Anyone who uses an Ubuntu Phone will want to know the answer to this simple question: Can you secure shell into your Linux server(s) from the device? The answer is: No, not out of the box; however, with the simple addition of a terminal app, yes, you can.

You will find an “official” app called Terminal in the Ubuntu Store (why Canonical did not include a terminal app out of the box leaves me scratching my head). Here’s how to install the app, and use it to secure shell into a server.

Installing the Terminal app

You want to make sure that you install the app created by Ubuntu Core App Developers. To install this app, follow these steps.

  1. From the left edge of the device home screen, swipe right.
  2. Tap the Ubuntu icon on the Launcher.
  3. Swipe left, in the Today Scope, until you land on the Apps page.
  4. Scroll down and tap the Ubuntu Store button.
  5. Tap the search button in the top right corner.
  6. Type terminal and hit the Enter button.
  7. Locate and tap Terminal, by Ubuntu Core App Developers.
  8. Tap Install and allow the installation to complete.

After the app is installed, you will find its launcher on the Apps page (Figure A). Tap the launcher, and Terminal will open.

Figure A

Installing Terminal on a Meizu Pro 5 Ubuntu Edition.

Using the Terminal app

When the Terminal app opens, you should find yourself in rather familiar territory (Figure B).

Figure B

The Terminal app is ready to accept your commands.

The Terminal app is easy to use. First, tap the Keyboard button (the orange square in the bottom right corner); this will open up the keyboard so you can enter commands such as, conveniently enough, the ssh command.

If you don’t happen to know how to secure shell into a server, a quick sample command would be:

ssh -v -l jack

Type that command into Terminal and tap the Enter button. You will be shown the key fingerprint of the server and asked if you want to continue the connection. Type yes and tap Enter. You should now be connected to your server via ssh and can work your admin magic while on the go…thanks to the Terminal app on your Ubuntu Phone.