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SSH is a cryptographic network protocol for operating network services securely over an unsecured network.

Despite the spooky technical definition, the practical application on chordata is to access the SBC command line interface from another computer. During the early phases of the Betatesting program this is the only way to initialize the Notochord.

Once the Utility software is running, that group of services will provide a more convenient and easy way to handle the state of the notochord.

Activate the SSH server[edit]

If you are using a Raspberry pi as your SBC you will have to activate the SSH server before using it.

To do it enter the following command on the raspberry's terminal:

sudo raspi-config

Then select Interfacing Options>SSH>Yes>OK>Finish.

You can also activate it without even booting the RPi by adding a file to the SD card.


For headless setup, SSH can be enabled by placing a file named ssh, without any extension, onto the boot partition of the SD card from another computer. When the Pi boots, it looks for the ssh file. If it is found, SSH is enabled and the file is deleted. The content of the file does not matter; it could contain text, or nothing at all.
If you have loaded Raspbian onto a blank SD card, you will have two partitions. The first one, which is the smaller one, is the boot partition. Place the file into this one.

Join the same Local Area Network than the SBC[edit]

On boot the SBC will either act as access point, or join a WIFI network as described here.

In order to talk to it through SSH your computer should be connected to the same LAN.

Connect to SSH on Mac or Linux[edit]

Connect to the SBC using SSH. If you are in a unix-like operating system (like linux or mac), then you just have to open a terminal emulator and issue:

ssh pi@notochord.local

This relies on your computer being able to resolve the notochord.local name using the mDNS protocol, which most linux or mac are able to do. If you get an answer like Temporary failure in name resolution it means that you should find out which the IP of the SBC is, and use that to connect through ssh. For example:

ssh pi@
In order to get the SBC's IP you can:

Connect to SSH on windows[edit]

Windows generally doesn't come by default with an SSH client. A good option is to use PuTTY.

Enter the IP address of the SBC on the configuration window, like the one below, and hit Open.

PuTTY 0.62 on Windows 8.png