I'm on Mac OS X 10.6.2 trying to connect to ubuntu server 8.04.1 at linode.

ssh -L[[remote ip]]:3306 user@server -N

I want to set up ssh tunneling so that I can access a remote mysql server.

First of all, I'm told bind: Address already in use. This is only after I've tried the command before. How do I manually close a port forwarding session?

Second, when I change the command to be ssh -L[[remote ip]]:3306 user@server -N (I changed the local port to listen on). I'm told channel 1: open failed: connect failed: Connection refused when I try to connect to the MySQL server via MySQL workbench or sequel pro.

To connect through MySQL workbench I use the following settings:

  • host: port: 3310 (if 3306 is in use)
  • username: mysql username
  • password: mysql password
  • database: I don't put anything in
  • 1
    Keep in mind that there is a known bug/feature related to some mysql libraries and tools refusing to make a TCP connection when you use localhost. When localhost is used to connect unix socket will be used. bugs.mysql.com/bug.php?id=31577 I am not sure if this applies to Mysql Workbench. Your issue seems to more about getting the connection started though. – Zoredache Apr 2 '10 at 22:09

This should work:

ssh -L 3310: user@server

The first port number is the local port to use (must not be in use already), the IP in between the colons is the IP to connect to, from the perspective of the host you are sshing into. The second port number is the port to connect to. If you are connecting to a server other than the one you are sshing into, then try the following:

ssh -L 3310:<remote-IP>:3306 user@server

Usually, when I want to do this more than one time, I create an entry in ~/.ssh/config like the following where sshhost.example.com is the server I am sshing to, the local port I want to open is 5910, the IP on the other side I want to connect to is, and the port I want to connect to there is 5900:

Host desk
    Hostname sshhost.example.com
    User jed
    Port 22
    LocalForward 5910

Then from a command prompt I can just do

jed@jed-mbp:~$ ssh desk

and get a tunnel to my desktop at the office.

Good luck,


  • Thanks for the answer! I can get the forwarding itself to sort of work. After I have the command set up to forward all requests from port 3310 to remote ip 3306 and then try to use mysql workbench...it fails. – Jonathan Mayhak Apr 2 '10 at 21:52
  • Is your remote host configured to allow forwarding to other hosts? Does it have a firewall? Is 3310 used on the local system (you can check with netstat -an |grep 3310)? – Jed Daniels Apr 2 '10 at 22:15
  • Jonathan, when you specify the host for mysql, don't use 'localhost'. You must specify the full ip addr, For example, once your tunnel is open (like -L 3310:, then using the mysql client, it would look like: 'mysql -h -P 3310 -u jonathan -p' – joe May 8 '15 at 4:54

Currently on Mac OS Catalina the -N argument is needed to avoid a regular login so the updated command would be:

ssh -N -L 5984: user@server.net

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