Jack Wallen shows you how to merge all those SSH connections you use every day into a single, easy-to-use application.
I am regularly remote in different servers throughout the day. Sometimes I have to bounce from machine to machine so I can’t remember which IP address is associated with which machine. Anyone who has managed multiple services gets this.
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How do you make this process a little more efficient? Yes, you can always easily build your SSH configuration file so that you can send SSH to those machines with commands like:
ssh web1 ssh db1 ssh dev1
While that’s a simple solution if you prefer GUI tools, what should you use? For me, at least on Linux, one of the best options is called EasySSH. This tool can be found in the standard repositories and makes it very easy to manage multiple SSH connections. From this one GUI, you can configure multiple connections, organize them into groups, and make your connections work in tabs. EasySSH also provides user configuration and key authentication.
EasySSH was written by the team behind elementary OS, so you know it’s very user-friendly.
Let’s install this tool and see how easy it makes SSH management.
What you need to install and use EasySSH
All you need to install EasySSH is a Linux distribution and a user with sudo privileges. Unfortunately, the app isn’t available for macOS or Windows, but there are plenty of great SSH GUIs for those platforms, such as Server Cat for macOS, which happens to be one of my favorites.
How to install EasySSH
Let’s install EasySSH on Ubuntu based distributions. Here’s how:
sudo apt-get install easyssh -y
Since EasySSH is found in the default repositories, that’s all there is to install. Unfortunately, the app cannot be found in the Fedora repositories. However, EasySSH can be installed with Flatpak, which is supported by most Linux distributions. For Flatpack installation, the command is:
flatpak install easyssh
That’s all. You are ready to start using EasySSH.
How to use EasySSH
As with most GUI tools, using EasySSH is extremely easy. Open the app from your desktop menu and click the + button in the top left corner (Image A).
In the resulting window (Figure B), fill in the information for the remote machine.
Here are the details for each section:
- Name: A human-readable name for the remote connection.
- Group: You can create groups to organize your connections more easily.
- Host: The IP address or domain name for the remote machine.
- Port: The port used for SSH connections on the remote computer.
- User name: The external username you use to log in.
- Password: The password for the external user.
If you use SSH key authentication for your connections, make sure to check the box for Change password in identity file. That text field turns into a drop-down list. Click on the drop-down list and then navigate to your SSH key identity file. By default, that file is the ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub file. Of course, I highly recommend using SSH key authentication, which is: very easy to set up.
Once you have configured your connection, click Save. Once your connection is made, all you need to do is double click on the entry in the left pane to open the EasySSH terminal window. Once you have configured the username and password, the connection will be established automatically. If you configured it with an identity file, you will be prompted to enter the SSH key password.
You can configure as many connections/groups as you need in EasySSH, which makes it very easy to remotely connect to the Linux machines of an entire data center.
And that’s all to make managing multiple SSH connections significantly more efficient.
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