Remote Connection to your Linux Laptop via SSH

Follow these instructions if you have been asked to remotely login to a linux laptop that is being prepared for delivery. 

I haven't received my laptop yet, so can't login to it

As part of the set-up process for new laptops, you need to login to your laptop whilst it is still connected to the University wired network. This is essential in order to create your user account and to setup the encryption software. Without this, you would not be able to login to your laptop. Normally this is done in person as part of the set-up process, but under the current circumstances, we need you to connect remotely before you can collect your laptop.

How do I know that the request is genuine and not a phishing scam?

The message you have received will have come via a ServiceNow e-mail (from IT Service Desk < or via Microsoft Teams message from one of the on-site support team. You can verify that a ServiceNow message is genuine by typing into your web browser, then click 'Login' and then click 'Requests' at the top of the screen. The request relating to the laptop should be in your list of open requests.

I don't have access to a Linux computer in order to login to my laptop

You can connect via ssh in multiple different ways via Smartphone app (multiple free ssh apps are available via your phones app store just search ssh Client ( you will find things such as Putty and Termux)  , windows power-shell or mac Terminal. There are also several clusters open if you are able to travel to campus. You can find a full list here: If you are still unable to access a device in order to remotely connect, then please let us know and we will look at alternative options for you.

I need lots of software installing on my laptop

If you need any additional software, then please let the person who is setting up your laptop for you know. NB: Due to the number of laptops that we need to get set-up each week for people, we can spend a maximum of 30 minutes installing additional software for you. If anything additional is required, then this can be installed by our Linux support team once you are in possession of your laptop.

How soon do I need to login to my laptop?

We have a very large number of laptops to setup each week, so please make every effort to login to your laptop within 24 hours of receiving the request to do so in order to prevent any delays to either yourself or others who are waiting to be sent equipment. Your laptop will be left connected so you can login at any time. If you are unavailable for any reason, please let us know so we can allocate the space to setting up a laptop for somebody else.

How do I remotely login to my laptop?

in the following please replace

<user> = Your campus username 

<password> = Your campus password

<host> = your required destination's IP Address (in this case the Laptop we are setting up for you)


In order to connect to an onsite university laptop or PC via SSH via one of the SSH gateways at the UNI please follow the steps shown below.


- open your SSH Client (Terminal - on mac, Powershell - PC, smartphone app or bash shell - linux)

ssh <user>

you will be asked to enter your <password> and DUO code or DUO push


this takes you to the gateway machine from there you will need to connect to your laptop

ssh -o PreferredAuthentications=password <user>@<host> 

again you will be prompted for your <password>


IMPORTANT !! You may now be requested to set an encryption password if it is a non-standard device; this should be a strong password and is needed every-time you boot your machine. If you forget this, then the laptop would likely need to be returned to campus for IT to unlock and set a new one for you. Standard supported devices should not ask you to set an encryption password as they should be setup with the TPM chip so you do not have to.

You will now have a terminal session open on your New Linux Device, this will have created all you need to login to your machine when it arrives. 

Once you have connected to the laptop you simply then need to logout/exit the terminal session. This can be done using the “exit” command and let us know when the process is complete. I can then arrange for you to be able to collect the device from the IT Service Desk. If you need assistance just let me know.