VanDyke Software

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Streamline connecting to multiple Secure Shell sessions

If you connect to multiple SSH2 sessions at the same time and don't want to have to retype your authentication credentials for each session, this tip will help you.

You can connect to multiple sessions at the same time using a desktop shortcut, an Auto session that connects to multiple sessions, or by selecting multiple sessions in the Connect dialog. If these sessions use SSH1 or SSH2, you can minimize the amount of typing you have to do to authenticate by following these steps.

  1. Turn on the "Connect to multiple sessions sequentially" option.
    This option is found in the Terminal / Advanced category of Global Options. When this option is set, SecureCRT waits for each session to connect before attempting to connect to the next session, which works well with the next step.

  2. Turn on private key caching.
    To cache the private keys, enable the "Add keys to agent" setting on the SSH2 page of Global Options. If all the sessions being connected use the same private key, the passphrase will only have to be entered once. For security reasons, private keys are cleared from the cache when SecureCRT, SecureFX, and the Activator are exited.

  3. Save passwords.
    If any of the sessions are connected to regularly and use password authentication, you may want to consider saving the passwords for these sessions to minimize typing when connecting. The passwords stored on disk are encrypted for security reasons. You can save a session's password by checking the "Save password" option in the "Enter Secure Shell Password" dialog that is displayed when connecting.

Now you should be equipped to start multiple sessions with a single authentication credential.

Note: If you prefer not to save your password, there's an option to cache session passwords. You will still have to type in your password the first time, but you won't have to re-type the password if you connect to the same session multiple times, reconnect the session, or connect to the session in SecureFX. The passwords are only cached in memory as long as SecureCRT, SecureFX, or the Activator are running. This option is found in the SSH2 category on the Global Options page.