Port Tunneling HOWTO Part 2

In my previous post I focused on how to use port tunneling for only one server. In the world of world wide web, however, you will most likely want to connect to different servers repeatedly, jumping between pages without having to reissue ssh commands over and over. Well, the power of ssh provides even that option. Using this configuration, you will essentially create a SOCKS service running from your computer to the server. The command is simple:

ssh -N -D portNum userName@serverName

On the screen, a prompt will ask you for your password. The N flag stands for no output, meaning it will only make the connection, without actually letting you type commands. The D flag is for the SOCKS connection that I mentioned earlier. Now, all you will need to do is tell you browser/IM client/whatever else program that can use SOCKS sockets, to use your local address, ie 127.0.0.1, with port number being the number that you entered following the D flag. In Firefox it is accomplished by going to Preferences, hitting the Advanced tab, navigating the Network tab underneath, and under connections hitting Settings. From there, you can hit Manual Proxy Configuration, and under SOCKS Host write the mentioned before. When everything is good, try going to different sites and see if it works.

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