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linux execute command remotely

Posted by: admin November 29, 2017 Leave a comment


how do I execute command/script on a remote linux box?
say I want to do service tomcat start on box b from box a.


I guess ssh is the best secured way for this, for example :

ssh -OPTIONS -p SSH_PORT [email protected]_server "remote_command1; remote_command2; remote_script.sh"  

where the OPTIONS have to be deployed according to your specific needs (for example, binding to ipv4 only) and your remote command could be starting your tomcat daemon.

if you do not want to be prompt at every ssh run, also have a look to ssh-agent, and optionnaly to keychain if your system allows it. Key is… to understand the keys exchange process. Take a careful look to ssh_config (eg ssh client config) and sshd_config (eg ssh server config). Config file names depends on your system, anyway you’ll find them somewhere like /etc/sshd_config. Ideally do not run ssh as root obviously but with a dedicated user on both servers.

Some extra docs over the source project main pages :

ssh and ssh-agent
man ssh (RMF !)


 ssh [email protected] 'bash -s' < local_script.sh

or you can just

 ssh [email protected] "remote command to run" 


I think this article explains well:

Running Commands on a Remote Linux / UNIX Host

Google is your best friend 😉


If you don’t want to deal with security and want to make it as exposed (aka “convenient”) as possible for short term, and|or don’t have ssh/telnet or key generation on all your hosts, you can can hack a one-liner together with netcat. Write a command to your target computer’s port over the network and it will run it. Then you can block access to that port to a few “trusted” users or wrap it in a script that only allows certain commands to run. And use a low privilege user.

on the server

mkfifo /tmp/netfifo; nc -lk 4201 0</tmp/netfifo | bash -e &>/tmp/netfifo

This one liner reads whatever string you send into that port and pipes it into bash to be executed. stderr & stdout are dumped back into netfifo and sent back to the connecting host via nc.

on the client

To run a command remotely:
echo "ls" | nc HOST 4201