Shell Server Turn Down

Dane Jasper here, to write a final “message of the day” (MOTD) to honor the retirement of our shell server platform which will be turned off on June 30th when it’s operating system goes end of life.

Since starting Sonic in 1994, the use of Linux has been a key part of our operation, and providing remote text-based shell access to a Linux host has been included in our offerings.  Shell access was a very useful capability in the early days of the internet, when home systems were connected at slow speeds, while a centrally hosted shell server would have very high speed access to the internet.  And shell access provided a centralized gateway to much of the early culture of the internet, via text-based access to the Usenet discussion forums and internet relay chat (IRC) channels, email and more.  Today the internet has largely moved beyond these text-only applications, and Sonic members have too.  Today just one hundred die-hard members continue to log in and access our shell service platform.  As a result of the evolution of the internet away from shell applications and services, plus the workload involved in keeping a secure shell platform online, we have made the decision to finally shut down our Linux shell platform.

As an alternative, we would suggest now that high speed access is widely available at home, consider installing Linux on a small computer in your home!  This was how Scott and I got started with Linux at Sonic, back in the early days of “Sonoma InterConnect” (SonIC, get it?).

There are also lots of remote cloud-based shell solutions available now too.  Here are some starting points if you’d like to establish a shell account or set up a Linux box yourself:

Please post questions or comments at

For those needing to continue to maintain procmail recipes you willl need to use

To our Linux shell server platform: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

-Dane, Scott, Kelsey and everyone at Sonic.