Getting started with Mosh: the mobile shell

Mosh is something i’ve been meaning to give a go for a while now… but have never had the chance. Recently however, on a train from Rome to Florence, I got a little tired of reconnecting SSH sessions and re-attaching screen’s / tmux’s. Then I remembered… Mosh!

Some examples of why / when to use Mosh

Dubbed “the mobile shell” mosh is simple, it requires you have the mosh binaries installed on both client, and server, and that you have permission to SSH to said server (you don’t need a root account). Then mosh will create an initial SSH session, which it in-turn uses to create a UDP connectionless “session” between mosh running on the server and mosh running on the client.

Why?

Well… I can type mosh username@server.tld start a nice terminal session, close my laptop / phone, come back 4 hours later, open my laptop… and carry on. It’s also very useful for environments where your connectivity is poor or you have a dodgy ISP supplied Router that can’t sustain SSH connections very well.

$ mosh username@hostname.tld

Directly, stolen inspired from the original website. Mosh will log the user in via SSH, then start a connection on a UDP port between 60000 and 61000.

Beyond just having a really stable “connection” to a remote Terminal session. Mosh also has some quite cool features, that users of other modern shells will appreciate, such as auto complete of common commands and also a nifty indicator bar to tell you if something is up with the connection.

All in all, give mosh a go, it took me less than 120 seconds to get up and running. If you hate dead ssh sessions and can’t wait for timeouts, then what are you waiting for ;). As usual, hit me up at @italoarmstrong on twitter if you want banter.

 

 

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