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July 14, 2007

Opening up the Wallet for OpenSSH

by @ 4:06 am. Filed under General Linux, General SUSE, How-To, ssh tips, SUSE Tips & Tricks

One of the greatest tools that has ever been invented in the networking/connectivity/protocol/technician world is OpenSSH. Please, if you have found OpenSSH to be useful, or at least worth $25, go to the main OpenSSH page and buy a T-Shirt from them. Stop and think for a second whether your very job has been made easier kind of like breathing air makes things easier, just by having OpenSSH available. If so, I implore you to at least make a small donation of any kind to these great folks. They have made my life so much better just by that one program.

This is the T-Shirt that I just bought from them.

Let me tell you why.

Well, if the fact that it makes my very job possible weren’t enough, there is another small reason. Believe me, it is so insignificant, you’d be better off reading a blog post written by a doorknob to a dead snail than continuing to read this.

Oh, man, we just couldn’t drop it, could we… ? Since you are still reading, I can only assume that somehow you are interested in what made me just buy a $25 T-Shirt from the OpenSSH folks.

*rolls eyes and sighs irritatedly* (it is 4:00 am and you are keeping me up you know)

I have a firewall at my place of employment. This firewall terminates latent connections originating from within the company network to any outside machine. This means that if I leave my ssh connections open for more than 4 minutes without typing something, they all get reset. This thing I do not appreciate. In the words of one great Dr. Suess, “And we did not like it. Not one little bit.” I have hated this with some infinite amount of passion since the day I began work there, over a year ago, now.

Well tonight, I finally took 5.3 seconds and did a Google search on “ssh keepalive.” The very first page that came up suggested that I try something super easy. Create a file at $HOME/.ssh/config and put in it the line “ServerAliveInterval 60” and that this would keep my connection alive. Lo, and behold, I have had a connection open now for 8 hours without a single hiccup. That makes me so wonderfully excited that I could just give everyone on the entire planet $400.

Since obviously this is not possible, I decided that I would give the OpenSSH folks $25 because of my newfound happiness which they made possible by writing such a wonderfully cool application that makes my very livelihood possible.

2 Responses to “Opening up the Wallet for OpenSSH”

  1. Brad Says:

    I know, I know, I’m sure you don’t use Windows on your desktop. At work, I do, I know, but I can’t help it. So, I use PuTTY for my ssh client.
    PuTTY has a builtin option for a keepalive. Under the “Connection” tab, “Seconds between keepalives”. You can set that to what you want.

    Also, the SSH server has a couple of keep alive options, although they didn’t work for me, not sure why.
    ClientAliveInterval
    TCPKeepAlive

    Brad B.

  2. Scott Morris Says:

    Brad,
    Yes, PuTTY has been a favorite of mine for years. Isn’t that option great? I should have known and expected Linux’s ssh client to have the same, but I was sure pleasantly surprised when I found it. Thanks for the additional tips. I wasn’t aware of one of those, actually. Awesome. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great one.

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