I have the following lines in my .ssh/config:

Host localhost
ProxyCommand none
Host n0*
ProxyCommand none

Host *
ProxyCommand corkscrew proxy.m.com 80 myserv 443 ~/.ssh/auth

i.e. for localhost and n0* ssh will not use the proxy, but for other hosts it will.

I got trapped several times know when I wanted to connect to other local machines, but couldn't connect because the proxy was active. There was no exception for them in ~/.ssh/config.

Is there away to echo an information to the command line, when the proxy is used? e.g.

$ ssh otherpc
  ---> using  ProxyCommand corkscrew proxy.m.com 80 myserv 443 ~/.ssh/auth

I know that ssh -v is listing this line (along with many others):

debug1: Executing proxy command: exec corkscrew proxy.m.com 80 myserv 443 ~/.ssh/auth                                                                                                                                        

Is there less verbose way of displaying the proxy command used, helping me to avoid being trapped? Maybe a clever bash alias/function grepping ssh -v?

Warning: Don't write ssh() { ssh -v | grep Proxy}. I tried that too ... and accidently fork bombed me :P

  • what about ssh -oProxyCommand None otherpc ?
    – Archemar
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 10:06
  • If I typed that, I would be aware that the proxy is active. The point is, however, that I tend to forget the rules I set and can't figure out why I can't logon...
    – Sebastian
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 11:08

1 Answer 1


I suggest that you write a small wrapper corkscrew-wrapper containing something like:

echo "Executing proxy command corkscrew ..." > /dev/tty
exec corkscrew "$@"

and use corkscrew-wrapper instead of corkscrew in the ProxyCommand line.

If you want to support execution by at or cron, the following should work:


cmd() { echo "Executing proxy command corkscrew ..."; }

{ cmd > /dev/tty; } 2> /dev/null
[ $? -eq 0 ] || cmd >&2

exec corkscrew "$@"

Note: do not detect the availability of /dev/tty with the tty command because the terminal is not necessarily connected to the standard input.

  • excellent idea! (why didn't I think of this myself...?) Looks like it's working. I will not accept immediately in order to encourage alternatives answers.
    – Sebastian
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 11:05
  • Follow up question: when launching from cron, /dev/tty is not available. The command works nonetheless, but the warning line 2: /dev/tty: No such device or address appears.
    – Sebastian
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 11:23
  • 1
    @Sebastian I've completed my answer. You may also want to use >&2 in all cases, but /dev/tty may be more reliable when available (and the standard error may have been redirected).
    – vinc17
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 11:55
  • Sir, you're a master and a teacher, and since I cannot upvote twice, I'll immediately accept your answer, despite my earlier claim. My sincere thanks!
    – Sebastian
    Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 12:08

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