Secure Shell (ssh)

Secure shell is, an application that produces a terminal window on your local machine with a shell running on a remote machine. A "shell" is program that takes input from the keyboard and passes it to the operating system to be performed. Thus with an ssh window you can type something on your laptop for execution on a server in the Demography Lab cloud. The "secure" bit tells us that the connection between the two computers is encrypted which is nice in this age of moral collapse.

ssh is widely used both within the demography network -- for example to work on keyfitz, from a noMachine desktop that runs on quigley -- and also from outside -- for example to launch a batch job on one of the servers from your laptop that might be somewhere quite far from Berkeley. ssh is just the means by which we gain access to the shell. The shell is valuable tool that allows us to do important things efficiently.

ssh is native on MacOS and is also available in Windows. The age-old ssh for Windows is PuTTY but you may be happier installing Git for Windows, with the bash shell, where the ssh implementation is closer to what exists on Linux and MacOS.

the shell (bash)

Although at first glance, a shell/terminal window seems primitive relative to web based GUI tools that let one just pick from menus, the same could be said for books relative to television. Some things work quite well with just text. But then again, the shell is more than just text. For a sense of how sophisticated the bash shell is... NB: recent versions of MacOS have zsh as the default shell used for new accounts. The bash shell is still there and can be invoked just by typing 'bash' at the console window.