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February 5, 2010

SSH Multiplexing: a faster way to SSH

How it works:

By changing the way you ssh to a machine, you can reuse your initial ssh connection to save time when connecting.

Edit your ~/.ssh/config file to have this:

Host *
ControlMaster auto
ControlPath ~/.ssh/sockets/%[email protected]%h:%p

We avoid problems of reusing the default /tmp but storing our connections in their own directory.

Be sure to create the directory:

mkdir -m 700 -p ~/.ssh/sockets

When was it available:

The functionality has been available since OpenSSH 3.9.

Usefulness:

I has come in handy for those hard to type passwords. Once in, a repeat ssh on another (local) terminal to the same machine will take just a few miliseconds and you have a command prompt to work with.

Security:

One caveat is that this is on a per-user basis, so if you want to connect with a different username then you will have to initialize a new connection. This also means that anyone using your machine can then reuse your connection to log into the remote machine. This could be a security issue for you.

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