Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Operating Systems Software Unix

Unix Shell Accounts? 115

Posted by Cliff
from the an-endangered-species dept.
mcovey asks: "Unix shell accounts used to be easy to find, with quality applications installed and free web space. Nowadays the only free ones left are either not accepting new accounts, have limited applications or send you on a wild goose chase to register. Does anyone know any free or low-cost shell accounts that include compilers, IRC, background processes, FTP, a decent editor and an email app (preferably pine, since I have a config file already on my IMAP server)?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Unix Shell Accounts?

Comments Filter:
  • ... out on the linuxiso website: LinuxISO.org [linuxiso.org].

  • by Bad Boy Marty (15944) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @01:22PM (#9698382) Homepage
    Just fire up Linux on some dusty old i386, and plug it into your home network. What's so special about having a hosted account?
    • You provide support for a corporate entity with multiple access connections and have to regularly check to see which are up/down, and find out why.

      You are an out of work, homeless, software developer, and the library won't let you compile software on one of their computers.

      You happen to be interested in writing new software to spam the internet, but don't want direct evidence of it being your system sending it out. (not a legitimate reason, but it wouldn't surprise me if someone wanted to do just this. It
      • by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @03:26PM (#9699853) Homepage Journal
        FWIW, I have a "free shell account" on my machine at home which is permanently connected thanks to DSL. You can get an address from dynip.com (pay) or a miriad of free providers that will track your IP address and give you a hostname permanently pointing at it. Most major DSL providers in the US seem to offer static IPs as an option too.

        This, ultimately, is probably the major reason supported, open, free shell accounts have died out. Most people who'd want one have the ability to create what they need. As a result, the bulk of users of the free services have become those who are desperate to use someone else's machine, and you can imagine that a high proportion of those are script kiddies and other undesirables.

        So I think the GP was on the money. Of course, you're out of luck if you don't have a DSL connection (or something else you can use to stay on the net permanently.)

        • You don't even need an internet connection to set up a shell account you can use from "anywhere". Just use a good old modem and your phone line, set up pppd the right way and there you are. You can access your shell from anywhere as long as there is a phone line, a computer and a modem. Moreover, your phone number don't change as often as your IP adress.
      • You have a mail server set up at home, doing secure imap, which is the only hole in your firewall,

        Why not punch another hole in your firewall for ssh? Then, when you're in an Internet cafe, its just a matter of grabbing a copy of putty from somewhere and connecting into your own server? Then you've also got all the tools you want right at your encrypted fingertips.
      • You are an out of work, homeless, software developer, and the library won't let you compile software on one of their computers.

        Have one of your employed buddies plug a 386 box from the thrift store into their subnet for you to shell into. Sheesh. You can run Linux on laptops that sell under $10 at surplus auctions these days....
    • ...but it's no fun unless you can launch your DDoS^H^H^H^Hirc client from someone else's box?
    • You could host a website on a house connection, but it doesn't mean that you'd want to. Perhaps your speed is inadaquate, or perhaps your ISP has become anal and doesn't permit remote access and such. Perhaps your connection is just flacky and you want a service to run as long as possible without interuption. Or heck, perhaps you don't want to keep your machines powered all the time. Or, this is probally the most important on, it's possible that a shell is hosted on a really kick ass machine and a kick
    • While I'm capable of setting up a box, and setting up software, configuring the network, and maintaining everything, it is timeconsuming, and can be frustrating and annoying.

      It would be nice to be able to just log onto a box and have everything I ever want be setup already, and have someone else worry about security patches.

      The obvious reason why the ISPs don't like to offer this anymore is because they don't want to deal with everybody trying to hack the machine, and hack each other, and spawn infinite r
  • by hoggoth (414195) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @01:23PM (#9698390) Journal
    Get an inexpensive UML (User-Mode-Linux) virtual server and it's just like having a whole server online.
    I use Tektonic [tektonic.net]. Their cheapest plan is only $15/month. For more money you get larger slices of the CPU and RAM. There are several other good ones as well.

    (oh, and FP).

  • Buy a cheap shell (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @01:23PM (#9698395)
    The reason there are few free ones is because people abused them. Just go buy a cheap shell somewhere like QuadSpeed Internet [quadspeedi.net]. $3 a month. JVDS offers a limited free shell [jvds.com], but as they put in the big print, no IRC.
    • Many places that offer Dedicated or Co-Location hosting specifically disallow IRC. You'd almost have to go with a bulletproof hoster to get IRC without breaking the Ts&Cs.
    • Re:Buy a cheap shell (Score:4, Informative)

      by bhtooefr (649901) <bhtooefr&bhtooefr,org> on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @08:48PM (#9702843) Homepage Journal
      I don't recall if it does EVERYTHING the OP wants, but Freeshell.org is $1 validation, and if you want more (stuff like IRC client, Perl, Python, PHP, etc.), it's $36 one-time (you don't have to pay the $1 if you start out with the $36 plan or better), and they've also got monthly plans that have even more than that (AFAIK, stuff like background processes DOES cost more). Myself, I've gotta shell out $36 (in addition to my $1 that I sent in about a year ago) to get Python, FTP (really pisses me off, because I don't know how to use ZModem over SSH on Linux, so I have to zip up my site, take it over to a Winbox, fire up HyperTerminal, and Telnet in), and SMTP (I hate webmail, and I use my own VERY nice client (Opera M2), thank you very much). Now, if they'd let me JUST add Python, FTP, and SMTP (I don't need Perl, PHP, 240MB more storage (80 in each area - shell, mail, and web), outbound IRC (they have plans for inbound IRC, IIRC, but they're REALLY expensive), outbound Telnet, etc.)
      • Re:Buy a cheap shell (Score:2, Informative)

        by iMMersE (226214)
        really pisses me off, because I don't know how to use ZModem over SSH on Linux, so I have to zip up my site, take it over to a Winbox, fire up HyperTerminal, and Telnet in

        You really want to use is "scp". Secure CoPy.

        From "man scp" :

        scp copies files between hosts on a network. It uses ssh(1) for data transfer, and uses the same authentication and provides the same security as ssh(1).
  • by etymxris (121288) * on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @01:25PM (#9698425)
    I'm sure there are plenty of people that own dedicated hosts that would be happy to offer shell accounts, if only the company that they rent from would allow it. I own several dedicated hosts, and none of the companies allow me to sell shell accounts from them.

    I'm sure it wasn't done on a whim. Giving out shell accounts allows the potential for serious abuse, and when you start granting strangers permission to do so many random things from the shell, abuse is destined to occur.
    • Simple solution: setup a firewall to block outgoing connections from the free accounts. The person using it to develop doesn't need any outside access at all, for email you open just that port. Think like chroot: protect your box from the users on it just as well as from the users off.
  • panix.com (Score:5, Informative)

    by gregh76 (121243) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @01:25PM (#9698428)
    I've been using Panix for over 10 years. They have $10/month shell-only bring-your-own access accounts. CGI, IMAP, et. al. included. I highly recommend them. Highly competent personnel. Well administered. Worth every penny.
    • by millia (35740) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @02:17PM (#9699075) Homepage
      what he said, plus they have ssh access, either via a client or through a web-based client, and webmail. nice size of space available, too. you can also get a price of $100 per year if you pay up front. i got my panix acct. after netcom discontinued shell access, and my only regret is not getting it sooner.
  • Why free? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jahf (21968) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @01:25PM (#9698429) Journal
    Ok, so I'm curious, what is the benefit to the provider to give free access to shell accounts.

    All the shell accounts I've had in the past (I'm in the camp that just runs their own server over broadband now) were in some way attached to a paying account and/or were provided by a school or employer.

    I can see a low-cost account, say $5/month for no compiler and $10/month for compiler (or just limit the account to x% CPU), but free doesn't make sense to me.

    Not saying I think they should go away if they exist, just wondering what the incentive to give someone command-line access to your box would be?
    • by PylonHead (61401) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @02:19PM (#9699093) Homepage Journal
      Why?

      So they can deal with a lot more bullshit in their lives!

      By offering free shell accounts, they give spammers a base to work from.

      By offering free shell accounts, people can coordinate their DDOS attacks from their box.

      By offereing free shell accounts, they can deal with people running high bandwith gaming servers that choke off their networks.

      Now, I wonder why it's hard to find people giving out free shell accounts with compilers?
  • Check out hub.org (Score:5, Informative)

    by zhobson (22730) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @01:28PM (#9698474) Homepage
    I'm a customer of hub.org.

    They have web accounts with SSH login as a standard feature, and you can even get root access to your own personal VM and install whatever software you want.

    Oh, and they run FreeBSD, which happens to be my favorite unix.
  • by mkavanagh2 (776662) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @01:30PM (#9698492)
    Does anyone know where I can find an open mail relay for legitimate purposes? For some reason, all the public open mail relays seem to be scarce now :(
  • Not that they offer it on the front page, but www.nexornet.com offers cheap shell accounts as an addition to their excellent hosting....
  • Virtual Servers (Score:5, Informative)

    by DDumitru (692803) <doug@nOspAm.easyco.com> on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @01:31PM (#9698505) Homepage
    Most shell accounts are disappearing because they are very unsafe for the hoster. Also, the prevelence of UML (User Mode Linux) lets hosters run virtual servers in security sandboxes so that the child application is more isolated from the host system.

    UML virtuals behave like complete Linux servers with smaller RAM and disk sizes. You can load full distros and get a direct, public, IP address. Some hosters let you run IRC servers and some don't (many upstream providers hard-filter IRCD). In terms of software and services, you can run just about anything you want. Mail, FTP, ssh, IRC, Apache, Perl, PHP, MySql, etc. Plus you have full editors (vi, emacs) and compilers (gcc, java, etc.).

    You can typically get these starting at about $12/mo. We sell them starting at $15/mo. They are more than shell accounts because the load you can place on a physical server is much smaller. In general, we only put 15-20 on a box to keep the underlying LoadAvg < 1.

    Info on UML is available at:

    http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

    Have fun.
  • Cybercomm (Score:3, Informative)

    by bluethundr (562578) * on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @01:31PM (#9698519) Homepage Journal
    My old ISP from the Jersey, called Cybercomm [216.182.2.169] was a great dial-up providor back before the hey-day of broadband. They were recently swallowed up by Telurian Networks [tellurian.com] so that under the Cybercomm moniker they can offer broadband services.

    On their website, they still appear to be offering their old services which include

    30 days unlimited/interactive usage

    10 MB Web Space for your personal webpage(s).

    1 Internet Email Address

    Full UNIX Shell Included

    Listing in our Users directory

    The Best Technical Support in The Business

    Well that last line about their tech department is of a bit of sales hyperboly. But I do remember their being fairly good.

    Of course you wont want to dial up to their network, but I've never had any trouble at all accessing the Unix Shell account they give you.

    You get all that for a low low low $20 'merican dollars per month or for $200 a year in one lumpy sum.

    Also interesting is that they appear to still have their Muds section open (as of a couple of months ago)and are STILL operating a BBS that you can chat with local yokal Jerseyans. Not that you'd want to do either of the latter, but it is still interesting to find that stuff still around!

    • 30 days unlimited/interactive usage

      I hate marketing drivel like this. Either offer unlimited downloads, or give it a hard cap that everyone can see. I'm tired of these stupid ambiguities that make it sound as though you can use as much as their service as you want. I wonder what their marketing department says when you download a half-dozen cd images in a weekend? These fuckwits don't deserve anyone's business.
      • 30 days unlimited/interactive usage

        I hate marketing drivel like this. Either offer unlimited downloads, or give it a hard cap that everyone can see. I'm tired of these stupid ambiguities that make it sound as though you can use as much as their service as you want. I wonder what their marketing department says when you download a half-dozen cd images in a weekend? These fuckwits don't deserve anyone's business.


        Do me, do yourself and everyone here a favor. Read the paragraph you just wrote. Has it ever
  • Eskimo.com (Score:3, Informative)

    by vjl (40603) <vjl@NosPAM.vjl.org> on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @01:34PM (#9698540) Homepage Journal
    Though I no longer use them, I was very happy with Eskimo.com [eskimo.com]. They give discounts if you're only using ssh/telnet to access the shell account, and they have great support. They use Linux and SunOS, though their news server, when I was last there, crashed a lot.

    Check out their home page, but I do believe you get full IMAP access as well as compiler access. I remember compiling my own version of Pine as they were a version behind, and all worked just fine.

    They're not free, but I think you'll find their rates ok. /vjl/
  • you could always put together your own server, buy your own domain, and then stick the box at the end of a friend's DSL line. Or rent colo space.
  • HP Test Drive (Score:5, Informative)

    by RupertJ (520598) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @01:38PM (#9698598)

    HP Test Drive [hp.com]

    You sign up for a free account and get NetBSD, Linux, Tru64 and HP-UX accounts on a variety of hardware.

    The account itself is not mail enabled, but compilers, ftp, editors - it's all there and anything else you need you could compile and run yourself...

    HP-UX software ports and archives here [connect.org.uk].

    Enjoy!

    RJ

  • SDF (Score:5, Informative)

    by nmnilsson (549442) <magnus@freesh[ ].org ['ell' in gap]> on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @01:40PM (#9698617) Homepage
    SDF [lonestar.org] (a.k.a. freeshell.org) is good. Large userbase; running since -87. Several access levels are available.
    As a serious user, you appreciate some degree of user validation - it means the server won't be full of spammers and script kiddies.
    • Re:SDF (Score:2, Informative)

      I agree, I started using this before I had my first linux box on the internet around 99. Last I checked (about a year or so ago) they had everything that you had requested, though I can't verify the availability of any compilers.
      • Re:SDF (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I can verify the availability of compilers. It's gcc, on a BSD system. Very nice, I know someone who has been experimenting with some cgi programs there using Thomas Boutell's cgic library.
    • Re:SDF (Score:1, Informative)

      by Moderator (189749)
      Yep. You get email (with IMAP access), usenet, irc, AIM, lynx, and a shell. Something like $37 gives you 100Megs of space to work with. They don't ask for much and I think it's more than worth it.
      • Actually, with the ARPA account ($37 one-time fee) you get 100MB for your home directory, 100MB web space, and 100MB email. They also have cool shirts if you want to send them a little more money.
        • I thought it was $36, as you didn't have to do the $1 validation dance if you got an ARPA account to begin with. Here's what pre-validated (the 90-day trial) has:
          20mb home, 20mb web, 20mb mail
          mutt, pop3, imaps, webmail, icq, bboard
          games, TOPS-20, mud, gopher & more


          user (the $1 account):
          Everything pre-validated has, plus:
          elm, pine, mailx, rmail, lynx, cgi (limited)
          bash, ksh, tcsh, rc, zsh, tclsh
          http://yourlogin.freeshell.org
          hundreds of shell & network utilities


          arpa (the $36 account):
          100mb home
          • You're right, it is $36. It's been a while since I joined. As far as editors are concerned, there's also vim, emacs, and nano. The information about membership levels can be found at http://sdf.lonestar.org/index.cgi?access

            I'm going to plug the shirts again because they're pretty cool, and a good way to help out SDF. Buying one might even be tax deductable, but I'm not sure.
    • SDF is definatley worth the money. The $36 for a lifetime ARPA account is cheap for what you get. In fact sometimes I feel bad, like I am ripping SMJ off.

      The only problem I'v hade with it was when NWLink dropped SDF
      • Well, buy a couple T-shirts. Or, donate some money - they're a federally recognised non-profit 501(c)(7), so AFAIK it's even tax-deductible (yep, help SMJ out and rip Uncle Sam off - now THAT's the way to do it ;-).
        • Great set of servers used it for about 5 years now. I've meet many friends in good 'ol com that I still keep in touch today. Check the place oout buy a shirt or an account help Stephen out with the costs. With an ARPA account you can basically do what ever you want on the servers and theres upgrades so you can have MySql, domain hosting, dns hosting and much more. http://www.freeshell.org Join our great community.

          ~Ben
    • Yeah, freeshell is very good. I use it. It works.
  • The biggest holdback you will find is IRC. You really cant get an IRC account unless you pay. Too many people ran eggdrop bots, or just pissed someone off and got the server nuked. IRC seems to be 'taboo' in free shell providers.
  • CSoft! (Score:3, Informative)

    by LocoBurger (18797) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @02:00PM (#9698832) Homepage

    I use CSoft for just this. From their website:

    CubeSoft Communications is a company from Quebec which produces open-source software, funded by a quality UNIX hosting service, and a dedicated server/co-location service.

    They're not free, but their cheapest setup is $5/month for a real shell login, web server access (including tons of interpreters, databases access, etc.), compiler access (they ask you to be reasonable), and just about full reign as a user on a shared UNIX system. They're also quick on service requests and have a great administration tool. From their website:

    Look them up at csoft.net [csoft.net].

    • holy shit, ive never met another csoft user. ive been using them for almost a year and a half now and i'll say that its the best host ive ever had. no complaints at all... well, except for the unresolved IMAP issue (i cant empty folders out of my trash on the OpenBSD shell account due to some courier-imap issue)... which has been unresolved for about 6 months.. but its no biggie... the money spent on them is well worth it.
  • Although you don't state it explicitly, it's implied that you want a shell account on an internet connected server. This implies that actually connecting to the internet is not a problem.

    So why not just have your unix shell account on your desktop machine? If you are not already using Mac or Linux, it's easy to create a dual-boot with the Mandrake install CDs, or have a portable solution with a Knoppix CD [knoppix.net] and a USB stick.

    • Because then he couldn't background an IRC client and DCC bot, or run the auto-mudding script he's planning, or have a coordination point for the new windows worm he's written.
    • I know that I use an outside shell account to run ping and traceroute tests back to my work systems. It lets me know where hangups are along the path so I have some hard evidence to shove down our IDP's throat. I also do testing with nmap as well.
  • by VisorGuy (548245) <inactive> on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @02:10PM (#9698953) Journal
    Yeah, you can have one on my syst...

    "System halted"
  • I was also trying to find a shell account a while back. Then I plugged an old computer into my broadband router, forwarded the SSH port to that box, and voila, a shell account! It may be easier than you think, and you can do whatever you want on it. Having root access and no "terms of service" are worth the extra effort of hosting it myself (which is minimal anyway). If you are worried about your ISPs hosting rules (ie no servers), don't worry about it. It's not like SSH consumes bandwidth, at least if
  • My first real introduction to the internet and email was thru a unix shell account. It was a company based in Ann Arbor, I think it's name was M-Net or something. Don't even know if it exists anymore.

    Used pine, lynx, gopher, etc. all the time. Actually myself and two of my friends 'shared' the account in order to keep the costs down.

    • Still exist. Try arbornet.org and grex.org/cyberspace.org.. Back "in the day", I ran one of the larger free shell systems out there.. you might have memories of me if you're old skool enough and look at my domain-name.
      • I still remember nether.net, that's old school man . . .

        I once co-admin'd a semi large free shell system (zimcity.net), but it losts its usefullness when the script kiddies and h4x0rs came in.

        We eventually firewalled out all outgoing connections not originating from port 22/25/80/110 and blocked all incoming packets not destined for 22/25/80/110 after getting calls from some government sites about unauthorized scans.

        After a while, we decided to kill it. It was way more trouble than it was worth.
      • Hi Jared,

        I do remember phish.nether.net, and remember it going away rather abruptly. I imagine it probably had to do with a lot of people abusing the system.
    • I think you're referring to arbornet.org [arbornet.org]
      I used to have an account with them, but haven't check in a while to see if it's still active... It was free and ran BSD.
      From their site:

      "M-Net is a public-access UNIX system based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, owned by Arbornet, Inc. which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. M-Net is run entirely by volunteers and funded by various supporters.

      We offer over 125 different conference areas, real-time chat rooms, common UNIX utilities such as compilers, E-Mail, a ho

      • I remember I was looking for a free shell account, found M-Net, tried it, and it felt like I was connecting over a 28.8K line - when I was on a T1. SDF, OTOH, did more (after $1), and was MUCH faster.
  • Are there any services left providing dialup shell accounts? Preferably national ISP's, but a local one would suffice.
  • "Unix shell accounts used to be easy to find..."

    My guess as to why they're harder to find now- Lack of demand. Broadband is far more available (or available period) compared to 5 years ago.

    As of May of this year 48.61% [websiteoptimization.com] of U.S. homes who regularly use the Internet have broadband.

    Why pay another monthly fee when you can just throw up some hardware of your own on your home network that you can use without restriction. (Other than running say a web server on your cable modem, but if you want to SSH home and
  • ..can be had for $5 at reliable hosts. For that, you not only get shell, you also get root.
  • Speakeasy includes shell accounts on one of their machines as part of the package for a broadband account. Verio, AFAIK, does as well.

    Though as another poster mentioned, why not just set up a Linux box and get a shell account on your own workstation?

    • Last I checked, Speakeasy claims not to allow you to run any background services. I would assume most users would want such processes running to bounce their IRC traffic, rather than ssh'ing in run a text-based client.

      Aside from that, I honestly don't see a use for it -- maybe checking your mail from a public terminal? Then again, who doesn't have a Gmail account these days?

      I have to agree, though. Adding a (dedicated) SSH box onto your network is the way to go.
    • In fact the shell account is included as part of their "OSDN" package - and for the Sysadmin package. Haven't played with it too much. One nice thing about a shell account is being able to test ports on my own machine from the outside - especially nice in the days of dial-up (i.e. before home networking).

      Had a lot of experience with the shell account on CTSnet (now parting of Hosting.com - sigh) - allowed for very fast access to their newsserver, mail (my mail account was one the same host as the shell acc

  • by gtrubetskoy (734033) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @03:27PM (#9699863)
    Nowadays the only free ones left are either not accepting new accounts, have limited applications

    This is only because of spammers and phishers. They have absolutely no shame and will immediately abuse any open access shell acount, and even those that are not free are still not immune.

    We have had a hell of a time with people signing up for our service with stolen credit cards, and we ended up just blacklisting big parts of the world and subjecting every new order to a pretty meticulous investigative process prior to turn up.

  • by pilot1 (610480) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @03:44PM (#9700044)
    www.metawire.org
    Just saw them the other day, run on OpenBSD boxes.
  • Linode (Score:4, Insightful)

    by caseih (160668) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @03:48PM (#9700116)
    Go to www.linode.com and get yourself a linode machine. Full root access and everything. All for about $20 a month. Good for hosting, backup, and shell stuff.

  • I've got a whole lab full of Solaris workstations for X and shell access to students. General usage is low, but there is a core of people who use them every day.

    I've been thinking about opening up access beyond Case, but not too hard.
  • AceShells provides free shells with irc access (they're a commercial unix provider so, as always, there's a catch: free account activation is only activated during 3 - 4 PM EST) and passwords must be renewed every two months. cheap alternatives are QuadSpeedi (which i use) unixdemon and AcmeShells ( $1 per process)
  • No (Score:3, Funny)

    by 10101001 10101001 (732688) on Wednesday July 14, 2004 @04:14PM (#9700450) Journal
    No, but there are tons of free* Windows accounts for to use. I've heard the figure at millions.

    *Cost does not include any lawyer fees or jail time associated with the use of said Windows accounts.
  • I know the OP originally asked for a FREE shell account, but there are plenty of low-priced shell accounts out there in the $3+/month range, depending on how many background processes, bandwidth, etc, you need.

    A good place to start searching is ShellSearch.com [shellsearch.com]. IIRC, they also have ratings for each shell provider.
  • If you're a software developer, you can do a lot worse than sourceforge. The shell server doesn't seem to have a compiler, but you can opt-in for Compile Farm access, which should more than satisfy your compilation needs. Pine isn't there, but Mutt is, and i haven't checked IRC.
  • With dedicated servers starting at $49/mth US (I haven't seen any cheaper yet), considering the benefits they have over shell accounts, it's not surprising that unix shell accounts are losing popularity.

    Most dedicated servers these days have over 1TB of bandwidth to boot, even at the 49$ level.
    • Dedicated servers? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Nonesuch (90847)
      Not everybody wants to be a sysadmin, one major advantage of just buying shell access is that somebody else does the heavy lifting, the patching, the dealing with DoS and compromise, etc.

      With dedicated servers starting at $49/mth US (I haven't seen any cheaper yet), considering the benefits they have over shell accounts, it's not surprising that unix shell accounts are losing popularity.

      Most dedicated servers these days have over 1TB of bandwidth to boot, even at the 49$ level.

      One terabyte of "bandw

      • Yes, sorry, transfer.

        The provider I'm with, ServerMatrix, has Celeron 1.7s available for 49$/mth, with 1200GB/mth of transfer.

        They have, last I checked, 12 GigE connections, more than just a few DS3s. Those 12 GigE connections are only partially utilized to boot. And none of them are Cogent.

        Servers come with 10mbit connections (And there is no problem maxing out that 10mbit, trust me), but if you desperately need it you can get upgraded to a 100mbit card for 10$/mth.

        Several other providers also have sim
  • A AC posted more or less this, but my +2 bonus make this easier to find...

    Do you have any friends? A local linux (or BSD) computer club? Start asking the geeks you know. I personally would be happy to give friends a shell account on my personal machine. I don't have much disk space or CPU power, but it is always on, and I have a static IP.

    I'm not going to do this for someone who doesn't talk to me in person though. I want a personal promise that you won't abuse the account. That is you will keep

  • I Love Google (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    A quick search turned up something that might be of interest: free shell accounts [ductape.net]
  • I'm amazed that nobody's mentioned MetaWire [metawire.org] yet. They're an all-around great shell/web provider with good policies and nice systems.

    I found out about them from an older post on /. and signed up for an account. Sometimes its great to have a shell on a 3rd party system for those times that one of your boxes decides to stop working and you need to troubleshoot.
  • We've been doing a Virtual Machines based on User-Mode Linux since the end of 2002, so you get root access to a whole system. See this similar discussion [slashdot.org] from a few months back (where we get a good mention [slashdot.org] naturally :-) ). I'm not sure how anyone can offer a shell service that's both free and reliable in these days of spammers and IRC networks attracting 100Mb denial-of-service attacks. But we own and run our own network and were one of the first two or three UML providers, so do take a look!

    cheers,
  • You might want to have a look at UK Shells http://www.ukshells.co.uk/ [ukshells.co.uk] Obviously, they're based in the UK, so you Stateside people might have to contend with 10ms latency (shock, horror.) I've always found them to be efficient, helpful and exceedingly knowledgable.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner

Working...