SSH Tunneling

An SSH tunnel establishes a connection between your local machine and the remote machine via a TCP port. When you configure your local application to use an SSH tunnel you tell it to connect to your local machine at a specified port, rather than the remote machine. The tunnel then carries your traffic securely to the remote machine.

Typical Configurations

Here is a list of application-specific tunnel settings. Note that in order to bind to ports lower than 1024 on Linux and Mac, one must have administrative privileges.

Tunnel Settings
Application Type Listen Port
Printing TCP 515
Remote Desktop TCP 3389
MySQL TCP 3306
VNC TCP 5901

In Windows - putty

  1. Click the plus sign by the SSH menu choice in the left pane of the main window.

  2. Click on Tunnels.

  3. Set Source port to the value of the listen port and Destination to DESTINATION_HOST:DESTINATION_PORT given your specific tunneling options. (see table above)

  4. Once the information is in place, click the Add button to create the tunnel.

  5. Click on the Session menu choice at the top of the left hand pane and enter any valid EML host in the Host Name window. Click on Open, and log in with your EML username and password.

  6. If you are using an Remote Desktop application, under computername, type localhost:53389

macOS and Linux

Type (on your local machine) in a terminal window:

ssh -l username -L EML_HOSTNAME

where LISTEN_PORT is the Listen Port, DESTINATION_PORT is the Destination Port, and EML_HOSTNAME is any EML computer. See our dashboards for a list of EML computers.

You may included more than one tunnel on the command-line, for example:


Alternative Ports

If you receive a message that the port is in use or are denied permission, you will need to choose a different port number for the local port. For example you would specify port 5445 rather than 445 as in the example below.



Connect to the EML file server from off campus:

ssh -L username@EML_HOSTNAME

and then connect your SMB client to smb://localhost:5445/homes (or \localhost:5445on Windows).


Read JSTOR from off campus:

ssh -L username@EML_HOSTNAME

and then connect your web browser to http://localhost:8000.

Remote Desktop

Connect to an EML server through the VPN:

ssh -L 53389:localhost:3389 username@EML_HOSTNAME

and then connect your RDP client (e.g. Microsoft Remote Desktop) to localhost:53389.