Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.


vaidap/ Secret

Last active October 18, 2022 16:57
Show Gist options
  • Star 8 You must be signed in to star a gist
  • Fork 1 You must be signed in to fork a gist
  • Save vaidap/41ff0abaa8ab35c771568dd129114f3a to your computer and use it in GitHub Desktop.
Save vaidap/41ff0abaa8ab35c771568dd129114f3a to your computer and use it in GitHub Desktop.
A guide to remotely accessing DICE machines for Informatics students

A guide to remotely accessing DICE machines

Remote access allows you to connect to a DICE machine and access your personal files from your personal computer. The following sections & comments on this file detail the different ways you can achieve this.


Basic usage

Official resource

ssh student.login

Now you are "inside DICE" so to speak. If you run ls, you can see that you can access all the files on your DICE account! You can also run programs and do most things you would do in a DICE terminal. For example, you can launch command-line text editors with nano or vim For computation-heavy jobs, please use student.compute instead of student.login. Use logout twice to terminate the SSH session (it will time-out after some time either way).

Advanced usage

X-11 forwarding

Append -X to both SSH commands:

ssh -X
ssh student.login -X

Now, find a file you'd like to open and run gedit <file>. A graphical window will appear and you will be able to edit the file using the text editor of your choice. Note that this might not be a great option if your internet is slow, and keep in mind that only editors and software that you have already installed on DICE (not your local computer) can be launched!


sudo apt-get install sshfs
mkdir DICE
sshfs DICE/

You will now have all your DICE files available on your local machine, in the DICE folder. If you'd like to mount a specific folder, use

Virtual DICE

Graphical interface! DICE as you know it, from the comfort of your home! Computing help page on Virtual DICE


You might also want to have a look at iFile, NX and AFS as they might better fit your needs.

Copy link

abrisan commented Mar 18, 2018

Afaik sshfs doesn't work on macs, but to be fair, what does work on macs these days?

Copy link

neanias commented Mar 18, 2018

I’d say remove the note about being Ubuntu-specific. These instructions should work for all POSIX/*nix systems, both Linux and macOS. Not sure how to do this on Windows, probably using PuTTY?

Copy link

vmizg commented Mar 18, 2018

Windows users...
I find WinSCP and PuTTY together very useful.
When launching WinSCP, it will ask the details to connect to an SSH server, just enter the same details used in the guide above, no need to change any other settings. On the main window there will be an icon on the top with the icon of PuTTY: during the first run, it will ask you to find the location of PuTTY executable.
PuTTY alone will work perfectly as well.

NB: When copying any text / code files from Windows, change line ending encoding from Windows CRLF to Linux LF, otherwise things like Python compiler will very likely complain :-)

Copy link

Possibly Linux specific: if using X forwarding and the remote machine complains and can't open an X window, adding an Y flag (-XY instead of -X) can help - it relaxes some security controls and allows more stuff through (I know I had to use it when using the comn VM remotely).

Copy link

@livecodealex : it is possible to install sshfs on Mac OS, look up OSXFuse.

Copy link

Advanced ideas:

  1. you can use a .ssh/config file. This allows you to do everything in an automated way, you won't have to go through the ssh gateway manually. If you copy the following into a ~/.ssh/config file
Host *
        ServerAliveInterval 20

Host * !
        PubkeyAuthentication no
        RSAAuthentication no
        GSSAPIAuthentication yes
        GSSAPIDelegateCredentials yes
        ProxyCommand ssh -K nc %h %p
        User sXXXXXX

Where sXXXXXX is your informatics username.

  1. Use kerberos. This will make sure you won't need to type your password more than once per day while doing remote work. The instructions on how to set it up are con the computing support page.

Copy link

Third thing: you don't need to access a specific remote machine to access your Dice directory. You can directly mount the AFS, instructions again on the computing support page.

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment