When a system admin or developer is out on their telecommute day or even performing work after hours, chances are that they have their laptops handy and work as they please via VPN or SSH connections. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case and, when work needs to get done, improvisation is necessary. For IT pros with iPhones and iPads, the future of ultimate remote connectivity is here with iSSH - SSH / VNC Console by Zinger-Soft.
Unlike more pedestrian remote-access tools for iOS devices, iSSH can connect utilizing multiple methods, including regular SSH, Telnet, RDP, and VNC protocols. Input peripherals are emulated in software via touch-screen controls or can be supported over Bluetooth, such as wireless keyboards.
Here's how to set up an SSH remote session with iSSH:
- Download iSSH from the App Store for $9.99 (USD)
- When you launch iSSH for the first time, press Add Configuration from the main screen (Figure A) to begin the connection setup and add your basic login details Figure A
- Scroll down and select the connection carrier and remote session type (Shell, VNC, and RDP). For this example, we'll leave the settings as SSH and Shell (Figure B). If you need to make more detailed adjustments for terminal handling and ISO encodings, the Terminal Settings region at the bottom is available for your convenience. Figure B
- If your secure connection requires the use of an RSA key for identification purposes, you can generate your own or import one sent by email to your device. Simply dive into General Settings at the top of the main iSSH screen and scroll down to Configure SSH Keys. You can either generate new RSA / DSA pairs (Figure C) or import your unique pattern from the clipboard (Figure D). Figure C
- Don't forget that you can change the look and feel of your console right from General Settings as well. For my example session, I chose most of the defaults but opted for white text for higher visibility. Figure E
- When you're ready, return to the main screen and press the button for the connection you just created. If the glowing orb next to the name is anything other than green in color, your configuration settings could be wrong (red) or the connection is taking longer than usual to validate itself (yellow). Figure F
- You can require a username and password for the connection before you're allowed to proceed (Figure G). However, if the settings are configured to use an RSA key instead, or your username and password are pre-saved, you will not be prompted to enter login information. Figure G
- And that's basically it! You can utilize the virtual, on-screen keyboard to input your commands (Figure H) or use your trusty Bluetooth keyboard for that extra tactile feedback. Figure H
The Add Configuration screen.
Select the connection carrier and remote session type.
You can generate new RSA / DSA pairs.Figure D
You can also import a unique pattern from the clipboard.
General Settings for iSSH.
Test your configuration settings.
You can require a username and password for your connection.
The on-screen keyboard for entering commands.
Do you use iSSH - SSH / VNC Console to manage remote connections on your iPhone? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.
An avid technology writer and an IT guru, Matthew is here to help bring the best in software, hardware and the web to the collective consciousness of TechRepublic's readership. In addition to writing for TechRepublic, Matthew currently works as a Customer Success Professional for Ultimate Software in Santa Ana, California.