Command Line Shortcut for Lengthy SSH Commands

May 31, 2007 - 4 Comments

Terminal in OS X

We love tips that make your computing life easier, and this command line tip from Cedrik Morgan falls into that category, making a lengthy ssh command quite a bit shorter by creation of an alias.

Here’s what Cedrik writes in:

“If you have a server that you commonly access a nice way to avoid typing a lengthy command like ‘ssh -l admin’ over and over again is to create an alias in your .profile, here’s how to set it up:

From the command line use a text editor, I’ll suggest nano because it’s easy to use, type:

nano .profile

and add the following line to your .profile:

alias servername="ssh -l username -p port"

nNow instead of typing out the ful ‘ssh serverIP blah blah’ command, you can just type servername, much easier! “

Thanks Cedrik! And yes, you can add a password to the ssh shortcut if desired, but that’s not recommended since it would be stored in plain text within the profile or .bash_profile document.

We’ve covered the alias command a bit in the past with the article titled Launching GUI Applications from the Terminal, check it out for more info and another example of using an alias for shorthanding a lengthy command line trick.

Got any other tips for ssh or shortcuts for remote logins? Let us know in the comments!


Related articles:

Posted by: Bill Ellis in Command Line, Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Alaina says:

    I love aliasing, but for this, ~/.ssh/config is an infinitely superior solution.

  2. lar3ry says:

    Here’s a way to do make an alias permanent without having to resort to a text editor in bash:

    add_alias ()
    local aname=$1;
    echo “alias $aname=\”$@\”” | tee >> “$HOME/.bashrc”;
    eval “alias $aname=\”$@\””

    Once this handy function is in your .bashrc, you can just type:

    $ add_alias servername ssh -p 800 username@servername

    That will create the alias “servername” and add it to the end of your .bashrc so the next time you start up a terminal session, the alias will be available again.

  3. Dave Smith says:

    Use ~/.ssh/config for this sort of thing. Look at

    man ssh_config

  4. Weaver says:

    not a bad tip, but I think Cedrik must have been living under a rock for 10 years because the alias command has been used in unix for eternity

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