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When I use ssh command to log in to a remote shell, my local user name is used and only password (or a certificate passphrase) is requested. How do I login as a different remote user without adding this user on my local PC?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted


ssh username@hostname


ssh -l username hostname

Either one works.

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I normally use slogin instead of ssh - the difference is minimal (both are parts of OpenSSH). With slogin you use this form:

slogin user@host

slogin was designed to replace rlogin (thus the name). This should work almost anywhere that OpenSSH is installed (technically, you don't need to install the r* replacements, but they usually are...)

One more thing: you can configure OpenSSH to use a particular user name when you log into a remote host - like so (in ~/.ssh/config):

Host fred
  User moxie

Host gabbie
  User mpotts

Host serial
  Hostname vx-port-lx08486-px-l1
  User fred

Then use ssh like so:

ssh gabbie

(will log in as mpotts). The example for serial will also allow the shorthand name "serial" instead of the long and hard to remember hostname - with username.

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+1 for the ~/.ssh/config - this makes life so much easier. – Hamish Downer Jul 12 '10 at 9:42
On OS X at least, slogin is a symlink to ssh, so the differences are minimal indeed. – rvalue Oct 13 '13 at 12:12

ssh <user>@<host> or ssh -l <user> <host> are two ways to specify the user you want to connect as.

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