ssh is a typical Linux program. User unfriendly. Here are the plain vanilla steps to get it working for you.
Note Bene: this is NOT OpenSSH, Openssh is identical, except for names of files.
What does it do?
SSH encrypts all data to / from the remote machine including the inital password prompts. This means traditional methods such as telnet, and rlogin, have been replaced by ssh.
1) Almost any distro contains an ssh rpm package. It is
actually in 3 parts (first bit of confusion)
|ssh||The base program(s)|
|ssh-server||A remote server|
Install ssh-client (=YOU)
ssh-server is applicable to the
'other end'. Unless you are running a server, unless you plan
for other people to log in to YOU, you can forget all about
2) ssh uses 'private and public key' encryption. These have NOTHING to do with your password. These 'keys' and similar 'keys' at the other end, the server, will be used to encrypt all data, including passwords. If you like, this is a personal thing between the two ssh ends, done transparently by them, and there's nowhere for you to get involved.
You need to generate your own, personal, unique private AND public keys.
Answer the questions, and it will generate unique keys for you in $home/(dot)ssh
identity is the private key
identity.pub is the....
2) prepare for noise levels
before you fire up ssh, you need to give it a place to store 'keys' from known servers
Unfortunately (and typically) there is a userland bug in getting all this to work easily. Type this
cp indentity.pub known_hosts
What you are doing here is creating a kludge, you are giving ssh some drivel so that it can ADD other hosts to this file (it wont do it by itself).
3) fire up and go
Instead of typing
rlogin -u your_username servername
slogin -l your_username servername
The first (and first only) time you do this, the initial connection will squeal that there is no, or a wrong, server public key, or, it is untrusted, or, whatever. Simpy answer yes to each question, it will preserve this 'key' in the file you made in step 2)