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I'm fairly new to Linux, I tried to look for an answer for this question online and was unable to find one or was simply confused with the jargon and didn't know if this was exactly what I wanted.

Anyway, how can I set it up so that I can access my Linux desktop (Mint 17.3 Cinnamon), from my windows laptop using Cygwin? I do not need full remote desktop, just access to the terminal to use Tmux and terminal based editors (things I need when I'm working at Uni). Note that my desktop is using the Uni's internet, to which I'm subscribed to. So the router isn't mine and I can't set it up how I want. Thank you.

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Just run the ssh command in Cygwin and pass it the name or the IP address of your computer as an argument, and if necessary the user name as well, e.g.

ssh abdulrahman@192.0.2.42

If you use a name, it needs to be the DNS name (the name that you can use to reach your computer with any networking command, e.g. ping, ssh, etc.). The hostname that you've set on the Linux computer won't help here because that name is only known on the Linux computer.

Windows (at least up to Windows 7) only comes with a really awful terminal, so get a better one. PuTTY is a good terminal for Windows, and it has an SSH client built in, so you don't need Cygwin at all: just connect from PuTTY.

I've assumed so far that your Linux desktop has an IP address that's visible from the Windows computer. If this is not the case, then you can't connect at all. If your Linux computer is behind a router that does NAT and that doesn't let you connect from the outside, then you can't connect from the outside. Instead, you would need to connect to a different computer that has a public IP address. You can set up a reverse SSH tunnel to then connect from that third computer to your Linux computer.

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Your options are either to install a windows terminal emulator such as PuTTY or Tera Term, or install SSH into Cygwin.

To install SSH into Cygwin, re-run the Cygwin installer and at the package selection step, search for SSH and select the appropriate packages for install.

These were my best guess, I cannot vouch for this being the minimum set required to get SSH working.

SSH Packages

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