Connect to SSH Servers

There are three different ways to connect to SSH servers with strongDM:

  • Use the CLI
  • Connect with ssh as an alias for sdm
  • Connect directly with ssh using the mapped port.

To connect to SSH servers using Windows and the CLI, you must follow the instructions for mapped ports below.

Use the sdm Binary


You can connect to any accessible server simply by using sdm ssh <servername>. This command will also attempt to complete <servername>---as long as you use a unique substring of a valid server.

$ sdm status
Customer DB RO not connected 5432 postgres
Document DB not connected 27017 mongo
bastion01 not connected 60672 ssh
deployment04 not connected 60834 ssh
$ sdm ssh bas
Welcome to Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS (GNU/Linux 4.4.0-1026-aws x86_64)
Last login: Thu Jun 14 16:12:48 2018 from

Make an alias

The easiest way to use SSH with SDM is to add the SDM aliases to your shell profile.

  • Type sdm ssh alias to get the required aliases; they will map ssh and scp to use the SDM binary.
    sdm ssh alias
    # Run this in the command line, or add the following to $HOME/.bashrc
    alias ssh="/usr/local/bin/sdm ssh wrapped-run"
    alias scp="scp -S'/usr/local/bin/sdm' -osdmSCP"
  • Run the resulting lines on the prompt and/or add them to $HOME/.bashrc or the equivalent for your shell.
  • Start a new shell and test by connecting to an SSH server: ssh <servername>.

This will not interrupt anything you have defined via straight SSH. It will first check SDM, and if nothing exists, default to your standard path.

Use the Mapped Port

Just like connecting to databases, you can connect directly to the mapped server ports using ssh.

  • Open a connection to the server by clicking on its name in the UI, or by typing sdm connect <servername>
  • Note the port assigned to the server in the UI or listed under sdm status
  • Connect: ssh localhost -p port

Windows 10/11

Windows 10 and 11 come with OpenSSH installed by default, but the executable is not where sdm looks for it by default. In order to use sdm ssh commands, you must copy ssh.exe from C:\Windows\System32\OpenSSH\ssh.exe to C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps\ssh.exe

If you have trouble connecting to servers via SSH, please contact with details.

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