How do I SSH using Two-Factor Authentication

As part of C&IT's continued efforts to protect critical campus resources, we are beginning the next phase of two-factor authentication deployment. Specifically, this will involve protecting Secure Shell (SSH) logins on our production Linux servers.

C&IT has been testing this functionality on all of the test Linux servers for several months and is pleased to bring it to the production server environment.
You will continue to use your mobile device for two-factor authentication, just like you currently do with the VPN. No additional actions or enrollment is required on your part. To learn more, watch a quick demo on YouTube.

Software recommendations
Although most common SSH applications will allow for two-factor authentication, the Information Security Office has some guidelines for software that is known to work more seamless than other applications.
  • Windows: For Windows, we highly recommend PuTTY. Additionally you can use PSFTP and PSCP for secure file transfer. It's free software and can be downloaded here.
    • Alternately, for secure file transfer via scp or sftp, you may also wish to use WinSCP, which can be downloaded here.
  • Mac OS & Linux: On machines running Mac OS, we recommend running the SSH command from For secure file transfers you may also use the SCP command from the command line. A nice alternative to is iTerm2; you can download it here.
    • For Linux machines, you can SSH and SCP from the command line. If you are using a GUI interface, you can use the terminal application that is installed with the distribution. Examples are gnome-terminal and konsole.