SSH_CONFIG(5) BSD File Formats Manual SSH_CONFIG(5)
ssh_config -- OpenSSH SSH client configuration files
ssh(1) obtains configuration data from the following sources in the following order:
1. command-line options
2. user's configuration file (~/.ssh/config)
3. system-wide configuration file (/etc/ssh/ssh_config)
For each parameter, the first obtained value will be used. The configuration files contain sections separated by Host specifications, and
that section is only applied for hosts that match one of the patterns given in the specification. The matched host name is usually the one
given on the command line (see the CanonicalizeHostname option for exceptions).
Since the first obtained value for each parameter is used, more host-specific declarations should be given near the beginning of the file,
and general defaults at the end.
Note that the Debian openssh-client package sets several options as standard in /etc/ssh/ssh_config which are not the default in ssh(1):
o SendEnv LANG LC_*
o HashKnownHosts yes
o GSSAPIAuthentication yes
The file contains keyword-argument pairs, one per line. Lines starting with '#' and empty lines are interpreted as comments. Arguments may
optionally be enclosed in double quotes (") in order to represent arguments containing spaces. Configuration options may be separated by
whitespace or optional whitespace and exactly one '='; the latter format is useful to avoid the need to quote whitespace when specifying con-
figuration options using the ssh, scp, and sftp -o option.
The possible keywords and their meanings are as follows (note that keywords are case-insensitive and arguments are case-sensitive):
Host Restricts the following declarations (up to the next Host or Match keyword) to be only for those hosts that match one of the patterns
given after the keyword. If more than one pattern is provided, they should be separated by whitespace. A single '*' as a pattern
can be used to provide global defaults for all hosts. The host is usually the hostname argument given on the command line (see the
CanonicalizeHostname keyword for exceptions).
A pattern entry may be negated by prefixing it with an exclamation mark ('!'). If a negated entry is matched, then the Host entry is
ignored, regardless of whether any other patterns on the line match. Negated matches are therefore useful to provide exceptions for
See PATTERNS for more information on patterns.
Match Restricts the following declarations (up to the next Host or Match keyword) to be used only when the conditions following the Match
keyword are satisfied. Match conditions are specified using one or more criteria or the single token all which always matches. The
available criteria keywords are: canonical, exec, host, originalhost, user, and localuser. The all criteria must appear alone or
immediately after canonical. Other criteria may be combined arbitrarily. All criteria but all and canonical require an argument.
Criteria may be negated by prepending an exclamation mark ('!').
The canonical keyword matches only when the configuration file is being re-parsed after hostname canonicalization (see the
CanonicalizeHostname option.) This may be useful to specify conditions that work with canonical host names only. The exec keyword
executes the specified command under the user's shell. If the command returns a zero exit status then the condition is considered
true. Commands containing whitespace characters must be quoted. Arguments to exec accept the tokens described in the TOKENS sec-
The other keywords' criteria must be single entries or comma-separated lists and may use the wildcard and negation operators
described in the PATTERNS section. The criteria for the host keyword are matched against the target hostname, after any substitution
by the Hostname or CanonicalizeHostname options. The originalhost keyword matches against the hostname as it was specified on the
command-line. The user keyword matches against the target username on the remote host. The localuser keyword matches against the
name of the local user running ssh(1) (this keyword may be useful in system-wide ssh_config files).
Specifies whether keys should be automatically added to a running ssh-agent(1). If this option is set to yes and a key is loaded
from a file, the key and its passphrase are added to the agent with the default lifetime, as if by ssh-add(1). If this option is set
to ask, ssh(1) will require confirmation using the SSH_ASKPASS program before adding a key (see ssh-add(1) for details). If this
option is set to confirm, each use of the key must be confirmed, as if the -c option was specified to ssh-add(1). If this option is
set to no, no keys are added to the agent. The argument must be yes, confirm, ask, or no (the default).
Specifies which address family to use when connecting. Valid arguments are any (the default), inet (use IPv4 only), or inet6 (use
If set to yes, passphrase/password querying will be disabled. In addition, the ServerAliveInterval option will be set to 300 seconds
by default (Debian-specific). This option is useful in scripts and other batch jobs where no user is present to supply the password,
and where it is desirable to detect a broken network swiftly. The argument must be yes or no (the default).
Use the specified address on the local machine as the source address of the connection. Only useful on systems with more than one
address. Note that this option does not work if UsePrivilegedPort is set to yes.
When CanonicalizeHostname is enabled, this option specifies the list of domain suffixes in which to search for the specified destina-
Specifies whether to fail with an error when hostname canonicalization fails. The default, yes, will attempt to look up the unquali-
fied hostname using the system resolver's search rules. A value of no will cause ssh(1) to fail instantly if CanonicalizeHostname is
enabled and the target hostname cannot be found in any of the domains specified by CanonicalDomains.
Controls whether explicit hostname canonicalization is performed. The default, no, is not to perform any name rewriting and let the
system resolver handle all hostname lookups. If set to yes then, for connections that do not use a ProxyCommand, ssh(1) will attempt
to canonicalize the hostname specified on the command line using the CanonicalDomains suffixes and CanonicalizePermittedCNAMEs rules.
If CanonicalizeHostname is set to always, then canonicalization is applied to proxied connections too.
If this option is enabled, then the configuration files are processed again using the new target name to pick up any new configura-
tion in matching Host and Match stanzas.
Specifies the maximum number of dot characters in a hostname before canonicalization is disabled. The default, 1, allows a single
dot (i.e. hostname.subdomain).
Specifies rules to determine whether CNAMEs should be followed when canonicalizing hostnames. The rules consist of one or more argu-
ments of source_domain_list:target_domain_list, where source_domain_list is a pattern-list of domains that may follow CNAMEs in
canonicalization, and target_domain_list is a pattern-list of domains that they may resolve to.
For example, "*.a.example.com:*.b.example.com,*.c.example.com" will allow hostnames matching "*.a.example.com" to be canonicalized to
names in the "*.b.example.com" or "*.c.example.com" domains.
Specifies a file from which the user's certificate is read. A corresponding private key must be provided separately in order to use
this certificate either from an IdentityFile directive or -i flag to ssh(1), via ssh-agent(1), or via a PKCS11Provider.
Arguments to CertificateFile may use the tilde syntax to refer to a user's home directory or the tokens described in the TOKENS sec-
It is possible to have multiple certificate files specified in configuration files; these certificates will be tried in sequence.
Multiple CertificateFile directives will add to the list of certificates used for authentication.
Specifies whether to use challenge-response authentication. The argument to this keyword must be yes (the default) or no.
If set to yes (the default), ssh(1) will additionally check the host IP address in the known_hosts file. This allows it to detect if
a host key changed due to DNS spoofing and will add addresses of destination hosts to ~/.ssh/known_hosts in the process, regardless
of the setting of StrictHostKeyChecking. If the option is set to no, the check will not be executed.
Specifies the ciphers allowed and their order of preference. Multiple ciphers must be comma-separated. If the specified value
begins with a '+' character, then the specified ciphers will be appended to the default set instead of replacing them. If the speci-
fied value begins with a '-' character, then the specified ciphers (including wildcards) will be removed from the default set instead
of replacing them.
The supported ciphers are:
The default is:
The list of available ciphers may also be obtained using "ssh -Q cipher".
Specifies that all local, remote, and dynamic port forwardings specified in the configuration files or on the command line be
cleared. This option is primarily useful when used from the ssh(1) command line to clear port forwardings set in configuration
files, and is automatically set by scp(1) and sftp(1). The argument must be yes or no (the default).
Specifies whether to use compression. The argument must be yes or no (the default).
Specifies the number of tries (one per second) to make before exiting. The argument must be an integer. This may be useful in
scripts if the connection sometimes fails. The default is 1.
Specifies the timeout (in seconds) used when connecting to the SSH server, instead of using the default system TCP timeout. This
value is used only when the target is down or really unreachable, not when it refuses the connection.
Enables the sharing of multiple sessions over a single network connection. When set to yes, ssh(1) will listen for connections on a
control socket specified using the ControlPath argument. Additional sessions can connect to this socket using the same ControlPath
with ControlMaster set to no (the default). These sessions will try to reuse the master instance's network connection rather than
initiating new ones, but will fall back to connecting normally if the control socket does not exist, or is not listening.
Setting this to ask will cause ssh(1) to listen for control connections, but require confirmation using ssh-askpass(1). If the
ControlPath cannot be opened, ssh(1) will continue without connecting to a master instance.
X11 and ssh-agent(1) forwarding is supported over these multiplexed connections, however the display and agent forwarded will be the
one belonging to the master connection i.e. it is not possible to forward multiple displays or agents.
Two additional options allow for opportunistic multiplexing: try to use a master connection but fall back to creating a new one if
one does not already exist. These options are: auto and autoask. The latter requires confirmation like the ask option.
Specify the path to the control socket used for connection sharing as described in the ControlMaster section above or the string none
to disable connection sharing. Arguments to ControlPath may use the tilde syntax to refer to a user's home directory or the tokens
described in the TOKENS section. It is recommended that any ControlPath used for opportunistic connection sharing include at least
%h, %p, and %r (or alternatively %C) and be placed in a directory that is not writable by other users. This ensures that shared con-
nections are uniquely identified.
When used in conjunction with ControlMaster, specifies that the master connection should remain open in the background (waiting for
future client connections) after the initial client connection has been closed. If set to no, then the master connection will not be
placed into the background, and will close as soon as the initial client connection is closed. If set to yes or 0, then the master
connection will remain in the background indefinitely (until killed or closed via a mechanism such as the "ssh -O exit"). If set to
a time in seconds, or a time in any of the formats documented in sshd_config(5), then the backgrounded master connection will auto-
matically terminate after it has remained idle (with no client connections) for the specified time.
Specifies that a TCP port on the local machine be forwarded over the secure channel, and the application protocol is then used to
determine where to connect to from the remote machine.
The argument must be [bind_address:]port. IPv6 addresses can be specified by enclosing addresses in square brackets. By default,
the local port is bound in accordance with the GatewayPorts setting. However, an explicit bind_address may be used to bind the con-
nection to a specific address. The bind_address of localhost indicates that the listening port be bound for local use only, while an
empty address or '*' indicates that the port should be available from all interfaces.
Currently the SOCKS4 and SOCKS5 protocols are supported, and ssh(1) will act as a SOCKS server. Multiple forwardings may be speci-
fied, and additional forwardings can be given on the command line. Only the superuser can forward privileged ports.
Setting this option to yes in the global client configuration file /etc/ssh/ssh_config enables the use of the helper program
ssh-keysign(8) during HostbasedAuthentication. The argument must be yes or no (the default). This option should be placed in the
non-hostspecific section. See ssh-keysign(8) for more information.
Sets the escape character (default: '~'). The escape character can also be set on the command line. The argument should be a single
character, '^' followed by a letter, or none to disable the escape character entirely (making the connection transparent for binary
Specifies whether ssh(1) should terminate the connection if it cannot set up all requested dynamic, tunnel, local, and remote port
forwardings, (e.g. if either end is unable to bind and listen on a specified port). Note that ExitOnForwardFailure does not apply to
connections made over port forwardings and will not, for example, cause ssh(1) to exit if TCP connections to the ultimate forwarding
destination fail. The argument must be yes or no (the default).
Specifies the hash algorithm used when displaying key fingerprints. Valid options are: md5 and sha256 (the default).
Specifies whether the connection to the authentication agent (if any) will be forwarded to the remote machine. The argument must be
yes or no (the default).
Agent forwarding should be enabled with caution. Users with the ability to bypass file permissions on the remote host (for the
agent's Unix-domain socket) can access the local agent through the forwarded connection. An attacker cannot obtain key material from
the agent, however they can perform operations on the keys that enable them to authenticate using the identities loaded into the
Specifies whether X11 connections will be automatically redirected over the secure channel and DISPLAY set. The argument must be yes
or no (the default).
X11 forwarding should be enabled with caution. Users with the ability to bypass file permissions on the remote host (for the user's
X11 authorization database) can access the local X11 display through the forwarded connection. An attacker may then be able to per-
form activities such as keystroke monitoring if the ForwardX11Trusted option is also enabled.
Specify a timeout for untrusted X11 forwarding using the format described in the TIME FORMATS section of sshd_config(5). X11 connec-
tions received by ssh(1) after this time will be refused. The default is to disable untrusted X11 forwarding after twenty minutes
If this option is set to yes, (the Debian-specific default), remote X11 clients will have full access to the original X11 display.
If this option is set to no (the upstream default), remote X11 clients will be considered untrusted and prevented from stealing or
tampering with data belonging to trusted X11 clients. Furthermore, the xauth(1) token used for the session will be set to expire
after 20 minutes. Remote clients will be refused access after this time.
See the X11 SECURITY extension specification for full details on the restrictions imposed on untrusted clients.
Specifies whether remote hosts are allowed to connect to local forwarded ports. By default, ssh(1) binds local port forwardings to
the loopback address. This prevents other remote hosts from connecting to forwarded ports. GatewayPorts can be used to specify that
ssh should bind local port forwardings to the wildcard address, thus allowing remote hosts to connect to forwarded ports. The argu-
ment must be yes or no (the default).
Specifies one or more files to use for the global host key database, separated by whitespace. The default is
Specifies whether user authentication based on GSSAPI is allowed. The default is no.
Specifies whether key exchange based on GSSAPI may be used. When using GSSAPI key exchange the server need not have a host key. The
default is no.
If set, specifies the GSSAPI client identity that ssh should use when connecting to the server. The default is unset, which means
that the default identity will be used.
If set, specifies the GSSAPI server identity that ssh should expect when connecting to the server. The default is unset, which means
that the expected GSSAPI server identity will be determined from the target hostname.
Forward (delegate) credentials to the server. The default is no.
If set to yes then renewal of the client's GSSAPI credentials will force the rekeying of the ssh connection. With a compatible
server, this can delegate the renewed credentials to a session on the server. The default is no.
Set to yes to indicate that the DNS is trusted to securely canonicalize the name of the host being connected to. If no, the hostname
entered on the command line will be passed untouched to the GSSAPI library. The default is no.
Indicates that ssh(1) should hash host names and addresses when they are added to ~/.ssh/known_hosts. These hashed names may be used
normally by ssh(1) and sshd(8), but they do not reveal identifying information should the file's contents be disclosed. The default
is no. Note that existing names and addresses in known hosts files will not be converted automatically, but may be manually hashed
using ssh-keygen(1). Use of this option may break facilities such as tab-completion that rely on being able to read unhashed host
names from ~/.ssh/known_hosts.
Specifies whether to try rhosts based authentication with public key authentication. The argument must be yes or no (the default).
Specifies the key types that will be used for hostbased authentication as a comma-separated pattern list. Alternately if the speci-
fied value begins with a '+' character, then the specified key types will be appended to the default set instead of replacing them.
If the specified value begins with a '-' character, then the specified key types (including wildcards) will be removed from the
default set instead of replacing them. The default for this option is:
The -Q option of ssh(1) may be used to list supported key types.
Specifies the host key algorithms that the client wants to use in order of preference. Alternately if the specified value begins
with a '+' character, then the specified key types will be appended to the default set instead of replacing them. If the specified
value begins with a '-' character, then the specified key types (including wildcards) will be removed from the default set instead of
replacing them. The default for this option is:
If hostkeys are known for the destination host then this default is modified to prefer their algorithms.
The list of available key types may also be obtained using "ssh -Q key".
Specifies an alias that should be used instead of the real host name when looking up or saving the host key in the host key database
files and when validating host certificates. This option is useful for tunneling SSH connections or for multiple servers running on
a single host.
Specifies the real host name to log into. This can be used to specify nicknames or abbreviations for hosts. Arguments to HostName
accept the tokens described in the TOKENS section. Numeric IP addresses are also permitted (both on the command line and in HostName
specifications). The default is the name given on the command line.
Specifies that ssh(1) should only use the authentication identity and certificate files explicitly configured in the ssh_config files
or passed on the ssh(1) command-line, even if ssh-agent(1) or a PKCS11Provider offers more identities. The argument to this keyword
must be yes or no (the default). This option is intended for situations where ssh-agent offers many different identities.
Specifies the UNIX-domain socket used to communicate with the authentication agent.
This option overrides the SSH_AUTH_SOCK environment variable and can be used to select a specific agent. Setting the socket name to
none disables the use of an authentication agent. If the string "SSH_AUTH_SOCK" is specified, the location of the socket will be
read from the SSH_AUTH_SOCK environment variable.
Arguments to IdentityAgent may use the tilde syntax to refer to a user's home directory or the tokens described in the TOKENS sec-
Specifies a file from which the user's DSA, ECDSA, Ed25519 or RSA authentication identity is read. The default is ~/.ssh/id_dsa,
~/.ssh/id_ecdsa, ~/.ssh/id_ed25519 and ~/.ssh/id_rsa. Additionally, any identities represented by the authentication agent will be
used for authentication unless IdentitiesOnly is set. If no certificates have been explicitly specified by CertificateFile, ssh(1)
will try to load certificate information from the filename obtained by appending -cert.pub to the path of a specified IdentityFile.
Arguments to IdentityFile may use the tilde syntax to refer to a user's home directory or the tokens described in the TOKENS section.
It is possible to have multiple identity files specified in configuration files; all these identities will be tried in sequence.
Multiple IdentityFile directives will add to the list of identities tried (this behaviour differs from that of other configuration
IdentityFile may be used in conjunction with IdentitiesOnly to select which identities in an agent are offered during authentication.
IdentityFile may also be used in conjunction with CertificateFile in order to provide any certificate also needed for authentication
with the identity.
Specifies a pattern-list of unknown options to be ignored if they are encountered in configuration parsing. This may be used to sup-
press errors if ssh_config contains options that are unrecognised by ssh(1). It is recommended that IgnoreUnknown be listed early in
the configuration file as it will not be applied to unknown options that appear before it.
Include the specified configuration file(s). Multiple pathnames may be specified and each pathname may contain glob(3) wildcards
and, for user configurations, shell-like '~' references to user home directories. Files without absolute paths are assumed to be in
~/.ssh if included in a user configuration file or /etc/ssh if included from the system configuration file. Include directive may
appear inside a Match or Host block to perform conditional inclusion.
IPQoS Specifies the IPv4 type-of-service or DSCP class for connections. Accepted values are af11, af12, af13, af21, af22, af23, af31,
af32, af33, af41, af42, af43, cs0, cs1, cs2, cs3, cs4, cs5, cs6, cs7, ef, lowdelay, throughput, reliability, a numeric value, or none
to use the operating system default. This option may take one or two arguments, separated by whitespace. If one argument is speci-
fied, it is used as the packet class unconditionally. If two values are specified, the first is automatically selected for interac-
tive sessions and the second for non-interactive sessions. The default is lowdelay for interactive sessions and throughput for non-
Specifies whether to use keyboard-interactive authentication. The argument to this keyword must be yes (the default) or no.
Specifies the list of methods to use in keyboard-interactive authentication. Multiple method names must be comma-separated. The
default is to use the server specified list. The methods available vary depending on what the server supports. For an OpenSSH
server, it may be zero or more of: bsdauth, pam, and skey.
Specifies the available KEX (Key Exchange) algorithms. Multiple algorithms must be comma-separated. Alternately if the specified
value begins with a '+' character, then the specified methods will be appended to the default set instead of replacing them. If the
specified value begins with a '-' character, then the specified methods (including wildcards) will be removed from the default set
instead of replacing them. The default is:
The list of available key exchange algorithms may also be obtained using "ssh -Q kex".
Specifies a command to execute on the local machine after successfully connecting to the server. The command string extends to the
end of the line, and is executed with the user's shell. Arguments to LocalCommand accept the tokens described in the TOKENS section.
The command is run synchronously and does not have access to the session of the ssh(1) that spawned it. It should not be used for
This directive is ignored unless PermitLocalCommand has been enabled.
Specifies that a TCP port on the local machine be forwarded over the secure channel to the specified host and port from the remote
machine. The first argument must be [bind_address:]port and the second argument must be host:hostport. IPv6 addresses can be speci-
fied by enclosing addresses in square brackets. Multiple forwardings may be specified, and additional forwardings can be given on
the command line. Only the superuser can forward privileged ports. By default, the local port is bound in accordance with the
GatewayPorts setting. However, an explicit bind_address may be used to bind the connection to a specific address. The bind_address
of localhost indicates that the listening port be bound for local use only, while an empty address or '*' indicates that the port
should be available from all interfaces.
Gives the verbosity level that is used when logging messages from ssh(1). The possible values are: QUIET, FATAL, ERROR, INFO, VER-
BOSE, DEBUG, DEBUG1, DEBUG2, and DEBUG3. The default is INFO. DEBUG and DEBUG1 are equivalent. DEBUG2 and DEBUG3 each specify
higher levels of verbose output.
MACs Specifies the MAC (message authentication code) algorithms in order of preference. The MAC algorithm is used for data integrity pro-
tection. Multiple algorithms must be comma-separated. If the specified value begins with a '+' character, then the specified algo-
rithms will be appended to the default set instead of replacing them. If the specified value begins with a '-' character, then the
specified algorithms (including wildcards) will be removed from the default set instead of replacing them.
The algorithms that contain "-etm" calculate the MAC after encryption (encrypt-then-mac). These are considered safer and their use
The default is:
The list of available MAC algorithms may also be obtained using "ssh -Q mac".
This option can be used if the home directory is shared across machines. In this case localhost will refer to a different machine on
each of the machines and the user will get many warnings about changed host keys. However, this option disables host authentication
for localhost. The argument to this keyword must be yes or no (the default).
Specifies the number of password prompts before giving up. The argument to this keyword must be an integer. The default is 3.
Specifies whether to use password authentication. The argument to this keyword must be yes (the default) or no.
Allow local command execution via the LocalCommand option or using the !command escape sequence in ssh(1). The argument must be yes
or no (the default).
Specifies which PKCS#11 provider to use. The argument to this keyword is the PKCS#11 shared library ssh(1) should use to communicate
with a PKCS#11 token providing the user's private RSA key.
Port Specifies the port number to connect on the remote host. The default is 22.
Specifies the order in which the client should try authentication methods. This allows a client to prefer one method (e.g.
keyboard-interactive) over another method (e.g. password). The default is:
Specifies the command to use to connect to the server. The command string extends to the end of the line, and is executed using the
user's shell 'exec' directive to avoid a lingering shell process.
Arguments to ProxyCommand accept the tokens described in the TOKENS section. The command can be basically anything, and should read
from its standard input and write to its standard output. It should eventually connect an sshd(8) server running on some machine, or
execute sshd -i somewhere. Host key management will be done using the HostName of the host being connected (defaulting to the name
typed by the user). Setting the command to none disables this option entirely. Note that CheckHostIP is not available for connects
with a proxy command.
This directive is useful in conjunction with nc(1) and its proxy support. For example, the following directive would connect via an
HTTP proxy at 192.0.2.0:
ProxyCommand /usr/bin/nc -X connect -x 192.0.2.0:8080 %h %p
Specifies one or more jump proxies as [user@]host[:port]. Multiple proxies may be separated by comma characters and will be visited
sequentially. Setting this option will cause ssh(1) to connect to the target host by first making a ssh(1) connection to the speci-
fied ProxyJump host and then establishing a TCP forwarding to the ultimate target from there.
Note that this option will compete with the ProxyCommand option - whichever is specified first will prevent later instances of the
other from taking effect.
Specifies that ProxyCommand will pass a connected file descriptor back to ssh(1) instead of continuing to execute and pass data. The
default is no.
Specifies the key types that will be used for public key authentication as a comma-separated pattern list. Alternately if the speci-
fied value begins with a '+' character, then the key types after it will be appended to the default instead of replacing it. If the
specified value begins with a '-' character, then the specified key types (including wildcards) will be removed from the default set
instead of replacing them. The default for this option is:
The list of available key types may also be obtained using "ssh -Q key".
Specifies whether to try public key authentication. The argument to this keyword must be yes (the default) or no.
Specifies the maximum amount of data that may be transmitted before the session key is renegotiated, optionally followed a maximum
amount of time that may pass before the session key is renegotiated. The first argument is specified in bytes and may have a suffix
of 'K', 'M', or 'G' to indicate Kilobytes, Megabytes, or Gigabytes, respectively. The default is between '1G' and '4G', depending on
the cipher. The optional second value is specified in seconds and may use any of the units documented in the TIME FORMATS section of
sshd_config(5). The default value for RekeyLimit is default none, which means that rekeying is performed after the cipher's default
amount of data has been sent or received and no time based rekeying is done.
Specifies a command to execute on the remote machine after successfully connecting to the server. The command string extends to the
end of the line, and is executed with the user's shell. Arguments to RemoteCommand accept the tokens described in the TOKENS sec-
Specifies that a TCP port on the remote machine be forwarded over the secure channel. The remote port may either be fowarded to a
specified host and port from the local machine, or may act as a SOCKS 4/5 proxy that allows a remote client to connect to arbitrary
destinations from the local machine. The first argument must be [bind_address:]port If forwarding to a specific destination then the
second argument must be host:hostport, otherwise if no destination argument is specified then the remote forwarding will be estab-
lished as a SOCKS proxy.
IPv6 addresses can be specified by enclosing addresses in square brackets. Multiple forwardings may be specified, and additional
forwardings can be given on the command line. Privileged ports can be forwarded only when logging in as root on the remote machine.
If the port argument is 0, the listen port will be dynamically allocated on the server and reported to the client at run time.
If the bind_address is not specified, the default is to only bind to loopback addresses. If the bind_address is '*' or an empty
string, then the forwarding is requested to listen on all interfaces. Specifying a remote bind_address will only succeed if the
server's GatewayPorts option is enabled (see sshd_config(5)).
Specifies whether to request a pseudo-tty for the session. The argument may be one of: no (never request a TTY), yes (always request
a TTY when standard input is a TTY), force (always request a TTY) or auto (request a TTY when opening a login session). This option
mirrors the -t and -T flags for ssh(1).
Specifies revoked host public keys. Keys listed in this file will be refused for host authentication. Note that if this file does
not exist or is not readable, then host authentication will be refused for all hosts. Keys may be specified as a text file, listing
one public key per line, or as an OpenSSH Key Revocation List (KRL) as generated by ssh-keygen(1). For more information on KRLs, see
the KEY REVOCATION LISTS section in ssh-keygen(1).
Specifies what variables from the local environ(7) should be sent to the server. The server must also support it, and the server
must be configured to accept these environment variables. Note that the TERM environment variable is always sent whenever a pseudo-
terminal is requested as it is required by the protocol. Refer to AcceptEnv in sshd_config(5) for how to configure the server.
Variables are specified by name, which may contain wildcard characters. Multiple environment variables may be separated by white-
space or spread across multiple SendEnv directives. The default is not to send any environment variables.
See PATTERNS for more information on patterns.
Sets the number of server alive messages (see below) which may be sent without ssh(1) receiving any messages back from the server.
If this threshold is reached while server alive messages are being sent, ssh will disconnect from the server, terminating the ses-
sion. It is important to note that the use of server alive messages is very different from TCPKeepAlive (below). The server alive
messages are sent through the encrypted channel and therefore will not be spoofable. The TCP keepalive option enabled by
TCPKeepAlive is spoofable. The server alive mechanism is valuable when the client or server depend on knowing when a connection has
The default value is 3. If, for example, ServerAliveInterval (see below) is set to 15 and ServerAliveCountMax is left at the
default, if the server becomes unresponsive, ssh will disconnect after approximately 45 seconds.
Sets a timeout interval in seconds after which if no data has been received from the server, ssh(1) will send a message through the
encrypted channel to request a response from the server. The default is 0, indicating that these messages will not be sent to the
server, or 300 if the BatchMode option is set (Debian-specific). ProtocolKeepAlives and SetupTimeOut are Debian-specific compatibil-
ity aliases for this option.
Sets the octal file creation mode mask (umask) used when creating a Unix-domain socket file for local or remote port forwarding.
This option is only used for port forwarding to a Unix-domain socket file.
The default value is 0177, which creates a Unix-domain socket file that is readable and writable only by the owner. Note that not
all operating systems honor the file mode on Unix-domain socket files.
Specifies whether to remove an existing Unix-domain socket file for local or remote port forwarding before creating a new one. If
the socket file already exists and StreamLocalBindUnlink is not enabled, ssh will be unable to forward the port to the Unix-domain
socket file. This option is only used for port forwarding to a Unix-domain socket file.
The argument must be yes or no (the default).
If this flag is set to yes, ssh(1) will never automatically add host keys to the ~/.ssh/known_hosts file, and refuses to connect to
hosts whose host key has changed. This provides maximum protection against trojan horse attacks, though it can be annoying when the
/etc/ssh/ssh_known_hosts file is poorly maintained or when connections to new hosts are frequently made. This option forces the user
to manually add all new hosts.
If this flag is set to ``accept-new'' then ssh will automatically add new host keys to the user known hosts files, but will not per-
mit connections to hosts with changed host keys. If this flag is set to ``no'' or ``off'', ssh will automatically add new host keys
to the user known hosts files and allow connections to hosts with changed hostkeys to proceed, subject to some restrictions. If this
flag is set to ask (the default), new host keys will be added to the user known host files only after the user has confirmed that is
what they really want to do, and ssh will refuse to connect to hosts whose host key has changed. The host keys of known hosts will
be verified automatically in all cases.
Gives the facility code that is used when logging messages from ssh(1). The possible values are: DAEMON, USER, AUTH, LOCAL0, LOCAL1,
LOCAL2, LOCAL3, LOCAL4, LOCAL5, LOCAL6, LOCAL7. The default is USER.
Specifies whether the system should send TCP keepalive messages to the other side. If they are sent, death of the connection or
crash of one of the machines will be properly noticed. This option only uses TCP keepalives (as opposed to using ssh level
keepalives), so takes a long time to notice when the connection dies. As such, you probably want the ServerAliveInterval option as
well. However, this means that connections will die if the route is down temporarily, and some people find it annoying.
The default is yes (to send TCP keepalive messages), and the client will notice if the network goes down or the remote host dies.
This is important in scripts, and many users want it too.
To disable TCP keepalive messages, the value should be set to no.
Tunnel Request tun(4) device forwarding between the client and the server. The argument must be yes, point-to-point (layer 3), ethernet
(layer 2), or no (the default). Specifying yes requests the default tunnel mode, which is point-to-point.
Specifies the tun(4) devices to open on the client (local_tun) and the server (remote_tun).
The argument must be local_tun[:remote_tun]. The devices may be specified by numerical ID or the keyword any, which uses the next
available tunnel device. If remote_tun is not specified, it defaults to any. The default is any:any.
Specifies whether ssh(1) should accept notifications of additional hostkeys from the server sent after authentication has completed
and add them to UserKnownHostsFile. The argument must be yes, no (the default) or ask. Enabling this option allows learning alter-
nate hostkeys for a server and supports graceful key rotation by allowing a server to send replacement public keys before old ones
are removed. Additional hostkeys are only accepted if the key used to authenticate the host was already trusted or explicitly
accepted by the user. If UpdateHostKeys is set to ask, then the user is asked to confirm the modifications to the known_hosts file.
Confirmation is currently incompatible with ControlPersist, and will be disabled if it is enabled.
Presently, only sshd(8) from OpenSSH 6.8 and greater support the "email@example.com" protocol extension used to inform the client
of all the server's hostkeys.
Specifies whether to use a privileged port for outgoing connections. The argument must be yes or no (the default). If set to yes,
ssh(1) must be setuid root.
User Specifies the user to log in as. This can be useful when a different user name is used on different machines. This saves the trou-
ble of having to remember to give the user name on the command line.
Specifies one or more files to use for the user host key database, separated by whitespace. The default is ~/.ssh/known_hosts,
Specifies whether to verify the remote key using DNS and SSHFP resource records. If this option is set to yes, the client will
implicitly trust keys that match a secure fingerprint from DNS. Insecure fingerprints will be handled as if this option was set to
ask. If this option is set to ask, information on fingerprint match will be displayed, but the user will still need to confirm new
host keys according to the StrictHostKeyChecking option. The default is no.
See also VERIFYING HOST KEYS in ssh(1).
If this flag is set to yes, an ASCII art representation of the remote host key fingerprint is printed in addition to the fingerprint
string at login and for unknown host keys. If this flag is set to no (the default), no fingerprint strings are printed at login and
only the fingerprint string will be printed for unknown host keys.
Specifies the full pathname of the xauth(1) program. The default is /usr/bin/xauth.
A pattern consists of zero or more non-whitespace characters, '*' (a wildcard that matches zero or more characters), or '?' (a wildcard that
matches exactly one character). For example, to specify a set of declarations for any host in the ".co.uk" set of domains, the following
pattern could be used:
The following pattern would match any host in the 192.168.0.[0-9] network range:
A pattern-list is a comma-separated list of patterns. Patterns within pattern-lists may be negated by preceding them with an exclamation
mark ('!'). For example, to allow a key to be used from anywhere within an organization except from the "dialup" pool, the following entry
(in authorized_keys) could be used:
Arguments to some keywords can make use of tokens, which are expanded at runtime:
%% A literal '%'.
%C Shorthand for %l%h%p%r.
%d Local user's home directory.
%h The remote hostname.
%i The local user ID.
%L The local hostname.
%l The local hostname, including the domain name.
%n The original remote hostname, as given on the command line.
%p The remote port.
%r The remote username.
%u The local username.
Match exec accepts the tokens %%, %h, %L, %l, %n, %p, %r, and %u.
CertificateFile accepts the tokens %%, %d, %h, %l, %r, and %u.
ControlPath accepts the tokens %%, %C, %h, %i, %L, %l, %n, %p, %r, and %u.
HostName accepts the tokens %% and %h.
IdentityAgent and IdentityFile accept the tokens %%, %d, %h, %l, %r, and %u.
LocalCommand accepts the tokens %%, %C, %d, %h, %l, %n, %p, %r, and %u.
ProxyCommand accepts the tokens %%, %h, %p, and %r.
RemoteCommand accepts the tokens %%, %C, %d, %h, %l, %n, %p, %r, and %u.
This is the per-user configuration file. The format of this file is described above. This file is used by the SSH client. Because
of the potential for abuse, this file must have strict permissions: read/write for the user, and not accessible by others. It may be
group-writable provided that the group in question contains only the user.
Systemwide configuration file. This file provides defaults for those values that are not specified in the user's configuration file,
and for those users who do not have a configuration file. This file must be world-readable.
OpenSSH is a derivative of the original and free ssh 1.2.12 release by Tatu Ylonen. Aaron Campbell, Bob Beck, Markus Friedl, Niels Provos,
Theo de Raadt and Dug Song removed many bugs, re-added newer features and created OpenSSH. Markus Friedl contributed the support for SSH
protocol versions 1.5 and 2.0.
September 21, 2017 BSD