We have a some hardware we install at our customers' locations, that hardware connects to our ssh server and establishes a reverse ssh tunnel so we can gain access to several client systems for monitoring purposes.
Everything works fine until there is an unclean disconnect of the SSH session.
When that happens, on our SSH server the ports that were used by the reverse tunnel stay stuck in LISTENING mode and when our remote hardware eventually tries to auto reconnect and re-establish its tunnels it fails with the error
Warning: remote port forwarding failed for listen port XXXX
I tested if there was an issue with our SSH server or client by trying a clean disconnect and course that releases the ports just fine. When I simulate a connection failure (disconnect the Ethernet port of the client hardware for example) then we have the same issue I described above.
What is the proper way of handling this situation? Keep in mind these are reversed tunnels so whatever happens needs to be done on the SSH server. Ideally i need the ssh server to realize instantly that the SSH session hosting the tunnels is down and release the ports it was using. I guess the solution could involve killing the concerned SSH process but I need to be careful with that cause we have multiple clients connecting to the same ssh server and I wouldn't want to kick them offline.
Being so mature, I'm sure SSHD has some sort of built in feature to handle this but I just can't figure it out.
Please advise so I don't have to go back to administering Windows boxes …
FYI: I'm running this on a Debian based distro.