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Smartphones For Text SSH Use Re-Revisited

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the serious-business dept.

Cellphones 359

Kainaw writes "This was asked in 2005 and 2008. I think it should be revisited yet again... With iPhone, Android, and Windows smartphones running around, which (if any) of them are well-suited to Unix/Linux server administration on the run? SSH is a must. A good screen resolution. A physical keyboard won't block the screen with a virtual keyboard. Many physical keyboards omit the numeric keys now, making the typing of numbers rather difficult. Nearly every smartphone has WiFi capability now. Some will do an X display through SSH tunnelling. So, pushing through all the bells and whistles that have nothing to do with effective server administration, what is left?"

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359 comments

i'm interested in an android app for ssh tunnellin (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34775894)

i'm sure there out there, but the market is getting harder and harder to sort through. can anyone recommend a good one?

Re:i'm interested in an android app for ssh tunnel (4, Informative)

cez (539085) | more than 3 years ago | (#34775936)

Not sure about android, but MidpSSH [xk72.com] works wonders on my Blackberry, they probably have an android version. Used it just last night in a bind!

Re:i'm interested in an android app for ssh tunnel (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776140)

Has the current version of MidpSSH overcome the Blackberry's annoying tendancy to capitalize the first letter of the first word in the commands you type? I seem to recall you had to type your commands in to some intermediary console, rather than interact directly with the shell.

Re:i'm interested in an android app for ssh tunnel (3, Informative)

s4ltyd0g (452701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776502)

Just prefix each command with :; and the capitalization problem goes away. At first that quirk used to drive me crazy, but there's no need to use a secondary console.

Re:i'm interested in an android app for ssh tunnel (3, Informative)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776178)

I believe MidpSSH is quite out of date, but Marc Paradise's BBSH [bbssh.org] is based on it, and it's a vast improvement.

Re:i'm interested in an android app for ssh tunnel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34775948)

Search for ConnectBot, there are also a few enhanced versions out there but I haven't found many that are all that useful.

Re:i'm interested in an android app for ssh tunnel (4, Informative)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34775974)

I second this. I have been using ConnectBot and it works great on my HTC Desire. Just don;t leave connections running in the background... it drinks battery like it's going out of style when you do that.

ConnectBot on Droid A855 (1)

malignant_minded (884324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776332)

I use this quite frequently the app is awesome but the keys on the phone suck. I have found that if i really need to do some work it's just easier to tether the phone to a laptop

Re:i'm interested in an android app for ssh tunnel (2)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776234)

Amen.. ConnectBot is great. All the features and very little lameness or clutter.

Re:i'm interested in an android app for ssh tunnel (1)

oobayly (1056050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776382)

I've been using ConnectBot since I got my N1. It's a great application.

Re:i'm interested in an android app for ssh tunnel (1)

noc007 (633443) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776444)

Third for ConnectBot. You just have to get to learn the key combinations for |, Esc, Crtl+C, Ctrl+D, and whatever character the keyboard doesn't have already and you're all set. It automatically saves new connections and you can configure it to connect to a different port if your server isn't listening on port 22. Also, you can open a localhost connection as well; you'll need to be rooted and have something like BusyBox to do some things, but I haven't had to call BusyBox to ping at least.

Re:i'm interested in an android app for ssh tunnel (1)

jijacob (943393) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776616)

I also use Connectbot. I have a Droid so the physical keyboard makes it extremely easy to use. And there's Teamviewer out for Android now also that does a VNC-type connection.

Re:i'm interested in an android app for ssh tunnel (3)

yog (19073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776184)

ConnectBot on a Google Nexus One. It just works. You can configure the display to 40x23 or 42x24 or whatever font fits best on screen versus your desired font size. The trackball acts as a control key and alt key: one press = CTRL, double press = ALT. (a must for Emacs and vi users)

My only complaint is that it doesn't remember passwords the way AndFTP does (another excellent tool, by the way). I'd like to not have to type in the darned password every time, but oh well, it's a lot better than no ssh.

It's also kinda neat that you can view the scrollback simply by dragging the screen back. Why don't all computers work that way?

Last, and best of all, it's a free app. I haven't tried the other ssh clients out there, honestly, but since this one works, I haven't felt the need.

Re:i'm interested in an android app for ssh tunnel (2)

benjymous (69893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776492)

Also, search for "full keyboard" on the market for a replacement software keyboard that gives lots of useful extra keys, such as a dpad and ctrl-key shortcuts (so you can type ^C with a single keypress)

Re:i'm interested in an android app for ssh tunnel (1)

grayn0de (1301165) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776402)

ConnectBot...

Re:i'm interested in an android app for ssh tunnel (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776412)

I use connectbot I haven't done tunneling, but it has the option.

Admittedly, I seldom do any ssh via the phone, its a last resort backup for me. Came in really handy while I was de-racking a machine that I was removing from colo, and there wasn't a crash cart in sight. I just ssh'd in and halted the machine. Aside from that, I seldom use it.

Re:i'm interested in an android app for ssh tunnel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776482)

I've used ConnectBot occasionally on my HTC Desire and it works well. The lack of a physical keyboard hampers any sort of long-term use (more than a couple of minutes really), but it works great for restarting MediaTomb on my PC without having to leave the living room!

The N900. (5, Informative)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#34775900)

Hardware keyboard, ships with xterm, has easily accessible number keys, and no jailbreaking needed.

Re:The N900. (3, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34775964)

I agree. I regularly use the N900 for SSH sessions with several servers. It runs Debian, so there's no much of a learning curve. There's a physical keyboard that you can easily remap for your own purposes.

Re:The N900. (1)

dsavi (1540343) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776098)

Also agreed. I tried SSHing from a touchscreen keyboard and it took like 5 minutes just to get connected. I'm also very pleased with Nokia hardware keyboards in general. And then of course the n900 runs a Debian based distribution, can be overclocked to 900mhz, no jailbreaking and all the rest of it.

Re:The N900. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776176)

N900 is a wet dream for any sys admin.

Also, N900 is a very good weapon - you can do wonders just with sms:

https://www.infosecisland.com/blogview/5640-Weaponizing-the-Nokia-N900-Part-1.html [infosecisland.com]
https://www.infosecisland.com/blogview/8056-Weaponizing-the-Nokia-N900-Part-2.html [infosecisland.com]
https://www.infosecisland.com/blogview/9921-Weaponizing-the-Nokia-N900-Part-3.html [infosecisland.com]

Re:The N900. (1)

nloop (665733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776286)

A year ago I would have agreed, it was the first 800x400 resolution phone, runs a more familiar linux, root out of the box, I was a big fanboy! However, that phone is getting a bit long in the tooth now.

The HTC G2 now is doing "4G" transfer speeds, has a much faster processor, way more ram, and lets be honest about the future of Android/marketplace vs maemo...

Connectbot is a pretty nice terminal application free on the market. You don't need to "jailbreak" to do anything the post is talking about, but if you do decide to install cyanogenmod (way cool project) or whatnot rooting android phones has been simplified to a one-click process.

I really did want to stay with Nokia but I haven't seen a compelling reason to in the past year!

Re:The N900. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776304)

Absolutely, 100% agree -- it's perfect for this. I use ssh on this phone all the time to check the progress of various servers.

Re:The N900. (1)

DrogMan (708650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776372)

I too am an N900 user... However after seeing my wifes HTC Desire, I suspect my mext phone might be the Desire with the keyboard... (HTC Vision) I've been a Nokia communicator user from day 1, but I think Nokia has somewhat lost the plot now - I miss the maps on my old N90 (the 3.5 year license expired!) and there isn't anything bundled with the N900 and it looks like there never will be. My wife seems to get on OK with Google maps on hers.... But it'll be a year or more before I'm ready for a new phone, so who knows what'll be out there then... G

Re:The N900. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776696)

+1 on this. I use SSH on my N900 on a daily basis. It's easily customizable too. If I want a tool on it, I build it. I've added python scripts that do stuff that I need on it and also ported some applications that I needed for it. Great little device. I really hope to see a Meego device that doesn't let me down.

Verbs useful (-1, Flamebait)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#34775922)

A good screen resolution.

Pedants assemble!

Re:Verbs useful (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34775962)

And I'll form the head! Even though I started a sentence with the word "and"!

Re:Verbs useful (0)

doti (966971) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776204)

Useful, but not necessary.

"SSH is a must. A good screen resolution too."

Tablet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34775942)

Seriously. Just get an Android tablet.

Physical Keyboard is a must... (1)

taoboy (118003) | more than 3 years ago | (#34775944)

...these screen keyboards are just not suited to the sort of typing required for command line. IMHO.

I just got an Android 2.2 phone with wifi, ConnectBot seems to be the best ssh client so far.

Re:Physical Keyboard is a must... (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776242)

really? apart from the egregious mistake of not including a backtick on anything but one obscure email keyboard, i find the iphone screen keyboard much easier to use than my old blackberry was for ssh. are there phone hard keyboards out there that provide key punctuation (pipe, backtick, tilde, square/curly/angle brackets) in no more than two keypresses?

actually (something like) graffiti is ideal imao, i played around with OnboardC on my palm back in the day and was able to add the full roster of C punctuation to my muscle memory quite quickly.

Re:Physical Keyboard is a must... (1)

mikael (484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776410)

Is it possible to connect a standard USB keyboard to the phone - most phones have a micro-USB connector, so I'm wondering if there is micro-USB/USB converter to allow this?

Re:Physical Keyboard is a must... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776478)

No, it's a USB device not a USB host. But you can get Bluetooth keyboards without issue.

Re:Physical Keyboard is a must... (3, Informative)

thisisntme (1617485) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776542)

really? apart from the egregious mistake of not including a backtick on anything but one obscure email keyboard

Hold down the apostrophe key for a second or two, it pops up a number of different quotes, including the backtick.

Re:Physical Keyboard is a must... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776392)

Try another keyboard. Full Keyboard has everything you'll need but can be cumbersome, there are graffiti-like keyboards, once you teach Swype the common commands it's acceptable in a terminal...

NOKIA N900 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34775966)

Full Linux (either Maemo based on Debian or MeeGo based on Fedora), xterm - ability to run whatever you need from the command line, no problem having 32 windows running in parallel in a preemptive multitasking, you can compile with gcc/java straight on the phone, solid keyboard - a geek's dream I would say.

Re:NOKIA N900 (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776026)

Why not a decent laptop, for when you need 32 xterms running at once (if you ever do), and an adequate phone for the very few times that you need one or two xterms but don't have your laptop/netbook/whatever with you?

Re:NOKIA N900 (1)

dovgr (935487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776154)

I can second this. In addition you can easily:
  • Run scripts on the phone in a standard linux environment (bash, sed, awk, perl, python, tcl, grep, etc).
  • You can ssh into the phone.
  • You have vnc support so if your server has some gui program you can access it via ssh+vnc port forwarding.
  • You can run git on the phone so you can easily sync your utility scripts.
  • You can install input methods for accessing any keyboard keys.

So, I absolutely agree, this is a sysops portable dream.

Re:NOKIA N900 (1)

present_arms (848116) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776672)

I use my N900 for SSH in to my home and work machines, even with X forwarding (using -CX) i've also installed easy debian on it. it just works, oh and it has a slide out keyboard and with the power kernel (in maemo) installed u can overclock the poor arm to 1150Mhz from the stock 600, it flies, although i limit mine to 900. ok enough bragging :P i'm pretty sure there is ssh on the droid too but i'll need to investigate more, meego when released (i know, i know) should have it too :D anyway all the best with your en-devour, Alie

ANDROID ?? Can't Get Out of a WET PAPER SACK !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34775972)

Yes, that android !! Cheap ass stupid stupid system for idiots !! Like you !!

Palm Pre (or Pre2) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34775984)

Webos (Palm's phone OS) has an incredible homebrew community. You have to "root" the phone but all that required is downloading a single program on your computer or the (free) Palm SDK.

Then you can get a full terminal (not just ssh), although the screen is pretty small and therefore it's not that easy to see large console output, but I think that would be true of any smartphone. Here is a link describing the terminal app I use:
http://www.webos-internals.org/wiki/Application:Terminal

Re:Palm Pre (or Pre2) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776576)

I love my pre, but it doesn't have the full keyboard, which the poster mentioned as being a problem. Annoying, it wouldn't have been that hard for them to have fit in another row of keys.

Re:Palm Pre (or Pre2) (1)

billbaird (166492) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776678)

+1 for Pre, I use the homebrew app "Terminal" all the time. Screen is a little small, but does the job.

No "rooting" is required, just enabling "developer mode" which is supported by Palm.

If you run a blackberry check out BBSSH! (5, Informative)

HIghoS (177655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776000)

http://bbssh.org/wiki/en/Home

The author just released 2.0 with huge improvements. I've been using it for nearly half a year now, previously on a Storm and now on a Torch. It's great, it even works well with things like screen and irssi. It's great being able to login to my servers remotely anywhere, check screen sessions and even if I want to hop on IRC if need be! For those familiar with MidpSSH this is basicly it on steriods, but done properly.

Re:If you run a blackberry check out BBSSH! (1)

epiphani (254981) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776142)

This. Additionally, with a BES you have an always-available vpn-like tunnel through to your internal network. BBSSH saves me so much time its not even funny.

Moto Cliq is OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776004)

I have a Motorola Cliq (Android 2.1, keyboard) and while I can SSH with the app 'ConnectBot', using passwords with special characters or typing in the pipe symbol | and other symbols is very difficult. They keyboard acts differently in this app than in other apps, and I've had my most success with writing out commands in other apps and copy/pasting them into ConnectBot.

N97/N97 mini with PuTTy for Symbian (3, Informative)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776012)

...and specifically the touch UI one for Symbian S60v5. It's PuTTy. Oh, you want an URL with that... Try http://bd.kicks-ass.net/koodaus/putty/ [kicks-ass.net]

ConnectBot on android (1)

crisper (12620) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776018)

ConnectBot has worked well for me...and never had any issues with it.

http://code.google.com/p/connectbot/ [google.com]

Re:ConnectBot on android (1)

dj.delorie (3368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776318)

I use connectbot on my droid2 - physical keyboard, wifi/cell (802.11n WPA2 on my home network), ssh, and alt-lock for number-heavy strings. Slide it closed and you still get an on-screen keyboard for quickies. Connectbot can set up a tunnel too, so add AndChat for IRC through the tunnel.

Nokia n900 (5, Informative)

Theolojin (102108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776024)

It runs real Linux with real root (out of the box). It has a real xterm and bash is installable. It runs xorg. It's a fantastic phone. However, it doesn't have separate number keys which can be a pain if you're typing a lot of numbers. A cool feature of the xterm is it puts Ctrl, Tab, Esc, PgUp, and PgDn on-screen to work with the physical keyboard. It's great for remote server administration. I wouldn't want to work on it all day, but it's not meant for that, either.

Re:Nokia n900 (2)

knewter (62953) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776042)

I can back this up. Here's my post I typed up before seeing this one:

I use a Nokia N900 and do this constantly. It comes preconfigured such that ctrl+shift+x starts an x term. I then just ssh in. I have a fairly fancy-pants password that uses various symbols, and it's easy to type it in with this phone. I can use vim comfortably on the phone (this was a problem with the android ssh tool i used because it didn't have an easily-accessible 'esc' key.)

The N900 runs debian. I can't imagine needing to say more.

Re:Nokia n900 (1)

box4831 (1126771) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776094)

A cool feature of the xterm is it puts Ctrl, Tab, Esc, PgUp, and PgDn on-screen to work with the physical keyboard

Even better is that this onscreen keys bar is customizable so you can add additional useful keys. For instance, I put the | and / characters on there as they are frequently used and kind of a pain to type normally.

Re:Nokia n900 (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776102)

It runs real Linux with real root (out of the box). It has a real xterm and bash is installable. It runs xorg. It's a fantastic phone.

Can you place calls with it? :-P

I continue to be astounded at the stuff you kids do with your phones nowadays. On behalf of those of us who remember this big bakelite phones screwed to the kitchen wall with 15 feet of twisted up cord and a rotary dial ... WTF? Xorg on a phone?? Really??

Re:Nokia n900 (1)

parim (1783676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776224)

Yes it can make calls/SMS and everything a normal phone can do. It is a phone that runs on a debian derivative

Re:Nokia n900 (1)

box4831 (1126771) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776352)

Except MMS, which is strange, since even the cheap-o basic phones with a camera can send/receive MMS.

[Developers at project planning meeting] So what should we include on our n900 product?
  • SSH? Yes!
  • Xterm? Yes!
  • vim? Yes!
  • full linux OS? Yes!
  • Phone and SMS? Yes!
  • MMS? HERESY! BUURRN HIM

(im aware of fMMS, but I think that MMS should have been included)

Re:Nokia n900 (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776628)

Oh I see you do know about fMMS, and I agree it should have been included, but it's no big deal.

Re:Nokia n900 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776684)

Have an n900 too. It simply is the one and only usable _linux_ phone out there. Android, for all I know, could just as well be based on WindowsCE as far as the app layer is concerned but the n900 runs a real linux with an X Server and a GTK UI.

Add a few repositories and you can, besides all the small linux goodies, run stuff like the aircrack suite, wireshark, or even a full debian armel chroot on it. No rooting required. xterm is preinstalled and you have your apt-get etc..

Battery only lasts 1-2 days. But I guess that's true for most of the high-end phones these days.

Simply put: If you want a linux based phone with free software that actually works (I'm looking at you freerunner etc.) there's no alternative.

HTC MyTouch 3G Slide works OK (5, Insightful)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776040)

I'm fairly happy with my cheap-ass HTC Slide running CyanogenMOD . You can get them for about half the price of the big expensive Android phones.
http://trumblings.blogspot.com/2010/11/migrating-to-android-for-palm-linux.html [blogspot.com]

Keyboard pic [nexus404.com]

The ConnectBot SSH client can do port forwarding, so you can set up a secure tunnel for androidVNC (which is probably better than X forwarding as far as maintaining persistent sessions across mobile networks go). The phone supports T-mobile HSDPA network, which can give you noticeably lower latency than EDGE / GPRS, and near-DSL speeds. Your ssh sessions stay connected in the background until you tell them to disconnect, and the keyboard is pretty comfortable to use.

Some random notes:

  • + Terminal with default font is 80x25!
  • + the trackpad button is the Ctrl key, hitting it twice sends the Esc key. Works great with screen.
  • - no cursor buttons, and the trackpad can be quite finicky when trying to send several l/r u/d
  • - the HTC Slide uses the older ARMv6 cpu, so no 3D-intensive apps like Google Earth Mobile or high-end games. Other than that, it runs everything fine
  • - sending some special characters in ConnectBot can be a chore, such as pipes and < > ... need to call up the softkeyboard for those, by first closing the physical keyboard, tapping on the softkeyboard icon, then calling up the "num" then "alt" keyboard :-/ . Probably better to make aliases for your often-used command strings. But that's something that could be remedied in software, hopefully... ConnectBot doesn't appear to use the physical Symbol key well.

I would recommend Connectbot on Android (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776060)

I've found Connectbot on Android to work quite well. Far as the typing goes, screen and keyboard size are always going to be an issue for commandline on a smartphone. If you need to do serious work, you need to bring your laptop along (and if you're often away from wifi when the need arises, consider a cell broadband card or tethering of your smartphone). But if you just need to check on something or run a script real quick, Connectbot will do the job just fine.

The physical keyboard on the phone is nice, I'm quite agreed that I wouldn't want to use up half my already limited screen with a virtual keyboard.

Re:I would recommend Connectbot on Android (1)

grayn0de (1301165) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776356)

I second this... If you have an Android phone and are technically inclined, chances are you already have it. You do not need a "real" Linux and root to use ssh. All you need is a terminal emulator and ssh client capabilities. ConnectBot (as well as others) has exactly that. With today's smartphones, there's an app (or 50) for everything, so that is a matter of preference.

All that is left is hardware. You don't need an uberninja-speed phone to open an ssh tunnel. Hell, my old G1 did this quite nicely. So you are left with the physical keyboard, as virtual keyboards really DO suck when used for too much more that a quck SMS or microblog post. As long as your physical keyboard is decent and you know how to use tha Alt/Fn keys, then you are good to go.

ConnectBot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776062)

ConnectBot SSH client has good terminal emulation and sensible keyboard bindings and has been working great on my G1.

Re:ConnectBot (1)

laxpeter (996124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776186)

The G1 keyboard is great. All the symbols I need are on the keyboard (including pipe and backtick), the numbers don't require modifiers, and both modifiers (shift and alt for symbols) are on each side of the keyboard. I've been hoping for a newer phone to have a keyboard like this, but I just haven't found anything close.

Note to "Smartphone" android and fanboyz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776086)

Nokia N900 for ages and if you don't need GSM/3G, N770/800/810 .... been doing this for years.

Even had terminal capability under Symbian for even longer....

Somewhat of a non-topic really...come on, please, this isn't some 2005/2008 thing that only iFanBoyAndrod phones can do, but its something that a lot of people have been doing for a very long time, long before any of these fashionable "smart phones" came out.

hell, I even used to drive an MVS session over GPRS using web services and some sublime hacking in Perl (is there nothing it can't do?) on a PC, from my Nokia 7250 (this banana phone with a camera)....it was a bit slow on the GPRS side of things but nothing beats the feeling of driving a mainframe from your phone :-)

I use iSSH almost everyday... (1)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776118)

iSSH on the iPhone might not be the best out there, but it does what it needs to do. I have a 3 watt cellular repeater on my car, which gives me 5 bars no matter where I am....

Re:I use iSSH almost everyday... (1)

jisom (113338) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776310)

I use it on my iPad. both the iPhone 4G and iPad support Bluetooth keyboards and keypads. Thinkgeek sells one for the iphone, the PS3 bluetooth keypad works with my iPad. So this is more a question of apps than the phones themselves.

Re:I use iSSH almost everyday... (1)

nloop (665733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776530)

I'd hate life if I had to use the iphone keyboard for work related SSH. I've heard you can do swype now at least, but that's still not ideal for terminal usage.

Also, iSSH is $10 and last I checked there wasn't a free ssh client. I like my iPad but the app prices in general are just bizarre.

iPhone with iSSH (5, Informative)

trevc (1471197) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776122)

iPhone with iSSH by Zinger-Soft works great for me. You can use an external Bluetooth keyboard. Nice thing is, you can run the iPad version as well for the one price. www.zinger-soft.com

Re:iPhone with iSSH (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776236)

What part of physical keyboard did you not understand? Carrying around a BT keyboard is hardly on the run now is it. He obviously wants to react to issues where ever he is, and not look like a typical ipadder cruising the local coffee shops.

Re:iPhone with iSSH (1)

spider256 (1560145) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776268)

I use iSSH too, it has come in handy a number of times, they did a good job of making it readable and user friendly, my only gripe is with the iPhone screen being too small to get serious work done, but its really good for quick fixes.

Re:iPhone with iSSH (1)

papasui (567265) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776340)

That's an issue with all cell phones..

Re:iPhone with iSSH (1)

mcculloughsean (949474) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776688)

Agreed. I use the iphone one on the go all the time. Not comfortable for long-term use, but if you need to quickly restart a service, or deploy some code it works great

Timely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776130)

I was doing this last night, from a Android Tablet (10' POV Mobii TegraII unit, very, very sweet) with the Gingerbread keyboard (this is a v2.2 based unit but rooted by default, installing the v2.3 keyboard was almost the first thing I did on it.)

Tab key and Cursor control keys!

Tab key for command completion, I use it all the time (with bash-completion it is rarely necesscary to type more than a few chars these days); unfortunately it's hidden deep into the alternate layouts, rather than a simple keystroke.

Apart from that I could do everything just fine right up until I fired up VI and realised I had no cursor control keys.. oops.
- Cue much scrabbling around to pull up a vi quickreference and remind myself of the correct alternatives.
- For those of you thinking 'meh!', what is wrong with him, why does he not use the d-pad.. I say 'What D-Pad ?', this is a Tablet system with a touchscreen, there is no D-pad, trackball, joystick etc.. And I have yet to find a 'virtual D-pad' for the screen..

That aside, on a tablet system using SSH is quite productive, the big screen really helps :-)

Samsung Epic (1)

StealthyRoid (1019620) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776150)

I'm pretty happy with my Epic. The physical keyboard is pretty good considering the space constraints, and, as many people have already suggested, ConnectBot is a fantastic SSH program with full support for key auth, the slightly bigger than normal screen is noticeably nice, and, at least in Austin, 4G connectivity is pretty widely available and speedy.

I've used my evo (1)

brennanw (5761) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776164)

To ssh into my site, modify files, and reboot it remotely. I wouldn't say it was "well-suited" for it, though. More like "it's there if you have absolutely nothing else."

Nexus One and SSH (1)

inhuman_4 (1294516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776174)

I use SSH on my Nexus One every so often. I am not a sysadmin, just a linux enthusiast, but in my experience the lack of modifier and function keys makes tasks difficult, especially not having TAB for auto completion. But being able to have remote access from anyway is incredibly useful. I'd wager that a smart phone with a near full hardware keyboard would work just fine. Also I think something like the Galaxy Tab or iPad could have a full software keyboard and work because now you have the screen resolution to fit in a terminal and the keyboard. For when I need to do some more serious stuff on SSH I switch my phone into a WiFi access point to get my netbook on the net.

Re:Nexus One and SSH (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776396)

If you tap the white scroller and hit "I", you get a tab.

I've been having problems with connectbot not knowing how big the popup keyboard is going to be, and needing to repeatedly summon/dismiss the keyboard to see where I'm typing. Frustrating!

Re:Nexus One and SSH (1)

inhuman_4 (1294516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776498)

You are my hero!

Re:Nexus One and SSH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776554)

If you use ConnectBot (like most of us on Android), then trackpad+i is TAB.

Even the virtual keyboards are okay. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776182)

My virtual keyboard is translucent, allowing the reading of the bright green text underneath. More than enough to edit a config file and restart a service. Nothing beyond an emergency warrants me using my phone like that.

Small Netbook and WWAN card. (3, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776188)

Honestly, if you SSH in a LOT using a phone will anger you a lot. I got a tiny netbook with a WWAN card (inside!)
Dell mini 10 with a pciE wwan card works great. and it is small enough to carry with me everywhere.

I'd end up killing people if I had to spend more that 30 seconds working in SSH on a phone.

screen resolution (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776196)

As long as you're sufficiently nearsighted (or corrected enough to focus at a few inches away), you can't beat the iPhone for screen resolution. There is no better pocketable display for reading itty bitty text.

X through SSH... (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776208)

X through SSH for server admin? Really? If someone asked for this on one of my boxes I wouldn't let them touch it with a 10 foot pole. Best car analogy I can come up with is a mechanic who doesn't know how to drive a stick well enough to put my car on the lift. Funnily enough we have a DBA who insists on using remote X sessions, then opens up the console in the X session to do his work and wonders why we have memory overhead issues.

Also, I used an old Treo 600 for on the run server admin using TuSSH back in 2003/4. No 802.11 on it which I found annoying at times (once it was available on other/newer smartphones), but GPRS was fine for SSH. Full keyboard, good enough display that I didn't feel limited by it. If 6-7 years later smartphones aren't at least as capable, something's very wrong.

Re:X through SSH... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776394)

X through SSH for server admin? Really?

That wasn't part of the question, there was merely an observation that some phones can operate as X display servers.

Re:X through SSH... (1)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776426)

A lot of commercial software installations on Unix require a X session. e.g. Oracle. Not that I am condoning using X on servers, but sometimes it's a necessary evil. Secondly if you have memory overhead issues due to a few X sessions, may be it's time you took a good look at your infrastructure and consider an upgrade of equipment.

Re:X through SSH... (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776456)

Sometimes it's not for adminning, it's for uh displaying things remotely and securely, if you know what I mean.
iSSH for the iphone/ipad has X built in.

Blame Oracle (1)

knarfling (735361) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776458)

Funnily enough we have a DBA who insists on using remote X sessions, then opens up the console in the X session to do his work and wonders why we have memory overhead issues.

Blame Oracle for this one. Although it can run in a CLI environment, it cannot be installed on a headless system. You have to install a Graphical Desktop in order to install Oracle. I could not believe it until I started working at a company that could afford the outrageous prices Oracle charges. (My other pet peeve with Oracle is that during the install process, you have to run a script as root. It cannot be sudo, it cannot be as a user with root privileges, it must be run as a user named "root.")

Once some DBAs get used to that environment, they forget that other databases do not need a GUI environment and demand that GNOME or KDE be installed on the database server.

Re:X through SSH... (1)

KaeloDest (220375) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776532)

Yup that was the white elephant in the missing logic of that spec. I think if i -absolutely needed to get something done I would not fire up X on an handheld. smh

HTC Touch Pro 2 (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776254)

I have an HTC Touch Pro 2 and it has a keyboard that has never been matched in a modern smartphone, as far as I know. It runs Windows Mobile 6.5, which is a dead OS, but PuTTY runs great.

Where did the Blackberry go? (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776324)

Being an iPhone user, I was issued with a BlackBerry at my new job (so I can keep checking those emails when I'm out of the office - why else? :), which comes with an unlimited 3G data plan - so I decided to put it to good use and explore how the BB application ecosystem faired to that of the iPhone.
One of the first things I looked for was an SSH client as I didn't have a data plan on the iPhone, despite being a satisfied MobileTerminal.app user. I felt lucky and got taken to bbssh.org, which I must say is a very solid app! Despite being in beta it feels solid and sports an extensive range of features one would expect from a normal SSH/VT client. The additional benefit of the BB (despite me still getting used to the tiny keyboard) is the width of the screen which packs quite a few columns for greater usability. To put it simply - one of the few things that gives me joy as I'm finding myself using the BB more often than not! Otherwise - I'd say MobileTerminal on iOS! YMMV and good luck!

Ick (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776342)

Use a netbook, or a laptop. God, I wouldn't want to think what tab completion and a dodgy touchscreen keyboard on a critical server could do to a shell.

If the machine is up enough to SSH in, it's not an emergency. If you truly are the only person who can log into it (locally or remotely) to fix the problem, please don't do it from a smartphone. Actually log in, take your time and fix the problem rather than bashing out commands in some substandard SSH client that will probably be insecure.

It's 2011. I'm never more than a couple of hundred yards from a Wifi connection, never more than a few hundred yards from a computer that I can use if I really have nothing at all and rarely without some sort of computer access unless (and this is important) I don't want to be disturbed and will not fix the machine then anyway (i.e. holiday or weekends when I'm not being paid to do that). If some major emergency crops up, chances are that I need to be there, or that someone else is already there to notice and fix the problem with barely a hint as to the correct command. Anything else *CAN* wait until I can get on a proper terminal and/or until I actually stand in front of the machine.

I honestly can't think of a scenario that would demand SSH access from a single person, on the fly, such that they don't get time to go to a computer or arrive at the physical location of the computer in question, that doesn't hint at poor IT management anyway.

Re:Ick (2)

StealthyRoid (1019620) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776384)

"If the machine is up enough to SSH into, it's not an emergency"? Really?
  • Segfaulted Apache
  • Runaway MySQL query
  • DDOS attack
  • DNS server dies
  • Full disks prevent writing session files

I'm barely awake and those popped right off my head. Either you've been fortunate enough to only have IT gigs where you weren't the only person running the servers, or you've never had anything go wrong. Either way, get your ass to Atlantic City while your luck is holding out.

Also, certificate support (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776366)

None of the servers that I access accept password-based login, they all rely on pre-distributed certificates.

Beyond Maemo / Meego, do any phone-based SSH apps support certificate login?

Re:Also, certificate support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776556)

ConnectBot on Android

Motorola Atrix (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776408)

If you can wait a few months Perhaps the Motorola Atrix [engadget.com] is just what you are looking for. It doesn't have a physical keyboard attached but comes with a dock that looks like a netbook with full keyboard and LCD. It has a dual core processor and a desktop like interface when docked.

Please discuss tolerable duration or use case (1)

jlmale0 (1087135) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776416)

Even though everyone's pain threshold is different, please mention tolerable duration of use. For me, I've got an iPhone 3 with Touch Term Pro. There are some idiosyncracies with its onscreen keyboards, but once learned, its decent. This is sufficient for short tasks, but I wouldn't want to use this setup for more than about 7 minutes. This is sufficient for checking service status and kicking off one or two things, but troubleshooting is right out.

Nokia E90 + PuTTY (1)

skiminki (1546281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776506)

Nokia E90 + PuTTY for S60 works for me. It's got physical QWERTY keyboard and 800 x 352 screen resolution is enough for decent terminal sizes. I use 6x13 font for 133x27.

Re:Nokia E90 + PuTTY (1)

nomorecwrd (1193329) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776624)

Same here.
N97 mini + PuTTY + WiFi/EDGE/3G.
Not such a big screen or resolution, but I have done wonders through it during emergencies. (8.8 earthquake anyone?)

n900 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34776544)

n900 does all this, basically debian linux laptop the size of a mobile.

best hardware/software mix of all.

rgds

I use TouchTerm for iPhone (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34776680)

It has its own issues (mostly limitations due to the iPhone not having a physical keyboard so you have a lot of floating menus that have to be tapped to toggle on/off). Although it's not free -- $9 for pro, $4 for lite -- at that price I don't have crazy expectations that it will grant world peace or anything... works for me. http://www.ajidev.com/touchterm/index.html [ajidev.com]
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