How to access and begin working with your account

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In order to access an HCS group account to read email and begin setting up webpages, you will need to connect via a terminal into our servers. On most modern operating systems, this requires a terminal application. If you are using Mac OS X, you already have one: it's under Applications>Utilities>Terminal. On a Windows computer, you will need other software, which will be discussed below.

Logging into HCS is done without passwords, so you don't need to remember anything; instead we have you log into the FAS servers first, and then if you are on the access list for one of our accounts you can then login from FAS to HCS.

Using a Mac/Linux

Open Terminal. At the command prompt, type ssh username@fas.harvard.edu, where username is whatever you use for FAS services. The very first time you try to connect to FAS in this manner, you will be asked a security question about host keys. Respond by typing "yes" (without the quotes). This will only be asked of you once, ever. You will then need to provide your FAS password.

A load of text will fly by, and then you receive the fas% prompt. Type ssh group-name@hcs.harvard.edu, where group-name is the account you made with HCS. Again, you may be asked about host keys if this is your first login, and respond "yes". Assuming you are on the access list for the account, you will be logged straight in.

You will then be at the hera:~% prompt, at which you can do any number of things: check out the tutorial if you're lost.

Using a PC

Download PuTTY from here. Once you have it installed, open up the program, and you should see the configuration screen. Type fas.harvard.edu into the Host Name field as shown:

Click Open to start a connection. If it is your first time connecting to FAS, you may see the following screen, and should click Yes.

You will now be looking at a black window with the text "login as:" at the top of the screen. Type your own FAS username and press enter. Then type your personal FAS password and press enter. Your password will not appear as you type.

Some login messages may scroll by, and at the bottom should be a prompt and your green cursor. Type ssh group-name@hcs.harvard.edu, where group-name is the account you made with HCS, and press enter.

Again, if this is your first connection, it will probably ask about host keys, with a message like this:

The authenticity of host 'hcs.harvard.edu (140.247.89.134)' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is e2:23:24:df:37:12:f8:a6:dc:54:80:31:9e:c9:ff:39.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?

Type "yes" (without the quotes) and press enter to continue. If you are on the access list for that account, you will be logged directly in, and then at the prompt you can begin working on your account. There is no group account password. To find out what you can do at the prompt, go to the next tutorial.

Using a PC (another option)

You can also use the version of SecureCRT available from the FASCS website. Once you have it installed and opened for the first time, you be presented with the connection dialog.

Double-click on fas.harvard.edu to initiate a connection with FAS. If this is your first time connecting, you will see a message about host keys. Select Accept & Save.

Enter in your personal FAS username (the same as your FAS email, before the @ sign) when prompted. Whether you choose to save it or not is up to you. Select OK.

Then, enter in your personal FAS password at the next prompt, and select OK.

If you entered in the wrong password, it will re-prompt you, otherwise a lot of login messages will scroll by and you will be eventually presented with a prompt. Enter in the following at the prompt and press enter, replacing group-name with the name of your HCS account.

Again, since this is your first connection, it will probably ask about host keys, with a message like this:

The authenticity of host 'hcs.harvard.edu (140.247.89.134)' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is e2:23:24:df:37:12:f8:a6:dc:54:80:31:9e:c9:ff:39.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?

Type "yes" (without the quotes) and press enter to continue. If you are on the access list for that account, you will be logged directly in, and then at the hera:~% prompt you can begin working on your account. There is no group account password. To find out what you can do at the prompt, go to the next tutorial.