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TOPIC: Difficult to use with hundreds of hosts
#2631
Difficult to use with hundreds of hosts 6 Years, 5 Months ago  
One of my responsibilities at my job is to maintain hundreds of Linux servers. And new ones come online constantly. Instead of setting up hundreds of connection files in AbsoluteTelnet, we have a database of our own and I wrote a support tool that launches AbsoluteTelnet when I need to SSH to one of these servers. I'm running into a few issues, though.

(1) Since I can't specify a username and password as part of a command line, I have to manually type these in for each server, even though we store these in our local database. Having real support for a command line, including host, protocol, authentication method, connection name, username, and password would make my job enormously easier. Our support tool has a secure authentication method, so I'm not worried about someone getting access to passwords.

(2) The settings that come up when using ssh:// to launch AbsoluteTelnet are almost random. Random selection of font, font sizes, how window scaling is handled, what authentication method to use, etc. so even after I connect I very often have to open the Options screen to reconfigure these settings. I can't see any pattern to the way it is doing this, nor can I find any way to set the default settings.

(3) Our servers are configured to use keyboard login, but even if I were to setup connection files in AbsoluteTelnet, it wouldn't remember the password because of the authentication method. So I still have to type the password every time.

For a few hosts AbsoluteTelnet works great. It has become frustrating though when trying to manage a large number of remote computers. With just a few small changes it would be much, much more useful to me.
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#2637
Re:Difficult to use with hundreds of hosts 6 Years, 4 Months ago  
Sorry it took me awhile to respond. I did not see that this was posted. I'll try to address each of your issues here...

1. Instead of a command line, you can use standard SSH style urls to do this. You can specify username, password, hostname, port, and protocol this way.

ssh://username:password@hostname:port

SSH1 specific

ssh1://username:password@hostname:port

SSH2 specific

ssh2://username:password@hostname:port

2. The settings are not random, but perhaps the result of prior runs. In the cases where absolute is run via a url, a 'hidden' connection file is created to store any configuration settings that are made that are not available on the command line. Each time you run with the same URL, you may pick up the colors/fonts used from the last time you used that URL. These hidden connection files are stored in %USERPROFILE%/AppData/AbsoluteTelnet. Delete all of these files to start over with a blank slate.

The 'first' time a particular server is opened, one of these hidden connection files will be created. The settings (fonts, colors, etc) will be set to the global defaults. If you wish to change the global defaults, you can edit them on the options->Properties->Global page (save/edit/clear defaults). Any global defaults in place at the time you open a given url will become the defaults for that url.

Also, in this case, you may reconsider your decision to use the 'classic' or 'tabbed' user interface (install time option). CLassic would probably be better, as each window could be opened with default paramters (80x24 screen, etc). It gets a little wonky when you try to open addition tabs with specific screen geometry in a window already open at a certain size. In classic (single connection) mode, the window will open at the appropriate size. In the tabbed interface, fonts will often have to be scaled to get to the proper width/height given the current window size.

3. Yes. Keyboard-interactive is exactly that. Interactive. Prompts are dependent on the underlying authentication mechnism and may not always be simply a password. SecurID and other one-time password mechanisms are done this way. I could try waiting for 'Password' as a prompt, and then send the password from the URL, but in a broader scope, I have to consider that the prompts may not even be in English, so this will not always work.


I am willing to work with you here on a solution. You're not the first one to have issues such as this, which is why the whole URL-launching came to existance in the first place. Sounds like it could be tweaked for your environment, though.

Brian
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#2638
Re:Difficult to use with hundreds of hosts 6 Years, 4 Months ago  
Thanks for the info... I thought that last time I had tried username:password@host it didn't work... so maybe something has changed since the last time I tried.

Since the servers I'm connecting to only support interactive or RSA keys for login, it seems that including a password as part of the URL is going to be difficult. Is it possible to specify an RSA key file as part of the command-line?
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#2639
Re:Difficult to use with hundreds of hosts 6 Years, 3 Months ago  
Password authentication is easy to supply automatic username and password values because they are both built into the protocol.

keyboard-interactive *is* a bit more tricky. You have to watch the prompts and reply with appropriate values. I suppose, the software could watch for the 'Password' prompt and respond with the password, but the format of the password could change and break this method. The prompts are not even guaranteed to be in English, which could make things trickier.

There is no way to specify an rsa key on the command line at the moment. However, it would be nice to have a full command line syntax with ways to specify all of these options. The URL syntax is industry standard and must be adhered to for application and URL compatibility reasons.
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