I'm always forgetting to logoff when ssh-ing somewhere. After I reopen my notebook, a screen window with this running ssh is unresponsive. I have to create another window, $ killall ssh, and only then can I re-ssh back.

Is there a way to kill this ssh using some shortcut?

Or is there a way to make ssh try to reconnect automatically? Or just return the local prompt to me faster?

  • 1
    have you tried the escape sequence to terminate the connection? the default is "~.", usually this forcibly closes the connection.
    – BitsOfNix
    Dec 9, 2013 at 17:08

2 Answers 2


Try the following ,

 ~.      Disconnect.
 ~^Z     Background ssh.
 ~#      List forwarded connections.
 ~&      Background ssh at logout when waiting for forwarded connection / X11 sessions to terminate.
 ~?      Display a list of escape characters.
 ~B      Send a BREAK to the remote system (only useful for SSH protocol version 2 and if the peer supports it).
 ~C      Open command line.  Currently this allows the addition of port forwardings using the -L, -R and -D options (see above).  It also allows the cancellation of existing remote port-forwardings using -KR[bind_address:]port.
         !command allows the user to execute a local command if the PermitLocalCommand option is enabled in ssh_config(5).  Basic help is available, using the -h option.
 ~R      Request rekeying of the connection (only useful for SSH protocol version 2 and if the peer supports it).

There are a couple of things you can try:

  1. Kill the terminal emulator window where the screen and ssh sessions are running. You can use xkill and then click on the hung window to kill it.

  2. Make your ssh sessions time out automatically. Assuming that the server you are connected to is not set to keep the connection alive, you will be disconnected automatically unless you have set your client to keep the session alive. If you have a ServerAliveInterval option set in your /etc/ssh/ssh_config, comment that line out.

Useful references:

What options `ServerAliveInterval` and `ClientAliveInterval` in sshd_config exactly do?


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