Logging Into Math Department Computers

Logging Into Computers Remotely

NOTE: The RCF now requires that all SSH connections coming from outside the math network must be authenticated by both an SSH key and a password. Details on how to generate and authorize an SSH key can be found here.

There are two systems you may use to connect to our network remotely (Referred to as our SSH Gateway Systems):

  • ssh.math.umass.edu
  • ssh1.math.umass.edu
To log into a computer from outside the department's network you must have an ssh client installed on your local system. Unix based systems such as Linux and Mac already have this client installed. On these systems the process is as follows:

  1. Open a terminal session on your system
  2. Login using ssh.math.umass.edu as the hostname, for example: ssh -l username ssh.math.umass.edu

Windows systems must first install an ssh client. Good, non-commercial, free versions are available from:

To view documents or to run some applications properly, you may need to forward X so Windows and Unix based systems can communicate. Within putty you can enable X forwarding via the instructions here.

Logging into other department computers while connected to our network

Once you have logged into one of the remote servers listed above, you may log into several other public systems if you desire. Or, if you are already working within our network at your office or lab workstation, you may log into any of the following as well. Simply do the following:

  1. While remotely connected to ssh you can use that connection to login to any other computer within the department network.
  2. Choose one of the public lab systems from the list below
  3. For example ssh -l username lab1585-4.math.umass.edu

Public Systems Available:

  • lab1581-1.math.umass.edu
  • lab1581-2.math.umass.edu
  • lab1585-1.math.umass.edu
  • lab1585-2.math.umass.edu
  • lab1585-3.math.umass.edu
  • lab1585-4.math.umass.edu
  • lab1585-5.math.umass.edu
  • lab1585-6.math.umass.edu
  • lab1585-7.math.umass.edu
  • lab1585-8.math.umass.edu

Software available on lab computers

The software installed on all lab computers can be found on this page.

You can request the installation of additional academic software by sending an e-mail to rcfsupport@groups.umass.edu

Transferring Files Between Computers

On Mac and Linux, the scpcommand can be used to securely copy files between computers. For example, to copy over a file located at ~/Documents/myfile on the math department file server to your local Documents folder, you can run the following command from your local computer's terminal session:

scp username@ssh.math.umass.edu:/home/username/Documents/myfile ~/Documents/.

Similarly, to push a copy of ~/Documents/myfile back to your Documents folder on the math department file server:

scp ~/Documents/myfile username@ssh.math.umass.edu:~/Documents/.

On Windows, you can use WinSCP to transfer files between computers.

Browse the web securely and access UMass resources via SSH tunnel

If you require a secure connection to UMass online resources (such as access to academic journals, gradebooks, etc) while off-campus or on an insecure network, you can set up your computer to act as a SOCKS proxy in order to access the internet as if you were coming from our department’s ssh server. Instructions for how to configure this setup on Mac or Windows can be found here.