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How does SSH work?

How does SSH work

Secure Shell (SSH) is a widely used cryptographic network protocol for secure remote login from one computer to another. It is an essential tool for system administrators and developers who need to access remote servers or devices securely. In this article, we will explore how SSH works, its key components, and how to use it effectively.

Table of Contents

  1. SSH key components
  2. SSH commands and options
  3. SSH step-by-step instructions
  4. More examples of using SSH

SSH key components:

SSH consists of three key components:

  1. Transport Layer Protocol: This protocol manages the encryption, decryption, and authentication of data transmitted between the client and the server.

  2. User Authentication Protocol: This protocol authenticates the user's identity by verifying the username and password or using a public key.

  3. Connection Protocol: This protocol establishes and manages the secure connection between the client and the server.

SSH commands and options:

SSH provides a variety of commands and options that allow users to customize their sessions and securely connect to remote hosts. Here are some commonly used SSH commands and options:

  1. ssh: This command initiates a new SSH session with a remote host.
    Syntax: ssh username@hostname

  2. ssh-keygen: This command is used to generate SSH keys for user authentication.
    Syntax: ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096

  3. ssh-copy-id: This command is used to copy the public key to a remote host for user authentication.
    Syntax: ssh-copy-id username@hostname

  4. ssh-add: This command adds the user's private key to the authentication agent for the current session.
    Syntax: ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa

SSH step-by-step instructions:

Here are the step-by-step instructions to connect to a remote host using SSH:

  1. Open the terminal on your local machine.

  2. Type the following command to initiate an SSH session with the remote host:
    Syntax: ssh username@hostname

  3. Enter your password or passphrase when prompted.

  4. Once authenticated, you will be connected to the remote host.

More examples of using SSH:

Here are some additional examples of how to use SSH:

  1. Secure file transfer: Use the scp command to securely transfer files between two hosts.
    Syntax: scp filename username@hostname:/path/to/destination

  2. Remote port forwarding: Use the -R option to forward a port from the remote host to the local host.
    Syntax: ssh -R remote_port:local_address:local_port username@hostname

  3. Local port forwarding: Use the -L option to forward a port from the local host to the remote host.
    Syntax: ssh -L local_port:remote_address:remote_port username@hostname

SSH is a powerful and secure tool that allows users to remotely access and manage servers and devices. Understanding how SSH works and how to use its commands and options can help system administrators and developers to work more efficiently and securely.

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  • That's it for this post. Keep practicing and have fun. Leave your comments if any.

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