable files, so you should be able to just unzip it and use putty.exe. You may want to put them all in a folder called "Putty", or some such, and make a shortcut from there to the desktop for putty.exe. (Or you may not.) You probably won't need the other files in the archive, but we include them just in case.

FileZilla is an executable Windows Installer file; you will need to execute the downloaded file to install the program.

WinSCP is a single executable file, so you can just save it and use it.

Another neat package you may want to check out is "Cygwin". It's basically a set of programs that emulate a Unix environment on a Windows system, including the X11R6 server that lets you open windows and run things like xansys or Matlab remotely, but display graphical output on your own computer. For information about it, have a look at Cygwin/X's home page; for help installing it, come see us at 280 F. Paul Anderson Tower.

Cygwin has support for both SSH and SCP built-in, but they're UNIX-like (command-line) programs, so you may want to get one of the graphical SCP programs too.

Okay, then, what's this SCP thing?

It's a protocol for transferring files from one computer to another through an encrypted connection. FileZilla and WinSCP can use either "scp" (secure copy) or "sftp" (secure file transfer protocol); either option should work with most servers.

You can find out more about putty at the PuTTY home page, WinSCP at the WinSCP page, and FileZilla at SourceForge.

You can find more information about using WinSCP or FileZilla here.

My professor told me I need a UNIX account. How do I get one of those?

We are in the process of transitioning our Unix workstations to the Campus AD accounts. Beginning early June 2012, we will not be creating Unix accounts on our workstations but you should be able to log in with your LinkBlue credentials. If you need access to a Unix workstation, please email us at unixstaff@engr.uky.edu providing your default LinkBlue userid (not the alias)! We don't need your LinkBlue password.

What systems does a UNIX account get me access to?

Our UNIX workstation is seahawk.ecc.engr.uky.edu. It currently runs the Ubuntu flavor of linux.

See our system resources page for more information about what software is available on seahawk.

What applications are available on the engineering UNIX servers?

There are many applications available on the engineering UNIX servers: ANSYS, MATLAB, Maple V, Tecplot, Pro/Engineer, NASTRAN and Sysnoise. To find out which servers these application are on, check our system resources page or come to our office at 280 FPAT and ask us.

What applications/software can be installed on student laptops or computers?

None. Applications such as Matlab, Ansys, etc. can only be installed on University-owned Faculty and Staff computers or laptops. This is because of the limited number of licenses that the College of Engineering has for these applications. Students who are current can download and install Windows software from their MSDNAA account or from the download.uky.edu website.

Where can I get access to my UNIX account?

You can access your UNIX account from any of the campus computer labs. You can even access it from home if you use ssh.

To find out where the Microlabs are, check out the SCS homepage.

How can I change my password on my UNIX account?

Beginning in June 2012, your password on the Engineering UNIX server(s) will be your LinkBlue password. You change that through the UK Account Manager.

How can I make my own web page?

Send an e-mail to help@engr.uky.edu with your UKID, asking us to set up a web account for you. We'll set it up and let you know how to access it.

If what you meant was "How do I write my own web page?", then you're pretty much on your own. Most recent versions of word processing packages such as Microsoft Word or OpenOffice.org will let you save a document as a web page. If you need more than that you'll either need to learn HTML, or invest in one of several programs that do the HTML for you, such as MacroMedia's DreamWeaver.

Other questions

How can I get my Link Blue/myuk account password reset?

First try the UK Account Manager. If you can't get in to that site, you will need to contact the UK IT department for such requests. You can also visit the customer help desk in person at 111 McVey Hall.

How can I get an account on the supercomputer?

Supercomputers are maintained by the UK IT department too. You can request an account by going to their account request page.

My question isn't in this FAQ. How can I get an answer?

Send email to help@engr.uky.edu or fill out our form at http://www.engr.uky.edu/helpdesk. We'll respond as quickly as we're able to.