Logging Into Myth

Written by Chris Gregg, Julie Zelenski and others, with modifications by Nick Troccoli

You will complete all the assignments for CS107 on the myth cluster, which is a set of computers in Gates B08 running Linux (Ubuntu 14) and have various open source tools installed (gcc, gdb, etc.) that we will use. These systems are networked and use a common set of accounts (your SUNet id/password) and have a shared AFS filesystem. There are 30 or so machines in the cluster, individually named myth1, myth2, and so on. No matter which myth you log into, you'll have access to the same installed software, your home directory, and all your files.

The first step is to set up your own computer to log in to myth remotely. Logging in through a command called ssh will allow you to work on the myth computers in a way that is indistinguishable from being physically in the Gates B08 room. While some version of ssh is available on all kinds of computers, the exact details of this step will be different depending on what kind of computer you have.

Mac

Click here for a walkthrough video.

All Macs have a built-in Terminal program, since like Myth machines they are also built on top of Unix. You can find the Terminal program by searching for it via the magnifying-glass in the top-right corner of your desktop, or by opening the Applications folder and going into Utilities.

When you open Terminal, initially you'll be seeing the files and programs of your own computer, just through the lens of Terminal instead of Finder. We'll need to configure one Emacs setting (a one-time change) before logging in to myth: in the top menu bar, click Terminal -> Preferences -> Keyboard -> "Use Option as Meta Key". This means the "Option" key on your keyboard will act as the "Meta" key for Emacs, instead of the Escape key. Take a look at our Emacs guide for more information about Emacs.

Now that you're all configured, use the ssh command to connect to the myth machines. Just be sure to keep track in your own mind of whether you're on myth or your own computer at any given moment! The command you want to type is:

ssh [sunet]@myth.stanford.edu

where [sunet] is your SUNet ID (i.e., the name part of your stanford email address, so if your SUNet ID is troccoli, you would type ssh troccoli@myth.stanford.edu). It will ask for your password, which is your usual Stanford password. If it asks you to confirm that you would like to access myth, type "yes". Jump further down the page for final instructions.

Windows

Click here for a walkthrough video.

Windows 10

Windows 10 users should enable Developer Mode to be able to log in to myth through a Linux environment on your own computer.

First, follow the instructions here to the end of that page, specifically for installing Ubuntu.

Note: In step 1, PowerShell is a program you can search for by using the search bar at the bottom-left of the screen. When PowerShell appears in the results, to run PowerShell in administrator mode as required by the instructions, right click on the PowerShell search result and click "Run as Administrator". Then you can paste in the command to PowerShell specified in the instructions.

After you create a Unix user (last step at that page), you need to make a settings adjustment to the screen buffer size (allows you to scroll back further in your window history, it will make your life much easier later):

  • If you closed the window, re-open the Ubuntu Shell by searching for "Ubuntu" in the bottom-left search bar and launching it.
  • Right click orange Ubuntu logo in the top-right corner of the Ubuntu window.
  • Click on properties.
  • Click on the layout tab, and adjust "Screen Buffer Size Height" to a large value (e.g. 9000).
  • Click "OK" to save the preferences.

This preferences window is also where you can go to change things like the font size if you'd like.

After this point, close the Ubuntu on Windows program and then start it again. initially you'll be seeing the files and programs of your own computer, just through the lens of Terminal instead of Windows Explorer. From there, use the ssh command to connect to the myth machines. Just be sure to keep track in your own mind of whether you're on myth or your own computer at any given moment! The command you want to type is:

ssh [sunet]@myth.stanford.edu

where [sunet] is your SUNet ID (i.e., the name part of your stanford email address, so if your SUNet ID is troccoli, you would type ssh troccoli@myth.stanford.edu). It will ask for your password, which is your usual Stanford password. If it asks you to confirm that you would like to access myth, type "yes". Jump further down the page for final instructions.

Older Windows Versions

SecureCRT

Older Windows versions do not support Developer Mode, but there is a program called SecureCRT that provides ssh functionality instead.

Download and install the SecureCRT software program that will run ssh for you. It is available as a free download from Stanford. Of the two download options at that link (32-bit and 64-bit), choose 64-bit unless your computer is more than about 5 years old.

After the program is installed, launch it. We'll need to configure some Emacs settings (a one-time change) before logging in to myth.

  1. In the top menu bar, click Options->Edit Default Session
  2. Select "Emacs" as the category, under Terminal->Emulation
  3. Check the box "Use ALT as meta key". This means the "Alt" key on your keyboard will act as the "Meta" key for Emacs, instead of being used to access shortcuts within SecureCRT. Take a look at our Emacs guide for more information about Emacs.
  4. Click OK to save the changes.
  5. When it asks you whether you would like to apply this to all sessions, select that you'd just like to change the Default Session.

One more setting to configure:

  1. In the top menu bar, click Options->Edit Default Session
  2. On the "Terminal/Emulation" page, set the emulation to "Xterm"
  3. Make sure the value of the "Terminal type" option in the "Terminal / Emulation / Advanced" category is NOT enabled.
  4. Click OK to save the changes.
  5. If it asks you whether you would like to apply this to all sessions, select that you'd just like to change the Default Session.

Now we can connect to Myth:

  1. Go to File -> Quick Connect.
  2. Enter Hostname "myth.stanford.edu".
  3. For Username, enter your SUNet ID (i.e., the name part of your stanford email address).
  4. Leave everything else as-is, and click Connect.
  5. If it asks you about a New Host Key, click "Accept & Save".
  6. At the password prompt, enter your Stanford password.

Now you should be logged into Myth! Note that you didn't need to actually type the ssh command, as the program is your ssh client and did this for you. Also, you'll only need to do the above steps once; when you launch SecureCRT in the future, myth will now be listed underneath the available Sessions in the program sidebar for you to double-click on. (If you don't see this sidebar, click the toolbar icon in the top-left corner of the window that looks like a file tree). Now, jump further down the page for final instructions.

PuTTY

If you are unable to install SecureCRT for some reason (for example, if it is not your computer and you don't have permission to install software), download the Putty program instead. It works basically the same as SecureCRT, but has fewer "nice-to-have" features such as copy-pasting from the screen, and it does not require install; you just directly run the downloaded putty.exe file. Putty is available here - scroll down to the "Alternative Binary Files" section for files that don't need to be installed, and download the 64-bit putty.exe file (or 32-bit if your computer is more than about 5 years old). This file should download, and you can double-click to launch it.

Here's how to use it to connect to Myth:

  1. In the Host Name field, type "myth.stanford.edu".
  2. Leave everything else as-is, and click "Open" at the bottom of the window to connect.
  3. If a security alert appears about a host key, click "Yes".
  4. When the program prompts you with "login as:", enter your SUNET ID (e.g. part before @stanford.edu).
  5. When the program prompts you with "password", enter your Stanford password.

Now you should be logged into Myth! Note that you didn't need to actually type the ssh command, as the program is your ssh client and did this for you. Now, jump further down the page for final instructions.

Linux

Click here for a walkthrough video.

All Linux machines have a built-in Terminal program, since like Myth machines they are also built on top of Unix. You can find the Terminal program by searching for it using the search functionality of your chosen Linux version. For instance, Ubuntu users can follow the instructions in this WikiHow guide.

When you open Terminal, initially you'll be seeing the files and programs of your own computer, just through the lens of Terminal instead of your graphical filesystem. From there, use the ssh command to connect to the myth machines. Just be sure to keep track in your own mind of whether you're on myth or your own computer at any given moment! The command you want to type is:

ssh [sunet]@myth.stanford.edu

where [sunet] is your SUNet ID (i.e., the name part of your stanford email address, so if your SUNet ID is troccoli, you would type ssh troccoli@myth.stanford.edu). It will ask for your password, which is your usual Stanford password. If it asks you to confirm that you would like to access myth, type "yes". Jump further down the page for final instructions.

A Successful Login

If you have successfully logged in to myth, you should see something like this:

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
     myth7.Stanford.EDU      
     Ubuntu 14.04 (Linux 3.13.0-106-generic amd64)
     2 x Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E8500 @ 3.16GHz, 7.73 GB RAM, 3.81 GB swap
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
       -> For help with your SUNetID, AFS, or class dirs call 725-HELP, or visit
                http://helpsu.stanford.edu 
       -> For problems with hardware, local software, or facilities email
                action@soe.stanford.edu 
       -> The myths are not for CPU-intensive workloads. For alternative
                computers see http://farmshare.stanford.edu 
       -> To logout of the console, click in the background then hit ctrl-alt-del. 

    myth7:~> 

The "myth7" part may name a different myth (myth1 or myth12, etc). Remember that Gates B08 contains many myth machines. When you ssh to "myth.stanford.edu" as a generic name, you are randomly assigned to one of the myths that is currently most idle (fewest other people trying to use it). This log in greeting message is simply telling you which one you were assigned. You may also ssh to a specific myth by using that myth's name (e.g., ssh troccoli@myth9.stanford.edu), but you usually won't need to do this.

Important note: is this your first time logging in? Make sure to download our Emacs settings file to make navigating Emacs easy. You can do this by following the instructions at the top of the Emacs guide on the Resources page.

Importante note: When you're working via ssh, remember to save early and often. If you get disconnected from ssh while you are working, you will potentially lose any work up to the last time you saved.

Troubleshooting

My Windows 10 computer is in a different language without alphanumerical characters, such as Chinese, and I'm having trouble with the instructions.

Ubuntu (the software that is installed in the instructions) may not be able to recognize your user folder name to properly install. If possible, one solution is to change your computer's display language to English, which entails making a new admin account, unsyncing the language, and changing the display language, such that everything is in English. However, this might not be possible in the Home Edition of Windows 10. If for this or other reasons you are not able to or would not like to change the language, we advise that you instead follow the instructions on this page to install the SecureCRT program. [Thanks to TA Annie S.]

More Information

  • For more information about SUNET IDs, click here
  • For more information about AFS, click here
  • For more information about the myth cluster, click here.
  • For more information about the Stanford Farmshare environment, the larger group of systems you can access (and of which myth is a subgroup), click here.
  • Optionally, you can configure Xwindows to enable graphical windows.