10 Awesome SSH Hacks

Secure Shell (SSH) is widely used by network administrators to control Web and other kinds of servers remotely. The UNIX-based command interface and protocol can also be used to tunnel your traffic, transfer files, mount remote file systems, and much more. We have compiled here a list of 10 awesome SSH Hacks.

  1. Giving SSH keys unique names

    Particularly useful when you're administering a number of remote computers. You can name the SSH keys anything you want.

  2. Putting long commands in text files

    In this way you can use your long command to log in and run on a remote PC:

    xyz@local:~$ ssh user@remotehost "'cat filename.txt'"

    Do not use fancy quotations copied from some Web page. Use back-ticks instead of single apostrophes.

  3. Logging in and running a command in one step

    When powering off a remote computer for instance, you can log in and run the command in one step:

    xyz@local:~$ ssh user@remotehost sudo poweroff
  4. Launching a remote screen session

    This is how you do it:

    host1 ~ $ ssh -t user@host2 /usr/bin/screen -xRR
  5. Viewing all fingerprints and randomart images in known_hosts

    View them all in your ~/.ssh/known_hosts file:

    ssh-keygen -lvf ~/.ssh/known_hosts
  6. Retrieving the fingerprint and randomart image of an SSH key

    Here's how you do it:

    ssh-keygen -lvf keyname
  7. Logging in with server-specific keys

    Here's how you do it:

    ssh -i .ssh/web-admin.pub user@webserver
  8. Fast easy known_hosts key management

    Here's how you can do it:

    ssh-keygen -R remote-hostname
  9. Reading public key comments

    Here's how you can do it:

    less .ssh/web-admin.pub
    [snip] KCLAqwTv8rhp downtown lan webserver
  10. Giving SSH keys informative comments

    Here's how you can do it:

    ssh-keygen -t rsa -C "downtown lan webserver" -f .ssh/web-admin


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