Remote Access to Lab Files

The CS labs in the Science Center and Clothier basement are the best place for you to work on lab assignments. That said, it can sometimes be convenient to work on your labs from your own computer. This page explains how you can remotely access your CS lab files through Atom if you want to work from home. If these instructions do not work as advertised, bring your laptop to lab or to a ninja sesison for help setting up remote access.

Here are the steps:

  1. Download Atom

  2. Open Atom.

  3. Open the Settings View.

  4. Select the Install tab.

  5. Search for remote-edit under the Install Packages heading.

  6. Click Install when remote-edit appears in the search results.

  7. When installation finishes, click on theSettings button.

  8. Check the following options:

    If you're using Windows, there's an additional step. Put the following text under the heading Default path to serialize remoteEdit data (and change [YOUR WINDOWS USERNAME] to your actual username):

    C:/Users/[YOUR WINDOWS USERNAME]/.atom/remoteEdit.json

    If you don't know your Windows username open the program called Command Prompt, then type the command echo %USERNAME%. When you press Enter your username will appear.

    At this point you can close the Settings pane.

  9. Press Command-Shift-P (or on Windows Control-Shift-P) to pull up Atom's Command Palette. From here you can search through all of the commands available to you from the Atom packages you have installed. Type remote edit into the search bar and you will see that installing remote-edit gave you access to four new commands. You should only ever use these two commands:

  10. Select Remote Edit: New Host Sftp either by clicking on it or by navigating to it with the down key and hitting Enter. This will open a form labeled Connection settings. You need to fill out this form with information about how to remotely connect to your account on the CS lab computers. Fill out this form as follows (again, change [YOUR CS USERNAME] to your actual CS username, like hpotter1):

    Then click on the Password tab and enter your password in the input bar that appears. Note that your password will temporarily be visible on the screen. Don't complete this step until you are sure no one is looking at your screen. After entering your password, click Save. Anyone using your computer can now access your CS account so be sure your computer is itself password protected and don't allow any unsavory characters to use your computer.

  11. If you filled out the form correctly, you should never need to run Remote Edit: New Host Sftp again. Henceforth, the only command you need is Remote Edit: Browse. You can access this command through the command palette, or by pressing Control-Command-b (on Windows press Control-Alt-b). Run it to access the files you have stored on the CS lab machines. When you do, you should see a button with information about the remote connection you configured in step 10. Hit Enter to connect. From here you can navigate through the file hierarchy you have stored on the CS lab computers. Select the file you want to edit, and a copy of it will be opened on your own computer. When you save changes to this file, it will be copied back to the CS lab computers.

    Note: if you added a few connections that don't work, you can delete them from the Remote Edit: Browse menu by highlighting the connection you want to delete and hitting Shift d

  12. To test your code on a CS lab computer from your laptop, follow the instructions here. This page explains how to remotely access the Terminal program that we use to run programs.

  13. After you are done working on your program you should quit Atom. The local copy of your file will disappear but it will still be stored on the CS lab computers. The next time you want to edit this file you will have to repeat the Remote Edit: Browse command, like you did in step 11.

  14. (Optional) By default, remote-edit pops up notifications every time you connect to the lab computers or save changes back to them. If this becomes annoying, you can turn off all such notifications as follows:

  15. (Optional) The Remote Edit: Show Open Files command is problematic because it might show you out-of-date versions of your files. If you never use it, you will be fine. If you want to make sure that you never use it, you can disable the command as follows: Go to the atom tab labeled Welcome Guide. Click Hack on the Init Script and then Open your Init Script. This will take you into a file called init.coffee. Copy and paste the following code into this file:

    coffeescript atom.commands.add 'atom-text-editor', 'remote-edit:show-open-files': (event) -> event.stopPropagation()

    Make sure the second line is indented once and the third line is indented twice. Save the file, quit Atom, and start Atom again.