SSH is a great tool not only to connect and interact with remote servers, in this article we will explore SSH Remote port forward and what it means, we also will explore SSH Local Port Forward and SSH Socks Proxy and how to use that functionality.
Remote port forward basically let’s you forward one port from your machine to a remote machine, for example you want to connect to a local service from a remote server but just temporarily, let’s say you want to connect to a mysql instance on the default port (3306).
ssh -Nn -R 3306:localhost:3306 firstname.lastname@example.org
The parameters and their meaning I extracted a portion of the meaning of parameter from the man page, but in a nutshell it means remote port forward without a shell.
-N Do not execute a remote command. This is useful for just forwarding ports. -n Redirects stdin from /dev/null (actually, prevents reading from stdin). This must be used when ssh is run in the background. -R Specifies that connections to the given TCP port or Unix socket on the remote (server) host are to be forwarded to the local side.
There are two configuration parameters that can change the behaviour of remote and local forwarded ports, those parameters are
By default this option is
no which means that only the remote computer will be able to connect to the forwarded port, you can set it to
clientspecified to allow other machines use that remote port-forward (handy and dangerous).
By default this option is set to
yes, you can restrict remote and local port forwarding by setting it to
no or allow only local by setting it to
As you can see this option can be really handy to bypass firewalls for example or have a temporary port forward, also if you want to make this automatic and not so temporary you can check autossh. You can use nc (netcat) if you don’t want to install anything to test the connections and the tunnels (nc -l -p PORT) in the server side and (nc HOST PORT) in the client.
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