Tips: Managing Many Servers via SSH

I manage many servers in my line of work and have found a few things to make life a little easier when it comes to SSH’ing into them when I start my laptop up.The first of these is maintaining an up to date ssh config file which is kept in ~/.ssh that allows me to alias the server address and key. A basic entry in the config file would be for an Amazon Web Services EC2 instance:

Host prod-servername01
HostName ec2-184-88-888-88.compute-1.amazonaws.com
User someuser
IdentityFile /.ssh_keys/servergroup.pem

Once you have all your servers in the config file I create a very simple script to start gnome-terminal with each group of servers:

gnome-terminal --tab --title=prod-servername01 -e 'ssh prdo-servername01' --tab --title=prod-servername02 -e 'ssh prod-servername02'

From the above example you can get the idea of adding more tabs for each additional server. I then create desktop or menu shortcuts for each grouping of server to launch a terminal and ssh into all in the group.

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