How to Get Started with Tildes

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By: Anton McClure;
Tags: Technologies; Tildes; Open Computing;

Many public-access servers called "tildes", many of which are actively accepting new users. Here's how you can join and start making the most of your new tilde account.

Title card - Image features an SSH connection Lily Winter's
Title card - Image features an SSH connection Lily Winter's "" on the new Windows Terminal.

In the article What are Tildes and How You Can Use Tilde Computing, I was mainly focusing on one of the most prominent tilde communities: the tildeverse. However, there are more tildes than the one on the tildeverse member list.

Some of these tildes include:

If you hadn't signed up for a tilde yet, such as one of the above tildes, feel free to check them out and sign up for one, both, or any other tildes!

Logging In

Most functions and features on tildes get done over a Secure Shell (SSH) connection. Many tildes require SSH keys for logging on to their server(s). If you are unfamiliar with what these are, or don't know how to generate one, feel free to check out my guide on how to make an SSH key pair. You can connect from virtually any device running Windows 10, macOS, Linux, UNIX, and most UNIX-based/UNIX-like systems using a tool called OpenSSH, a free implementation of the SSH protocol.

The exact method you'll use to log in varies between operating systems. The standard methods for using SSH are as shown below:

Operating System Method for using SSH/OpenSSH
Microsoft Windows 10 1. Open PowerShell (Win+X and select "Windows PowerShell").
2. Type ssh [email protected] and then press the enter key.
3. Type your SSH password or key passphrase if you set one.
Microsoft Windows (Legacy) Requires third-party software, such as PuTTY.
Apple macOS (formerly Mac OS X & OS X) 1. Open Terminal (/Applications/Utilities/
2. Type ssh [email protected] and then press the enter key.
3. Type your SSH password or key passphrase if you set one.
Linux and other UNIX 1. Open your distro's terminal, or use TTY1-7.
2. Type ssh [email protected] and then press the enter key.
3. Type your SSH password or key passphrase if you set one.

Creating and Editing Files

Most tildes have multiple text editors and line editors installed. Some of the most popular choices include nano and vim, and you are free to choose whichever one you like. If you do not have experience with either, then I recommend using nano as it tends to be more beginner-friendly and more user-friendly. Nano, by default, lists various common. Key combinations beginning with ^ use your CTRL key, and combinations beginning with M use your ALT key.

For more help with the editors, you may view their manuals with man nano or man vim.


Tildes typically have multiple ways you can communicate such as

  • IRC
  • Email
  • talk

There are more options, but these tend to be the most popular options.

Most tildes come with popular IRC clients such as weechat and irssi. If you want to be active or participate in other parts of the Tildeverse, feel free to connect to the Tildeverse's IRC network: The commands you'll use are as follows:


/server add tilde -ssl -autoconnect


/network add tilde
/server add -auto -net tilde -ssl -ssl_verify 6697


While some tildes are member-only, many tildes, especially the newer tildes, allow external emailing. I use alpine for emailing on both my VPS and It's a very user-friendly client, provides helpful information about commands and features for if the user needs it, and is easy to set up and customize if the user wishes to do so.


All tildes have their own set of software and use cases. I run Summit Pubnix, and co-admin with neko. If either are interesting to you, feel free to sign up, and start making the most out of your new tilde account!

If you have any questions, or want to see more articles and possibly guides on different tilde things, comment below or email me!

I'm also planning on adding a section to my site that is dedicated to the tildeverse and other tildes, including a list of different tilde servers. If you want your tilde in the list, feel free to contact me with the above information.

Have fun tildeing!

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