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SFTP is probably the most widely used "ssh subsystem". This O'Reilly chapter gives some more usage examples; it presents subsytems as "shortcuts" to various commands that can be used.

How do you use this subsytem feature ?

Is there a practical way to limit an ssh key to a subsystem, possibly replacing command restriction option of ssh keys?

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A very cool feature that's based on SFTP is sshfs(1):

sshfs -o workaround=all user@remotehost:/ /path/to/localdir

will mount the whole disk at remotehost at the local directory /path/to/localdir . No installation necessary at remotehost,all you need is the sshfs program.

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I concur. SSHFS is amazing, but I don't think this answers the given question. –  Andrew Jun 8 '09 at 20:41
    
Hm, maybe not, but as I read the post, there were two questions. I replied to the "How do you use this subsystem feature?" part. :) –  sunny256 Jun 8 '09 at 20:45

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