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Thread: SSH Timeout Tweaking

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    SSH Timeout Tweaking

    Hi everyone, I am asking this very much repeated question, but i didn't read a definite solution for it. I am an Ubuntu client connecting to remote machines using ssh from a terminal. When I connect for a few minutes it timesout and screen freezes. However, I installed putty ssh client, and in the properties of the connection there is a keep alive option, which is very nice, any sessions opened using putty ssh with that option enabled does not time out, but i don't like putty (with all the respect) because i cannot group several sessions into one window as i can inside a terminal, it is an organizational issue, no offense. So i searched the net for similar parameters, installed openssh server, adjusted following parameters in /etc/ssh/sshd_config (TCPKeepAlive yes, ClientAliveInterval 30, ClientAliveCountMax 99999) then restarted the sshd. However i still have the same problem persisting, when a session is open through terminal, it still freezes after sometime.

    By the way I also checked the LoginGraceTime in sshd_config and it is set to 120, but I don't know if that is related or not. But with the above configs please suggest to me how i can keep the session alive until i actually choose to close it, it would be very helpful.

    Thanks in advance and sorry for the extra details.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Re: SSH Timeout Tweaking

    I was a happy user of securecrt, but my new department doesn't have licenses. Putty is very good from the inside, but very poor on the outside. So when I have to use windows I use the putty connection manager on top of putty for pretty much the same reason as why you don't like putty

    As for the TCPKeepAlive in ssh, I think it is a client setting, so you should add it in the /etc/ssh/ssh_config (not the sshd_config)

    you can also run it (great for testing) as commandline option
    ssh -o TCPKeepAlive=yes
    Last edited by puppywhacker; January 6th, 2010 at 09:58 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Re: SSH Timeout Tweaking

    Thanks for the note. I tried the command as you mentioned and left the session for sometime, it still timed out. So i used the following:
    ssh -o TCPKeepAlive=yes -o ServerAliveInterval=60 servername.domain
    The session stayed alive. Then I added these exact entries in /etc/ssh/ssh_config:
    TCPKeepAlive yes
    ServerAliveInterval 60

    Things are now smooth, no need to restart any services or anything, just open a new 'ssh servername' command and the above options will apply to all new sessions.

    Thanks for the hint.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Re: SSH Timeout Tweaking

    if you use putty connection manager in windows then you may like this

    it's a gui ssh/telnet manager with autologin, you can split screen too, just check it out
    wireless sniffer:
    ssh/telnet with autologin:


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