I added this in my ~/.ssh/config to help avoid stupid mistakes:

Host *.prod-domain.com
    LocalCommand print "WARNING: PROD" && print "continue ?" && read
    PermitLocalCommand yes

Which makes ssh print a warning and a prompt when I try to connect to a host under prod-domain.com.

Now, most hosts do not expose ssh publically, so we have to go through a gateway. I used to do

ssh -J gateway.prod-domain.com target.prod-domain.com

But with the local command enabled, ssh fails with:

Bad packet length 1231976033.
ssh_dispatch_run_fatal: Connection to UNKNOWN port 65535: message authentication code incorrect

Connecting directly (e.g. ssh gateway.prod-domain.com) still works fine, and connecting with a jump works if I comment the local command.

Are local commands and ssh jumps incompatible ? Is it documented somewhere, and is there a way to make it work (like disabling the local command when "jumping"), or did I maybe hit a bug ?

  • 1
    Besides Lacek's answer, consider having separate, visually distinct prompts in production and other systems. A bright red PROD where you'd normally see a low-intensity green or gray testing or workstation or something along the lines of that could certainly call your attention to it, even if you've been logged in for a while and/or are working in different environments simultaneously for some reason.
    – user
    Jul 12, 2019 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


As the ssh_config manpage says:

The command is run synchronously and does not have access to the session of the ssh(1) that spawned it. It should not be used for interactive commands.

Your problem is with the read statement, it messes up the negotiation process of SSH performed in the tunnel created via gateway.prod-domain.com.

You can configure your client so only the "endpoints" give you the warning, the gateway doesn't, by having an empty entry in your ~/.ssh/config for the gateway, like this:

Host gateway.prod-domain.com gateway
    HostName gateway.prod-domain.com

Host *.prod-domain.com
    ProxyJump gateway
    LocalCommand print "WARNING: PROD" && print "continue ?" && read
    PermitLocalCommand yes

This way, what you tried to do will work, just be sure not to use the "prod-domain" servers as a jump proxy (except for the gateway, of course). Or, to avoid interactive commands altogether, you could use something like this:

Host *.prod-domain.com
    LocalCommand echo -e "\x1b[30;41mWARNING: You are on a PRODUCTIVE system!\x1b0m"
    PermitLocalCommand yes

This way, while you can't prevent the session from establishing, you will be given a big red warning.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .