Linux Timesharing / File Storage

Important: The Linux Timesharing Service replaced the previous Unix Timesharing Service, which will be retired at the close of the spring term in May 2023.


Pitt IT provides a Linux system for use by the University community available to all users with a valid University Computing Account.

Many schools at the University of Pittsburgh use the Linux Timesharing Service for research, classroom work, and teaching. It can be used to run specialty software applications for engineering and mathematics that require a Linux environment. The most popular system uses are for programming, creating a personal webpage, and statistical software. The Linux Timesharing Service has a default quota of 5 MB, but this quota may be increased using the Accounts Self-Service page.

To access this space, you must use one of two secure connection methods: SSH or SFTP.

  • SSH, which stands for Secure Shell, is a program that enables you to securely log in to a remote computer.
  • SFTP stands for secure file transfer protocol. It enables you to transfer files securely between two computers. If you use web authoring software, you must publish files using SFTP.
    Note: Please ensure that any clients you use to access Timesharing are configured to point to before May 2023.

It can also be used to access your disk space on the distributed network file storage system known as the Andrew File System (AFS).



Get Started 

Connecting for the First Time

The first time a server connection is made via SSH, SCP, or SFTP, you will be asked to accept the presented host key as valid before you log in. This security measure prevents man-in-the-middle attacks designed to maliciously obtain your password.

The host key should be accepted only if its fingerprint exactly matches the valid host key presented below

Note: There are multiple possible supported host key algorithms, so be sure to compare the appropriate algorithm name, fingerprint method (MD5 or SHA256) and the fingerprint when verifying the presented host key.

The following are valid host key fingerprints:


  • – ED25519    SHA256:L7NWogPp5FGdGOsPEdgcA+UB+LTR4DjxsOtqWB4SRI4
  • – ED25519    MD5:57:d5:9d:68:6f:bc:a5:29:9f:17:02:d2:08:15:6e:9c
  • – ECDSA       SHA256:NiqTfwMaiIgQHrzLIMWGx4cWozO+Lrsg4NfWINfTMq4
  • – ECDSA       MD5:ec:fe:bd:85:81:a6:8e:67:99:44:82:51:ec:9c:3d:12
  • – RSA            SHA256:qMocBTF76VZ7kLj61IrS/UNABZZA7m5AG4uRt868A3g
  • – RSA            MD5:25:a0:fb:13:71:a5:de:30:af:21:bb:84:0d:f3:fd:d8

Connection Locations

You may access the Linux server directly from within PittNet and while using Virtual Desktops for Remote Work or the Virtual Student Computing Lab. If you are connecting from outside PittNet, you will need to use the University’s preferred VPN solution, PittNet VPN (GlobalProtect), or the legacy PittNet VPN (GlobalProtect) service.

Connection Methods

Use one of the following four methods to connect and use the Linux Timesharing Service.

Windows: Using SSH and SFTP
macOS: Using SSH and SFTP
Linux: Using SSH and SFTP
General Configuration: Using SSH and SFTP

Related Information

Enterprise Network File Storage: Managing your Andrew File System (AFS) Directories

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Article ID: 440
Fri 8/25/23 11:14 AM
Wed 7/17/24 4:03 PM

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