Using Shell Services

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A shell account is a powerful way to use Web Hosting services. It gives you maximum flexibility when performing tasks such as developing and debugging your web site, and reading e-mail.

When connecting to Arlyle Consulting systems to use your shell account, there are two ways you can do so: telnet and ssh (Secure SHell). Arlyle Consulting recommends that you use ssh to use your shell account. ssh conducts all communications between your system and our servers in a secured manner. This means all data flowing between your system and our systems are encrypted, so others on the Internet cannot eavesdrop into your session and perhaps capture sensitive information, such as passwords. Telnet, on the other hand, sends everything "in the clear". This means that none of the data sent back and forth in a telnet session is encrypted, and may easily be observed by someone intending to do harm.

When selecting which method to use to connect to your shell account, another factor to consider is the operating system you use. Below are the different scenarios for the most popular operating systems today.

Microsoft Windows (any version)

All versions of Microsoft Windows 95 and later come with telnet. To use telnet, follow these steps:
  1. Click the "Start" button.
  2. Select "Run".
  3. Type "telnet".
  4. Click "OK".
You may also put telnet on your desktop or on your start menu as an icon, although Windows does not do this by default.

Microsoft does not currently ship ssh with Windows. You must acquire a program which handles ssh. Van Dyke Software sells a program (SecureCRT) that is feature rich, and performs very well. You can also go to CNET's, and look for TeraTerm, a program which is free to use.

Apple Mac OS

With the Unix functionality that comes with MacOS X, Apple includes both telnet and ssh with it's latest operating system. To use either, you must launch the "Terminal" program. To do this:
  1. Open a Finder window.
  2. Click on "Applications".
  3. Look for the "Utilities" folder, and open it.
  4. Look for "Terminal", and open it.
If you plan on using your shell account often, you may want to consider dragging "Terminal" to your dock.

After you launch "Terminal", you then type "telnet" or "ssh [username]" at the prompt to launch telnet or ssh, respectively.

MacOS 9 and earlier does not come with ssh software packages, you must acquire a package on your own. CNET's seems to recommend MacSSH 2.1b9.

Unix and Linux

OpenSSH is a standard part of most Unix and Linux distributions available today. If you find that your particular distribution does not include ssh, you may go to, and download the OpenSSH package.