TRAMP is supposed to come installed with Emacs as default from version 21.4.x onwards – well, something like that. Having installed Emacs on Ubuntu using apt-get I couldn’t for the life of me figure why TRAMP wasn’t working! When I tried to open a remote file it kept trying to use FTP and always complained about something or other – I don’t remember exactly what it was complaining about.
Anyway, it turns out that TRAMP is not included with the version of Emacs that I had installed (sigh). To install it type “sudo apt-get install tramp” on the command line and restart Emacs. Viola!
To set the default connection mode to ssh, edit your .emacs file and add the following line:
(setq tramp-default-method “ssh”)