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Remote access to Linux at Ifi


There are two ways of accessing IFI’s Linux computers through graphical interface. If you’re dependent on using you need to use X-win32, but in most other cases VDI solution will be sufficient for an average user.

Use Webdrive if you only need to access the files in your home directory.

Option 1: The VDI solution

See the guidelines on our pages about the VDI solution.

Option 2: X-win32 and/or Webdrive

X-win32 and Webdrive can be easily installed on Windows computers. Using X-win32 you can log in to IFI’s login cluster ( and work with an IFI-Linux terminal, as well as run GUI programs, such as emacs / gedit / nautilus. Webdrive allows direct access to your home directory (and your files) at UIO, through a network location in My Computer (You can for instance directly save files from your own program to your home directory).

Both X-win32 and Webdrive, as well as guidelines regarding installation and setup can be found at


You can log in to “IFI-Linux” from OSX terminal with SSH, and install Cyberduck for easy access to the files in your home directory.

  1. Follow the guidelines for logging in to an IFIs Linux-pc with SSH (here). Please note that on the newer Macs, with the latest OSX X11 is no longer included (X11 is required to run GUI programs from IFI through the terminal). In that case see the guidelines for installing X11. Do create the uio alias to avoid typing out the entire ssh command each and every time.
  2. See the guidelines here regarding installation of Cyberduck. Please note that they are not entirely up to date, and might not look exactly the same as in the latest version of Cyberduck.


It is recommended to set up aliases for SSH and SSHFS on Linux computers. SSHFS is used for mounting the UIO’s home directory as a folder on your local drive.

  1. Insert the following lines into the .bashrc file, replace <username> with your username (on Ubuntu you may also create your own .bash_aliases file, which will be sourced by .bashrc by default):
alias uio='ssh -YC <username>'
alias uiofiles='sshfs <username> ~/uio -o reconnect,modules=iconv,from_code=utf8'


  1. Create an “uio” folder on your laptop’s local drive that will be used to mount the UIO’s home directory with the command.
mkdir ~/uio


  1. Open a new terminal or use the “source.bashrc” command to activate the new aliases.
  2. Now you can simply use the command “uio” to log in to an IFI-Linux PC through SSH with X11 forwarding (which means you can run GUI programs from IFI as well).
  3. The command “uiofiles” can be used to mount the UIO’s home directory into a folder on your own laptop’s local drive. After entering the UIO password you’ll be able to access and edit files directly from the home directory, save to the home directory, move and copy files back and forth etc., as if the home directory was a local folder on your computer. After reboot it will likely be necessary to run the “uiofiles” command again, to re-establish the connection.

Ubuntu (Nautilus)

This is a more user friendly and GUI based method for accessing the UIO’s home directory on your own PC on Ubuntu, as an alternative to the uiofiles’ alias:

  1. From a folder window select File -> “Connect to Server …” from the menu.
  2. In the “Server Address” field, enter “sftp://<username>@” (replace <username> with your UIO username) and press “Connect”.
  3. Enter your UIO password and press ok. The home diectory (with your UIO files) should now appear under the Network tab to the left.
  4. Right-click on the new entry under “Network” on the left and press “Add Bookmark”. The link will then be available under “Bookmarks” and you can use it to connect again after reboot.
Published Mar. 26, 2021 10:26 AM - Last modified Apr. 6, 2021 4:14 PM