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SecureCRT for Windows - Quick Start Guide

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About This Document

  • This document provides getting started instructions for using SecureCRT in the MIT environment.
  • This document is not meant to be a general purpose guide to using SecureCRT's many features. SecureCRT provides detailed online help for this purpose.
  • This document assumes that you have already downloaded and installed SecureCRT.
  • For installation instructions, see SecureCRT and SecureFX for Windows - Installation Instructions.

Note: The sample screen images in this document include red "privacy bars" red bar to prevent viewing of sensitive information.


Apart from a few system requirements, there are no special prerequisites for using SecureCRT at MIT. However, there are two considerations:

  1. You must choose either the 32 bit version or the 64 bit version - whichever is appropriate for your machine.
    The downloads are available from the IS&T Software Grid.
    If you are not sure if your machine is 32 bit or 64 bit see this article.

  2. You must connect to a server that supports the SSH2 protocol in order to make a secure connection.
    Most servers on MITnet support SSH2. If you are unsure whether a server supports SSH2, contact the server administrator before you connect.

Since SecureCRT uses SSH2 for secure connectivity, Kerberos is not required to use SecureCRT.

Configuring SecureCRT

The MIT download of SecureCRT has been pre-configured with a session profile for you to connect to your Athena home directory. If you installed SecureCRT you do not need to configure SecureCRT to log on to Other users on the machine and Windows Domain users need to run the "Create Shortcut to Athena" tool in Start > Programs > Tools> MIT SecureCRT > Create Shortcut to Athena. Click Create Shortcut to complete the configuration.

The "Options..." button allows the user to choose between the default, recommended connection method (password authentication) and Kerberos GSSAPI authentication (Kerberos tickets).

For help with configuring a session to another server, see the "Getting Started" section in SecureCRT's online help system.

Connecting Securely

This section provides step-by-step instructions to help you establish a secure connection to using SecureCRT.

Please note: The screens displayed below are for Windows 10. These same instructions will work for Windows 7 but will just have some cosmetic differences.

To establish a secure connection to Athena using SecureCRT, do the following:

  1. To start SecureCRT, click Start > All Apps (All Programs in Windows 7) > SecureCRT > SecureCRT(version number). In this example the latest version is 7.3.

    start menu 
    Result: SecureCRT opens and a Quick Connect window appears. Notice that there is a terminal window labeled not connected - SecureCRT underneath the smaller Quick Connect window.

  2. Enter the following in Hostname:, in Username: Your Kerberos Username, then click the Connect button.

    quick connect window

    Result: You will be prompted with the New Host Key window. ( is an alias, so the warning is okay).

  3. Click Accept & Save.

    new host key warning

  4. When Prompted enter your Kerberos Username and Kerberos Password. Note: IS&T recommends that you NOT select Save password.

    enter password screen

  5. Click OK.
    Result: You are now logged on to Athena. Notice that SecureCRT displays the Athena command prompt in the terminal window. Under Sessions you will see which you can double click in the future to re-connect. You will be prompted for your password if you did not save it in Step 3.

    athena command prompt

Working with Files

For help working with files on Athena, see Working on Athena - Working with Files

Logging Out

When you finish an Athena session, be sure to log out. To do this:

  1. Choose File > Disconnect.
  2. When prompted with the message "Do you wish to disconnect from Athena?" click Yes.
  3. Choose File > Exit to exit out of SecureCRT. You can make this choice and skip the previous steps if you wish to both log off from Athena and exit the program.

Related Links

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

August 04, 2020

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