Linux service

This service is available to University members who have an Oxford account. However, people with card holder and virtual access University card status do not qualify for the Linux service.

The service is accessed using your Oxford username and password on secure login to A wide range of software is provided, but does not include any commercial programs. There is no mail delivery to the system, but mail clients like pine and mutt can be used to talk to Nexus. Personal web filestore can be accessed.


Before using a account for the first time, it needs to be activated. To do this, visit the web-based account management interface and choose Activate shell account.Information goes here


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For security reasons it is not possible to use telnet and standard ftp to access the Linux service. Instead you must use secure access, which ensures that traffic (especially passwords) is encrypted. Client programs are available for most computer platforms and installation and use of some of them is described in the client section.


Please note

Following a security advisory regarding a weakness in cryptographic key generation issued on 13th May 2008, the SSH keys and therefore the key fingerprints were changed. You may need to explicitly permit your ssh client to connect to the ssh server after verifying the fingerprints. When accessing the shell service, you should verify the SSH fingerprints presented by your client against the following:


    DSA 1024 83:62:92:01:52:c6:d1:ed:f4:99:40:6a:e8:2f:95:e2

    RSA 2048 12:05:75:ee:73:a7:6d:3d:27:f3:fd:32:c7:5d:9b:09

    ECDSA 256  c9:cc:85:b3:e0:97:5e:32:11:cc:c5:b2:50:0f:80:f5

    ED25519 256  e8:ac:bc:7b:6f:aa:e4:8d:61:85:1c:a5:3a:88:d9:74


or if you are using a more recent ssh client that makes use of SHA256 encoded fingerprints (note, some clients drop the "=" padding character off the end):


     DSA SHA256:sgU76LVV6zX0XSw9uKK2Q5fpmW1U1IZWIwlJDN1bjr8=

     RSA SHA256:G8QGcbMPZeksSgQT+5Yy9/M1Kdlz4l/dm5K93xix5JQ=

     ECDSA SHA256:gKdZ2orLAUZgrws9JE32u/mQ/8Mk4RIDGuBUugxhxso=

     ED25519 SHA256:drwDmdzn77h+qGqOQLdMXTWZzRbfY/FrjM7TJ+Ygpu4=


or if you are using the commercial SSH client:


      DSA 1024 xenar-parit-lebud-bihyg-dopof-tudad-saryv-capal-kinug-musup-vixux

      RSA 2048 xuden-sisas-kidum-dikul-socol-lepiv-gutyn-kizob-darif-zuset-tuxux


N.B. You can copy files to and from the system using scp or Secure FTP; implementations of SCP and SFTP are included with PuTTY and with SSH Secure Shell. 

There are various ways in which you can access the Linux Service securely. These are outlined below and each method links to further information on how to setup and configure clients.

There are several clients available for you to connect to the Linux Service:


N.B. Putty is a command line program that can be used to to access the Linux service on computers running Windows. You can download this from: For details on how to install and configure the program see: PuTTY command line client.

Mac OSX users have a choice of using the built-in Unix commands. For more information type man sftp from the Terminal screen. For more user-friendly interfaces there is:

  • Nifty Telnet: Free, but you need to use the 'classic' environment.

Where you just need to transfer files securely then the following programs are currently recommended:

Secure FTP Programs with guides available:

Other Programs

  • Transmit: Commercial software.
  • Interarchy: Commercial software. This is more of a webmaster tool than a quick end-user client.

Department or college printers which are networked can be accessed using the rlpr (remote off-line print) package. For example, if the Wizardry Department had a printer called magic, you could print to it using the command

 $ rlpr <filename> 

If you create a .rlprrc file in your home directory containing: magicone 

You could print to it using:

            $ rlpr -Pmagicone <filename> 

See the rlpr (1) and rlprrc (5) manual pages for full details, and consult your local IT support to see whether your local printer is networked and can be accessed in this way.

Get support

Local IT support provide your first line of on-the-spot help



Common requests and fault reports can be logged using self-service




The central Service Desk is available 24x7 on +44 1865 6 12345


If you do not have an SSO account you can use this form to contact the Service Desk