Emergency shell access with tmate

Over Your Shoulder

© Lead Image © Cathy Yeulet, 123RF.com

© Lead Image © Cathy Yeulet, 123RF.com

Article from Issue 222/2019
Author(s):

Tmate lets you access the shell session of a remote computer – even through a router.

Your parents or friends have replaced an unmanageable Windows installation with an easy-to-use Linux variant, and they have designated you as their remote admin. To access the system from afar, you resort to a GUI-based tool such as TeamViewer or AnyDesk. All is well until the graphical user interface (GUI) for the computer you need to access breaks. Suddenly, your GUI-based remote access tool won't work anymore, because you don't have access to an X server.

Tmate [1], which stands for "team mate," offers a convenient solution for remote access in situations when you can't depend on the graphical tools. This fork of the popular tmux [2] terminal multiplexer has significantly more functions than the original. Tmux is functionally similar to Screen [3] in some ways. You can use tmate to create and manage remote virtual sessions within a terminal or terminal emulator.

Self Hosted

Tmate is not only suitable for external help, but also lets developers collaborate on software. Technically, the tool uses Secure Shell (SSH) to establish a secure connection to the tmate.io server, which is under the control of the tmate developers.

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