How to SSH for beginners

This is a guide for absolute beginners to SSH who might fear the name ssh itself.

SSH is not any out of the world thing. Its just a way of communicating with your server using ssh protocol.

SSH stands for secure shell, it’s a network protocol to securely communicate with your server.

This post is intended to simply guide you with very basic guide to ssh and a “how to ssh” for beginners.

Requirements for SSH

First of all we require a server which accepts ssh connection.

Then you require a login id on that server and need to have permission to use ssh via this id.

Third, you need ssh tool.

SSH on Mac OS X

On Linux and Mac OS X “terminal” is “enough” and no other tool is needed to connect using ssh protocol to your server.

Simply launch terminal and connect using the command below.

SSH on Windows

Windows has a DOS based command prompt (DOS) but it doesn’t support SSH by default.

There are various options to use SSH on windows, including:

  • Using Putty
    • download putty and use it to connect to your server via SSH
  • Using SSHwindows from:
    • download it and install
    • it will ask for editing passwd file in the end, don’t worry, skip that step, just complete the installation
    • use the cmd prompt to connect using ssh now and it will work fine just like terminal

Basic SSH connect command

This is a basic SSH connect command:

ssh -p 22 [email protected]

Simply use the command above while you’re on terminal.

Yes, just replace the username and ip with your server username and ip and press enter.

-> You can copy paste commands on terminal too

It may ask you for the password, enter your password and hit enter

-> Terminal don’t show the password when you type it

If it’s the first time you’re connecting to the server, it might ask a few question and a yes and no with them, like would you like to add this remote device etc, just proceed with yes if you’re on your own computer.

If the connection terminates and you’re back on the normal command line, ssh again.

Explaining the ssh connect command line:

First of all, we simply type ssh to tell the terminal that we’re going to have a ssh stuff.

Then -p tells the terminal that next value is the port that we’re going to connect to. I’ve added 22 here, used mostly, but if your server has a different port then use it instead.

and then comes the server username , “@” sign followed by either your domain name or ip to connect too.


don’t delete or move files using ssh if you don’t know what you’re doing

most servers need you to ssh within ssh to gain root access. If you’re on vps and need root access then ssh once like then, then ssh again using: root@localhost as username and password with the provided port number from your host

The scope of this post probably ends here.

Once you know what SSH is and how to use it, you can search online for hundreds of commands for the task that you want to perform.

For instance, to list directories use “ls” to more use “rm” and so on.


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