Remote Administration

We have 11 computers on the farm, 10 running Linux Mint.

With that many machines to take care of and keep updated, I get a hand from an SSH server running on each computer. This is especially helpful for the computer of my autistic adult son. He hates anyone getting near his computer. I used to just VNC into his machine, but that would upset him as he watched his mouse cursor darting around the screen.

Using SSH, I can securely log into his computer, and using command line tools, do the updating from the comfort of my office or bedroom computer.

SSH running in terminal

SSH running in terminal

First thing to do is install the SSH server. Open your Software Manager and search for SSH. The top selection should be the SSH server. Select and install it. Next, on each computer, you should make sure that you have an Administrator account to access. Then make sure that you have given yourself SSH rights.

Once your remote computers are configured, you can open a terminal and connect directly to any computer on your network. Once you have connected, it’s a simple matter to send the commands to start the update process.

First I clean the cache with # sudo apt-get clean

Then you force updates with # sudo apt-get upgrade

Of course while logged in, you can also do directory listings, file deletions or anything else that you might do on your local machine from the terminal window.