I'm looking for a UNIX system I can connect to to explore UNIX without installing it. Does anyone have good reccomendations of what systems are available and how to connect?

  • 4
    Why not a (linux) live CD? We all know GNU's Not Unix but it is probably close enough for most purposes.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 18:03
  • 1
    What OS do you have? Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 20:49

2 Answers 2


Super Dimensional Fortress Public Access UNIX System

The SDF.org Public Access UNIX system is a great resource, and an ethical social network.

Users can chat to each other in communications mode. I will briefly walk you through how to connect with PuTTY.

  1. First, download the PuTTY Client:

  2. When you open the client, you will see a window that looks like this:

             enter image description here

  3. Fill in the information.

  4. When you connect, type "new" as the user, and you will be connected to the mkacct server.

  5. Once you are connected, you can hang around in "com" mode until someone validates your account. Then you will have full shell access.

NOTE: Com mode is accessible by typing com and hitting Enter after you are connected.

  • "Full shell access" ? !?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 11:44

There is nothing wrong with Tyler's answer. However, if you want to take the next step and learn concepts that require you to be root, I recommend installing a VM with a Linux image. This would allow you instantiate a Linux "box" on your local Windows or Mac machine, do anything to that a root user would be allowed to do and throw it away and start again if you mess it up.

The first section of the Learning puppet tutorial has pretty good instructions on how to install a free VM.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .