How to access and begin working with your account

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.

What to do at the prompt

Once you can access your account, you will be presented with the prompt. At this prompt, you can do many many many things. For all of these, we hope to have tutorials soon.

A few basic examples of what you can do:

  • Setup a website
  • Read your group e-mail
  • Setup rules to forward email to another address
  • Transfer files from your computer or your FAS account
  • Grant/remove access from other FAS usernames
  • Setup SSH keys to simplify access (avoid the double login!)
  • Check your quota
  • Anything else a modern Linux computer does.

Logging in, made simple: Setting SSH keys

Now that you have access to your account, you may find that the double-login is holding you down. Besides being slower than a usual login, it can make transferring files between your computer and HCS more difficult because you have to work through FAS as an intermediate. However, by setting SSH keys, you will be able to securely access your HCS account from a designated computer without authenticating with FAS first! Read on to find out how to make accessing your group account as easy as one double-click.

Uploading files to start a website

The most common use of our Linux accounts is for hosting a website. HCS provides the distinct advantage (compared to other free web-hosting solutions at Harvard) of running dynamic content technologies such as PHP, MySQL, and Ruby on Rails. With these frameworks, your student group can run most of the cool web technologies out there today: wiki's, bulletin boards, blogs, community-managed content... the possibilities are innumerable.