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To SSH or not to SSH

Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

To SSH or not to SSH

The single biggest thing that restricts the current CGI platform is that we provide shell access. This means we have to take some pretty extreme security precautions which end up limiting the functionality of the webserver.
The big question is:
Do we need to provide SSH Shell access?
If so, does it have to provide access to the same storage as the webserver reads?
There are definitely better solutions than the one we have today to achieve this, but if we could find a way to drop the Shell access, building a much better featured platform would be a doddle.
Or, maybe there is a compromise - For example, a Java SSH clients built into the portal could let people access their space but manage the lockdown differently so as to not need to do as much serverside.
Thoughts appreciated.
 
Ian
2 REPLIES
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,484
Thanks: 190
Fixes: 5
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: To SSH or not to SSH

I've always liked to have SSH access to my web spaces, as I'm the type of person who likes to get stuck in at the command line and get things done.  When I've been looking at moving hosts the list of providers that allow you access is getting smaller by the day.  My current main host removed SSH accesses about 18 months ago, and I've survived!  Some of the things I've just write a quick script to run the command using PHP's exec() function, others I've had to ask support to do for me, but it's not been as bad as I'd thought!
A Java client would certainly fill the gap, if it was fit for purpose.  One host I used to used had a Java client for SSH, but it was pretty poor.
The other thing that may reduce some peoples reliance on SSH is a good web based file management tool, so that they can easily move files around, create symbolic links, create simple files quickly etc...
Phil
mcgurka
Grafter
Posts: 764
Registered: 09-10-2007

Re: To SSH or not to SSH

Personally, I dont see the need for SSH bar for unix-familar administration of the system
I recall using a pretty good ajax based system for doing this, iirc it made heavy use of the exec command, but without detriment to performance.
I will try and dig it out for you.