Linux – ssh multi-hop… adapting command to ssh config file


I am trying to put my multi-hop ssh command into the ssh .ssh/config file.

This is my connection graph: laptop (i am here) ——> userver ——-> workstation

I have put the ssh public rsa keys into 'userver' and 'workstation'. At this moment i can connect by typing this line:

ssh -A -t userserver@userver ssh -A userworkstation@workstation

I would like however, to be able to use the capabilities of the config file in ~/.ssh/config to reach the same effect but using one simple command, which would also allow me to do fast copy with 'scp'.
The only problem is that 'userver' does not have the "nc" command and i do not have superuser there, just control of my home folder. Nevertheless, i tried some things:

I've have this config file in my laptop (~/.ssh/config):

# laptop config file
Host userver
Hostname userver_hostname
port 22
User server_user

Also another config file in the userver (~/.ssh/config)

# userver config file
Host workstation
Hostname workstation_hostname
port 22
user workstation_username

With this config files i can connect as

ssh -A -t userver ssh -A workstation

which is an improvement, but not sufficient.
I tried adding another host in my laptops config, like this:

Host hop
ProxyCommand ssh -A -t userver ssh -A workstation

Then, when i do

ssh hop

i get the following output with errors and cannot connect:

Pseudo-terminal will not be allocated because stdin is not a terminal.
Pseudo-terminal will not be allocated because stdin is not a terminal.
-bash: line 1: $'SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_6.4\r': command not found

Any ideas?

Best Answer

The command you are in need of is ProxyCommand.

You should put into your .ssh/config file these lines:

  Host userver

  Host workstation 
  ProxyCommand ssh -q userver nc -q0 workstation 22

Now you can connect to the pc workstation by means of

  ssh worksation

If this is not clear, or you want more details, I suggest you read this excellent introduction to ssh multi-hopping.


you can always define an alias: in your /home/your_name/.bashrc file, add this line:

  alias ssh_workstation='ssh -A -t userver ssh -A -X workstation' 

(I have inserted the -X option so you can run graphical applications on the remote server, an see them locally; if you don't want this, just drop the -X).