MIT SIPB Script Services for Athena

Can I ssh to to test my scripts?

Yes, although you must sign up for at least one of the script services before you can connect. You can SSH to from any computer supporting Kerberized SSH, which includes all Athena workstation or dialups. From Athena, you can use the following command:

athena% ssh -k scripts

If you want to log in to access a locker other than your own, you should log in with your locker name specified as the “username” for the login:

athena% ssh -k LOCKERNAME@scripts

(with LOCKERNAME replaced by the name of your locker)

If you’re trying to log into from home and you don’t have an SSH client on your computer, you can log into from, and log into scripts from there.

You can also log in directly from most personal computers if you install a Kerberized SSH client. Other authentication mechanisms (such as direct password-based logins) are not supported for security reasons.


To connect to from a Windows computer, install MIT SecureCRT and Kerberos For Windows from

Then, open MIT SecureCRT (from the Start menu). Click the “Quick Connect” button in the toolbar of the Sessions dialog box that appears (the second button from the left). Fill out the dialog that appears, as follows:

Protocol: SSH2
Port: 22
Firewall: None
Username: [your Athena user name, or locker name]

In the “Authentication” selectbox, scroll down and click on GSSAPI to highlight it. Make sure that the checkbox beside it is checked. Then, use the black arrows to the right of the box to move “GSSAPI” to the top of the list of Authentication methods.

Then, click Connect to connect to If you are prompted for a username and password, please make sure you installed Kerberos for Windows and selected GSSAPI; you cannot log in to with a username and password.

From a Mac

To connect to from a Mac, download and install the MIT Kerberos Extras from Then, open “Terminal” (in /Applications/Utilities/), and type:

kinit AthenaUsername
ssh -k

The “-k” flag to ssh doesn’t exist for older Mac OS X versions. For these versions and with Apple’s default ssh configuration, it is safe to not use this flag. If you have customized your ssh configuration, make sure you have “GSSAPIAuthentication yes” and “GSSAPIDelegateCredentials no” set for

From Linux or other UNIX

To connect from a Linux (or other UNIX) computer, install ssh and Kerberos, and set up Kerberos to use the ATHENA.MIT.EDU realm. Many Linux distributions provide packages that can do this for you. (If you are using Debian or Ubuntu, you may want to consider using Debathena, which will allow you to access many Athena services from your own computer.) Then, run the two Mac command-line commands listed above.

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