Ssh shorthand name for hostnames

How to use shorthand names for hostnames with ssh? You don’t always want to type in a complete host name when using ssh to remote hosts. Here is how to configure and use shorthand hostnames with ssh.

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Configure shortened names for hosts for use with ssh

If you want to configure shortened names for your servers & hosts for use with SSH, follow the next steps:

Open up your .ssh/config file:

vi ~/.ssh/config
Code language: Bash (bash)

and add the following:

Host your_short_name HostName server.on.the.web User user_to_user
Code language: Bash (bash)

Save the file and exit (:wq).

Now you can use ‘ssh your_short_name‘ instead of: ssh -l username this-is-my-long-hostname.example.com.

Pretty neat, right?! :-)

Protip: want to manually install OpenSSH in Windows Server? Or Tunnel RDP through ssh?

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4 thoughts on “Ssh shorthand name for hostnames”

  1. Daniel Schwen

    This does not seem to work if the long form hostname relies of further configuration entries (with wildcards). e.g.:

    Host short
    HostName my.long.name

    Host *.name
    User myspecialusername

    1. Thank you for your comment Daniel. One entry can overrule another, yes. You can try to fiddle with CanonicalizeHostName and similar settings, see https://man.openbsd.org/ssh_config. I sometimes use Hostname %h.my.domain in a Host section and doing so allows me to ssh to server1 instead of server1.my.domain.

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