Free Shell Accounts
Free SSH shells for you!

PLEASE NOTE: Zoho Corporation is in the process of rolling out new account policies which will effectively lock out a portion of their users from their Zoho accounts. This means I will not be able to view submitted applications once the Zoho policy (mandatory SMS verification) takes full effect. I have written to Zoho asking to be exempt from the new policy, an they have refused.  Further, I can't get a date from them when this rollout will complete, so I won't even be able to put a notice here once that happens.  I regret that Zoho is making such a change to the detriment of their members, and I will look for a friendlier and more service-oriented web hosting provider.  Since this website is already registered with the free shell list pages, I will leave it in place to point people to a new site, once I establish it.

So, before proceeding, please confirm whether or not the Zoho account lockout has occurred.  Otherwise you will be wasting your time filling out the below form.

I am happy to create an account for you via chat without filling out any form.  Our official community chat is at, channel #yfs.  To join the chat room, you may use an IRC client on your computer, or visit to chat from your web browser.

The process for obtaining an account is simple. The biggest problem is finding a date/time to chat in IRC, especially for people in time zones which differ greatly from mine (EST).  After filling out the form, I will (hopefully) reply soon with an invitation to meet on IRC for a short interview (it should not be more than 3-5 minutes in duration).

In the interview, we will discuss your exact intentions for using the service (this is quick unless you want to do something unusual), and go over the terms of service in detail, to make sure you understand what you may or may not do with this service.  There are no mysterious criteria to meet, I am not trying to be exclusive or to only accept "cool" people, and I most certainly am not about sarcastically insulting somebody who sincerely inquires about a shell account but who lacks knowledge of Linux, the command line, or computer programming.  I have personally been subjected to such rude behaviour by server operators in chat when I was trying to apply for a shell account in my early days.  That kind of behaviour might be tolerated in private hacker cliques, but I feel that is never acceptable for an organization that claims to exist for the public benefit.

If you pass the interview, I will email you a password to the shell and we can discuss whether or not you need an open network port for your use.

At this time, the main reason for declining accounts has been because of language barriers.  I really need to know you understand the terms and I also need to be able to speak with you in case something strange happens with your account or running processes.  I have approved applicants with poor knowledge of English.  They used a web-based translator to communicate clearly enough that I was confident about their understanding of the rules.

The field for preferred OS was from before I launched my server.  Now it has been decided (by you, collectively).  You can still enter your preferred OS in case I decide to add another server in the future.  I might also be able to help with getting you a test VM to practice administrative work with a Linux distribution if you can't set one up on your computer at home.

By filling out this form, you are giving your consent for me (and any authorized administrator helping me) to store and use your personal information as needed, for the purpose of (a) running the service, and (b) reporting any unlawful activity.

NOTE: please bookmark as the contingency communication page in case of any problems with this site (such as the coming Zoho lockout).  That is where I will provide information in case of such a disruption.