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Connecting to Sulis for the First Time

  1. Before you connect
    1. SSH public keys
    2. Time-based One-Time Passwords
    3. Access restrictions
  2. Your first connection

Before you connect

SSH public keys

Access to Sulis is by SSH public key and you must therefore have an SSH public key associated with your account before you login. If you did not provide an SSH public key when you requested a machine account on Sulis, follow the instructions at Managing your SSH public keys to add one.

Time-based One-Time Passwords

We strongly recommend your review the page on Time-based One-Time Passwords (TOTP) before you make your first attempt at connecting to Sulis. You must make your first connection to Sulis using an SSH terminal client such as OpenSSH, Putty or MobaXterm, you will be automatically disconnected if you try to make your first connection with an SFTP client such as OpenSSH sftp or WinSCP.

You should additionally be aware of the following known SSH client issues that may affect you during your first attempt to login:

  • Putty users must ensure that their terminal window does not close automatically when they first login, otherwise they will be automatically registered for 2FA but will have missed the QR code generated. This behaviour can be controlled on the main “Session” window by selecting the “Never” option in the “Close window on exit” section of the window, before connecting to Sulis.
  • MobaXterm has a graphical SSH-browser that works by automatically establishing an additional SFTP connection when you connect to a system using ssh. When you first connect to Sulis, this SFTP connection (and therefore the graphical SSH-browser) will fail to connect but you should be shown the QR code in the main terminal window and automatically logged out. Subsequent successful ssh login attempts, providing a 2FA verification code when requested, should result in the SFTP connection being established and the graphical SSH-browser working correctly.
  • Visual Studio Code users may miss the opportunity to scan the QR code on the initial connection attempt. If this occurs for you, contact your relevant support team to have your TOTP reset and use a different SSH client (such as OpenSSH or Putty - noting the comment above regarding Putty) to make the next connection attempt. Once you have registered your TOTP you should then be able to use VSCode to connect to Sulis.
  • WinSCP - if you see the message “Connection has been unexpectedly closed. Server sent command exit status 3.” it means that you have not yet setup your TOTP and you must do this with an SSH terminal client (such as Putty), not an SFTP client such as WinSCP.
  • MacOS users may need to temporarily reduce the line spacing in their terminal in order for the QR code to scan correctly.

Access restrictions

Access to Sulis is restricted to a limited set of IP addresses. Please contact your corresponding support team if you are unable to connect to Sulis from your location.

Your first connection

The first time you connect to Sulis you will be automatically registered for a TOTP and your session will immediately log out. You will be presented with a QR code and five single use emergency codes (we recommend you make a note of these codes). You will need to scan the QR code with a TOTP compatible app such as Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator (see the TOTP page for more options). An entry will be added to your app labelled as login.sulis.ac.uk and with a constantly changing 6 digit code (the 2FA verification code). When you next try to login to Sulis you will be asked for this 2FA verification code.

The hostname for connecting to Sulis is: login.sulis.ac.uk