Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Secure Shell on your Phone

Filed under: Adventures with iPods,Apple,Fun Work,Geek Work,Linux,News and Current Events,On The Road — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Pig which is late at night or 11:07 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

I’ve been doing a lot more on my phone lately.

I’m not really big into the latest and greatest phone technology.  I don’t go out and grab the latest phone just because it’s come out and has new bells and whistles.  No, really!  But, I have to admit, my new iPhone has pretty much taken over a significant portion of my technological life.  And, I’m pretty much okay with that, because I love it.  One of these days, Real Soon Now, I’m going to write up a review of the VNC software I use on it to manage my servers remotely.  But, until then, I’m going to give you a quick high-light of something absolutely miraculous: secure shell sessions for your phone.

Yeah, now, notice that I didn’t write “for your iPhone”, but, rather, “for your phone”.  There are actually secure shell clients for all three of the big smartphone players; Blackberry, iPhone and Palm.
Now, for those of you not sure what I’m talking about, that’s okay, it’s a geek thing.  Secure shell is a protocol that hardcore, professional geeks like me use to securely access remote systems.  In a nutshell, it’s like Telnet, another hardcore geek tool, but it doesn’t pass information like usernames or passwords in “clear text“, which makes it more secure.  And, that’s the reason guys like me use it.  It lets us securely access servers remotely over networks in ways that don’t endanger our networks or users.  It used to be really only for Unix and Linux, but there are secure shell clients for just about everything now.  Frankly, more professional geeks should be using it for a lot of reasons, but many don’t.

Regardless, I think we’ve reached the pinnacle of technology when I can get a secure shell client for every major smartphone out there.  What that means is I can securely access virtually any kind of server from my phone, where there is a speedy enough data link.  Think about that for a second.  From my PHONE, I can securely access servers, wherever I may happen to have the freakish whim to do so and can get a decent cell signal.
I remember back in the days when you had to have an actual dial-up MODEM to get into servers remotely.  There was no method, secure or otherwise, to get into a server from home or anywhere else.  Now, I can do it, securely, from my PHONE!  How crazy is that?  Seriously!
So, if you want to be able to do that, too, here are links to three reviews of SSH software for the various smartphones. They should all have links to where you can actually download the software, if you want it.
SSH for Blackberry
SSH for iPhone
SSH for PalmOS

Also?  There are lots of applications for managing Windows servers, especially for the iPhone.  Check out Managing Servers and other systems from the iPhone.  It’s why I couldn’t hardly wait for the prices to come down to reasonable levels and why I babble about how there’s an app for everything on this iPhone. Really, it’s made so many things so much easier for me, I cannot begin to tell you.
But, I may just try.


  1. I remember a few weeks after getting my iPhone how amazed I was at that little device. It really is life changing although I know that sounds a little overly dramatic. But it is! T

    Comment by laanba — 10/14/2009 @ 5:52 am

  2. I know, right? It really seems like an exaggeration, until you get one and see how much you can really do with it. Even my workflow at the office has changed since I put my ToDo list on my iPhone!

    Comment by Network Geek — 10/14/2009 @ 8:12 am

  3. Ok:

    RE ssh via the phone, is it still a concern that phones can be hacked remotely via blue tooth. If so how does one secure blue tooth connections to your phone ?

    I am a newby about phone security.

    Comment by im822 — 10/16/2009 @ 5:36 pm

  4. Hey, wow, I just realized I never replied to your last comment, im822!
    This is really about using your phone to access some other server in a secure way. In other words, it lets you enable ssh on your server, thereby securing it, and still have a way to get a terminal session remotely via your phone. As someone who’s always getting in to servers remotely so I can have something that resembles a life away from the office, I LOVE the new trend in smartphones that allow me to do this securely.

    Comment by the Network Geek — 10/23/2009 @ 3:16 pm

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