Unix/Linux commands for network connections and file transfers

ssh, scp, and sftp

  • Create fully encrypted network connections for remote login, remote command execution, and file transfer.
  • Command line programs built-in to Unix, Linux, and MacOSX. GUI clients available for Windows and Macintosh.
  • Recommended for all remote logins and file transfers to or from pangea.

Berkeley "r" commands

  • Allow easy remote login, remote command execution, and file transfer among a group of computers with common management.
  • Connections are not encrypted, but passwords are not passed on the network. Instead, requires user to designate "equivalent" accounts on multiple computers.
  • Not recommended for normal use. Connections allowed in to pangea only from local Earth Sciences network.

Telnet and Ftp

  • Original network protocols for remote login and file transfer. Available on virtually every computer on the Internet, including command-line versions built-in to Windows and MacOS X.
  • Not recommended for general use because your password and all data are sent over the network in plain text that is vulnerable to interception by a hacker. Use ssh, scp, and sftp instead.
  • Ftp can be used in an "anonymous" mode to distribute files to colleagues who do not have pangea accounts. Please see the options for off-site file transfer web page.
  • Pangea still accepts plaintext telnet and ftp connections for cases where they are the only possible connection method. Use within the Earth Sciences network is relatively safe, because our switches make "eavesdropping" difficult. If you connect to pangea via telnet or ftp from off-site, you should change your pangea password when back onsite.


  • Used to get information about accounts on pangea and some other networked computers.

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