Shell Settings

Change Shell

A Unix shell is a command-line interpreter or shell that provides a command line user interface for Unix-like operating systems. The default shell used at UC Santa Cruz is bash (Bourne-Again shell).

Clients wishing to change their shell can do so through CruzID Manager’s Advanced menu. Alternate shell options include:

  • tcsh (TENEX C shell)

  • ksh (Korn shell)

  • zsh (Z shell)

  • csh (C shell)

  • sh (Bourne shell)

Shell changes may take up to an hour to affect the applicable downstream UNIX/Linux systems.


Secure Shell (SSH) is a cryptographic network protocol for operating network services securely over an unsecured network. SSH uses public-key cryptography to authenticate a remote computer and allow it to authenticate the user.

SSH Key management through CruzID Manager is most commonly used in the following scenarios:

  • Technical employees, including application developers and application and database administrators, set up SSH Keys to authenticate as administrators to some campus systems.

  • Sundry-functional accounts are set up with SSH Keys to support system-to-system authentication.

  • Students taking computing and engineering courses may set up SSH Keys to authenticate to systems being used for instructional purposes.

Users can manage up to 10 saved SSH public keys through CruzID Manager. This includes adding, editing and deleting keys. Each key has an alias and fingerprint associated with it.

Unfortunately, due to technical constraints, the Unix timeshare ( does not support public key authentication.