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I've just started playing around with SSH tunnels today, but I'm stick at a bit of a silly point (I think)... Probably just missing something obvious but here goes:

I've got two linux servers and a single windows client (server1, server2, client). I've set up server1 to create a reverse ssh tunnel to server2, like so:

ssh -nNfR 8022:localhost:22 user@server1

After which I can successfully get a shell on on server1 using:

ssh -p 8022 localhost

Logically, this leads me to think that I should be able to create a putty ssh connection to server1:8022 and get a shell for server2, but I get a connection refused error. Anyone know what I'm missing or am I entirely on the wrong track :)


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up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is a common problem. You need to enable port access on the server. Modify GatewayPorts to yes in /etc/ssh/sshd_config.

see man sshd_config under GatewayPorts.

You may also need to specify a bind address to your tunnel setup:

ssh -nNfR *:8022:localhost:22 user@server1

to bind to all interfaces.

see man ssh under -R

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Thanks, this solved my problem (needed to do both) – LorenVS Jul 20 '10 at 16:40

You are using

 ssh -nNfR 8022:localhost:22 user@server1

That is basically saying 'open the 8022 port on server1 connecting to localhost port 22', but 'localhost' on server1 its... server1 :) try with:

 ssh -nNfR 8022:server2:22 user@server1

Also, when you use 'localhost' on the first command you bind your port to the loopback interface ( that doesn't accept connections from outside, try it with the server1 hostname or IP to check :)

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After playing around with it a bit, I believe your first suggestion is incorrect, although your second suggestion was part of the solution. – LorenVS Jul 20 '10 at 16:41

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