I have a linux user account in my school computer, but something I'm unable to finish the projects in class, and I was wondering if there was a way to access my linux account from school in my personal computer.

  • Where do you stay? within University campus? What's the school server IP address? Is it a public IP? – SparKot Mar 13 '14 at 6:41

if your school's computer have ssh- server installed in, and you have proper authorization to access it, then you can connect to it remotely following these commands in your home machine .

ssh user@school's-server
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Ask the administrator of your schools' Linux computer if that is possible. It depends on whether that computer is connected to the internet, and in what way. There will probably be a firewall in between the machine and the internet and ports to the machine would need to be opened, or e.g. in case of VPN access this, needs to be setup by the administrator and is unlikely to work base on you local login information.

You might be better of taking the project along on an USB stick, or by pushing it to your bitbucket/github account (you are using revision control for your projects aren't you?), and installing the Linux distro that is used in school on your computer at home, if you don't have done so already (booting from USB/CD would be an alternative, but maybe that is too slow depending on your expectations and computer configuration).

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If you are accessing it from the same network, you need to be connected in the private network. Else, the server should have a static IP.

Command to access the server is

ssh user@server-IP -p 22

Here user should be replaced with actual username & server-IP with actual server IP. If you have SSH configured on some other port, replace 22 with the actual SSH port.

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As mentioned before, ssh is made for this purpose and ssh -Y -C youraccount@theserver should do it.

I'm mentioning -Y -C because this will allow you to run graphical programs and compress the traffic.

Some problems you might encounter:

  • The hostname of the server is not necessarily the same as the name in DNS. So don't assume the the output of hostname will be correct. If you don't already know the correct name in DNS, a easy way to find it would be to surf to one of the many websites offering information about your IP and hostname with a browser on your school computer.
  • ssh might not be available -> contact the admin
  • ssh might be running on a non-standard port. Although you could run a portscan with nmap -sV theserver -F | grep -i ssh to find the correct one, most admins do not appreciate this. Contacting the admin would be the correct way to do it
  • problems related to firewall, forced vpn or portforwarding. The solution all depends on the setup -> contact the admin

If ssh is not supported less common options might be supported. Ask your admin if they have vnc. Setting up vnc all depends on what vnc-server is being used by your school and what client you are using.. Another option that is sometimes used (will probably not be the case, but it's worth asking it) is teamviewer

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Tor hidden services

Leave authoritative DNS systems alone and use SSH with Tor hidden services to securely access your user account from any computer on the internet.


If you have usage limitations on your "school computer", in particular if it is shared, I think you need a written permission to use hidden services.

If you are just an user know that what you did will be discovered eventually.


With hidden services you attach stable, persistent domain names to devices' network ports. And that's all. Now you have a persistent stable connection to that device even on mobile networks, that's amazing, isn't it?


On the far/moving machine

Install (as you please) and enable tor at boot

systemctl enable tor

Then uncomment the following in your torrc

HiddenServiceDir /var/lib/tor/ssh/
HiddenServicePort 22

and start it

systemctl start tor

Get the onion address corresponding to your just activated hidden service

On the physically available machine

Install, enable and start tor, then add this to your ssh config file

Host *.onion
    proxyCommand ncat --proxy --proxy-type socks5 %h %p

Then connect to the remote machine with

ssh your_user@your_onion_address


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  • Do you suggest to install Tor on the school computer? – RalfFriedl Dec 21 '19 at 13:30
  • Only after getting permission. Users can configure an user systemd unit for tor at login I believe. For the admin it is simpler to control than setting a domain name just for the student. There is nothing special inmoving with a portable Tor (browser) copy, it does not need root permissions and works everywhere. – Scrooge McDuck Dec 24 '19 at 17:38

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