#stund

app stund

An SSH tunnel maintenance daemon

5 releases

Uses old Rust 2015

0.1.6 Jun 5, 2019
0.1.5 Apr 17, 2019
0.1.4 Dec 29, 2018
0.1.3 Oct 11, 2018
0.1.2 May 27, 2018

#226 in Asynchronous

26 downloads per month

MIT license

110KB
2K SLoC

stund — an SSH tunnel daemon

Stund (“stunned”), an SSH tunnel daemon, will maintain SSH tunnels in the background for you. It is convenient when you are often logging in to remote systems that require you to type in a password every time you connect.

If you have a Rust toolchain available, you can install stund by running

cargo install stund

See below for more detailed installation instructions.

Usage

Probably all you ever need to run is:

stund open login.mydomain.org

This will more-or-less run ssh login.mydomain.org in such a way that the command will disconnect from your terminal after you type in your passwords. If you use SSH connection multiplexing, subsequent SSH connections to login.mydomain.org will reuse the pre-authenticated connection, avoiding repeated password entry.

If you don't use SSH connection multiplexing, stund is basically pointless.

If you would normally give SSH more arguments when connecting to the your host, set up your SSH config file with the necessary entries. Virtually any option that appears on the command line can be automated through SSH configuration. You should probably set ServerAliveInterval = 120 for tunnels to be maintained with stund.

Other stund commands:

stund close login.mydomain.org  # close an existing tunnel
stund status                    # report status of tunnels
stund exit                      # shut down the background daemon

(Yes, stund is basically like running SSH in a GNU screen session. But the user experience is a bit nicer, and in writing it I got to learn a lot of exciting things about psuedoterminals and asynchronous I/O with Rust’s Tokio framework.)

The open command can optionally exec another command after it finishes, if you run it with the following syntax:

stund open login.mydomain.org -- command arg1 arg2

This can be useful as a one-liner to open a needed tunnel and log into a host lying behind a gateway:

stund open login.mydomain.org -- ssh -J login.mydomain.org myinnerhost

If the connection to login.mydomain.org does not need any user interaction to be opened, the explicit invocation of stund can be avoided with a proper SSH ProxyCommand configuration item, as mentioned below.

Installation

For now, you have to compile stund yourself. But, installing the latest version should be pretty simple:

  1. Install the Rust language toolchain if you don't already have it. In almost all cases the recommended method is to use rustup.rs.
  2. Add $HOME/.cargo/bin to your $PATH if it is not already there.
  3. Run cargo install -f stund
  4. Run stund help to verify the installation.

You don’t need to check out this repository unless you want to install a bleeding-edge version of stund rather than the latest release.

Things You Can Do With Multiplexed SSH Tunnels

If you need to log into hosts that live behind a gateway, and the gateway doesn’t require any user interaction for you to login in successfully, you can use stund’s “exec-after-open” functionality to automatically open long-lived background SSH tunnels with ProxyCommand settings that look like this:

Host inner.mydomain
ProxyCommand = stund open --no-input -q login.mydomain.org -- ssh -W inner:%p login.mydomain.org

The --no-input option is needed to prevent stund from trying to read anything from standard input; otherwise it would consume some of the SSH traffic.

Things Stund Can’t Do

The big limitation is that stund can’t keep your SSH connection alive if you suspend your laptop or switch networks. It’s simply not possible to do this due to the fundamental design of the SSH protocol (namely, that SSH runs over long-lived TCP connections).

If this is the functionality you want, the best solution of which we are aware is mosh, which uses a sessionless UDP-based protocol that’s bootstrapped over a temporary SSH connection. While this design allows mosh to overcome some of SSH’s limitations, it means that mosh doesn’t support features like port forwarding and file transfers. Also, mosh requires bidirectional UDP traffic between the client and the server, which is often disallowed by conservative firewall rules.

Changes

See CHANGELOG.md for a list of changes associated with each release.

Copyright and License

Stund is copyright its authors and is licensed under the MIT License.

Dependencies

~9.5MB
~171K SLoC