How to Tell SSH Who You Are

Ssh has amazing capabilities that you probably aren't using on a daily basis.

The capability that you probably aren't using, and the easiest to use, is customizing your config file (in ~/.ssh/config) for the various servers you log into.

For example, I frequently log into about ten different servers using at least four different usernames. By default, if I type ssh server the client will use my login name on the client machine to try to log into the server -- which is usually wrong. Instead you can tell your ssh client which username to use on each server. (Thanks to Rich Adams for the tip.)

You can customize a variety of settings -- not just the username. For example, I specify a different identity file for a couple of servers.

This saves a bunch of typing and occasional confusion. (By avoiding login errrors as I try to log into a server using the wrong username and can't figure out why my password isn't working...)

(This is the first post in series of posts about how to get the most out of ssh. Make sure you don't miss the rest of the series: subscribe to my feed.)

Posted on 2009-11-30 by brian in ssh .
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