ssh

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Keeping SSH Sessions Alive NATs & Firewalls

Working often requires opening terminal sessions or VPN connections. It can be very annoying when these connections fail after being left idle for a few minutes, or with VPNs in the middle of a work day in spite of traffic. In regard to SSH connections many people (even many experts) incorrectly assume that the SSH server (sshd) has some restrictive session auto-timeout setting. If you look carefully at the manual for sshd configuration (man sshd_config) you will see that there is not even a setting to enable a session timeout behavior.

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SSH vs. nohup and hung jobs

Every 6 months or so I have some little loop I wrote to run a process on a long list of servers sit and hang forever by waiting for the nohup background process to end before moving on to the next host. Naturally I come back after getting lunch expecting all the boxes to be busily humming away to find 3 have finished and the 4th is still running. This of course causes me to remember that ssh hangs on processes even if they are pushed off to the background with a nohup.

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SSH Key Authentication

These instructions attempt to explain the basic concepts of SSH Public Key Authentication, what it is, and the steps required to use it.

Logging in with SSH key authentication means that you do not have to use your account password. Instead, you generate a unique 'key' which is just a string of characters. Then you authorize the user of this key (you, hopefully) to log in to your account. You can authorize any key you wish, and adding someone's key would allow them to log in to your account, without even using or knowing your password.

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