Odin is a server for Computer Science students, permitting them to submit homework assignments, work on code, and have a Linux environment to use when they don’t have the resources to run Linux. It is very similar to the Polaris system that Clarkson runs, except that they run Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and we run Debian Linux.


Using SSH

SSH, also known as a Secure SHell, is a secure manner to log into this machine. Using SSH is very simple, but requires basic knowledge of a computer terminal to use effectively. This guide’s aim is to help you navigate the terminal effectively.

On Windows

Windows does not by default come with an SSH terminal emulator. You will need to download the PuTTY terminal emulator, conveniently linked here. All you need to do is download the stable Windows executable named putty.exe. You can also use the PuTTY MSI installer for a more permanent installation, but that is not necessary.

Once you have downloaded PuTTY, launch it. If you have it downloaded, run it directly from your downloads folder, or if you installed it, look for it in your Start menu

After starting PuTTY, a small dialog box with many options will pop up. On the right side, there will be some options.

Hostname: odin.cosi.clarkson.edu
Port: 22
Connection Type: SSH

After you select these options, you should be able to click on the Open button a the bottom right of the application window.

After you do this, there may be a verification popup asking if you are sure you want to begin connecting to the host. Clicking Yes will continue to connect to the server. Every other time you connect from this computer, you will not see a popup.

Now, a new window with a terminal emulator will appear, which will prompt you to enter your username and password (and it will ask you to change your password if you are logging in for the first time)

Once you have properly connected, your session should show a prompt, as seen below:


When you see this prompt, you have successfully connected to Odin.

On Mac and Linux

A SSH client is built into Mac and Linux, so using SSH is much simpler on one of these machines. Simply enter the following command into your favorite terminal emulator or TTY, replacing username with your username.

ssh username@odin.cosi.clarkson.edu

When you connect, it may ask you to save the keys, just type yes to that prompt, and you will never see it again on that particular computer.

After that, you should be prompted for your password, and if it’s your first time connecting ever, will ask you to change your password.

After all of this, you should have a SSH prompt, which looks like the line below:


When you see this prompt, you have successfully connected to Odin.

Using SSH (A Quick Reference of Linux Commands)

Here’s a quick listing:

Troubleshooting SSH

Sometimes errors generated by SSH may not be very clear. This section aims to help you understand what went wrong

My SSH client says something about HOST VERIFICATION FAILED

This problem is rare, but happens when a SSH keypair changes. If you are running Linux or Mac, you need to remove the ~\.ssh/known_hosts file. In Windows you have to carefully remove the key(s) from the registry.

Could not resolve hostname

This problem is rather common, and occurs when your computer is not connected to the internet. Also, check to make sure that your DNS settings work (if you can browse in a web browser they are good)

Permission Denied

If you get this error, either your username or password is wrong. If you are having these problems, please contact us.

Using SCP and WinSCP

SCP is short for Secure File Copy, and is used to copy from one computer to another.

On Linux and Mac - SCP

Open a terminal, and enter the following:

scp [from location] [to location]

When using SCP, you need to specify a location. It can be one of the following:

Example: Copying from a remote file to a local file

scp username@odin.cosi.clarkson.edu:filename.txt filename.txt

Example: Copying from a local file to a remote file

scp filename.txt username@odin.cosi.clarkson.edu:filename.txt

On Windows - WinSCP

Install WinSCP from here and install it. The GUI should behave much like Windows File Explorer, and has a similar login interface to PuTTY (it may call it SFTP, which is the same as SCP). If you have further questions, please contact us.

About Odin

Odin is a server run by the Clarkson Open Source Institute (also known as COSI).
It provides a virtual classroom workspace for multiple classes, including introductory and advanced CS courses.

Contact Us

The Clarkson Open Source Institute (better known as COSI) is part of the Computer Science department at Clarkson University. We are located at the Cora and Bayard Clarkson Science Center on the hill campus in Potsdam, NY, in rooms SC 334/336.

If you have a problem with your code, please contact your TA via email or in person. If your TA is not available, it would be reasonable to expect that someone in COSI can help you with your problem.

If there is a problem with Odin itself (such as a permissions issue, login failure, or other problem that doesn’t appear to be code related), send me (Jared Dunbar) an email and CC your TA in the email. I will try to respond as soon as reasonably possible to the problem.

About COSI

The Clarkson Open Source Institute has meetings every Wednesday in SC 336 at 7:30pm. All majors are welcome to attend. We also hold a forum at 7:00pm on Wednesdays to talk about important lab administration. There are no requirements for becoming a member, you can come and go as you please.

If you would like a tour of the server room, please drop by sometime when the labs are open. We would be happy to educate you on the inner workings of the lab.