To get to my machine in my office, at the moment I am doing this:

me@home:~$ ssh
me@unix:~$ ssh
me@unix.department:~$ ssh
me@office-machine:~$ echo "This is very annoying"

Is there an easy way of automating this process, perhaps a single command that I can use at my end?

up vote 26 down vote accepted

You can use the ssh client to execute ssh on the remote machine upon login.

ssh -t \
    ssh -t \
    ssh -t

(The reason I include -t in the invocations is because ssh was giving me errors re: stdin not being a terminal when I tried it on my own machine; your machine may be different.)

When you exit from the last shell, the process will chain-exit, saving you typing Ctrl-D over and over again.

  • perfect, thanks – Lucas Nov 21 '11 at 2:58
  • Please note : only add "-t" if you just do a login on the remote machine. To start a command on the remote machine, do NOT put them as they can/will corrupt some things (for exemple: tar cf - something | ssh somewhere "cd /path/remote ; tar xf - " : could become corrupted if you add -t ! See for exemple the wonderful StephaneChazelas's answer… ) – Olivier Dulac Jan 20 '17 at 10:07
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    Using -J is more secure than this answer, because you then have the possibility to store all ssh keys on your local computer. The -J option was introduced in openssh version 7.3 as mentioned in the answer from @Miikka – Erik Sjölund Jan 16 at 18:15
  • @ErikSjölund Openssh doesn't allow more than one -J option. I think you could do it with multiple ProxyCommand options in your config. – amphetamachine Jan 30 at 16:36
  • @amphetamachine With -J you can specify a comma-separated list of hops to go through. But using ProxyCommand with -W is still a much better approach than this answer if you happen to be using a version too old to support -J. – kasperd Feb 11 at 0:22

Yes, there is a great way to do that using ssh ProxyCommand and netcat

Put something like this in your .ssh/config

Host *
User me
ForwardAgent yes
ProxyCommand ssh nc %h %p

This will log directly into any server using the jump/bastion host You may also need a stanza for directly.

Here is a link explaining how it works:

With this technique, you can now just write


and it will all appear direct. Tools like rsync, scp, etc (anything in the ssh stack) will work transparently, as well.

  • 1
    +1 I use something similar to this to push data from a test network to a prod network through a staging server. – Arcege Nov 21 '11 at 23:20
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    Yup, this works great! – gabe. Nov 24 '11 at 19:05
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    Just for the record newer versions of ssh support the -W option, you can do something like ProxyCommand ssh -W %h:%p gateway instead of depending on nc – Ulrich Dangel Jun 24 '12 at 23:38
  • Good to know! Thx – Aaron Brown Jun 24 '12 at 23:39
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    works great if the name of the user is the same across machines; if it is different you have to do something like ProxyCommand ssh -W %h:%p user@gateway – Riccardo Cossu Jun 12 '13 at 14:35

In OpenSSH 7.3, ssh added the -J command line flag and the corresponding ProxyJump configuration option to solve exactly this problem.

Give the hosts you wish to ssh through as a comma-separated list to -J. For example:

ssh -J,  \

SSH tunneling. I don't recall exactly how to do this however I know there's a way to basically have a machine allow a tunnel by perhaps connecting to a separate port. That way you just shell to the same initial machine (with a different port for example) and it will plop you on your final location.

Would have to look up how to configure it though.


  • You don't want (and probably you can't) open a port or your university ssh gateway… – Stéphane Gimenez Nov 24 '11 at 23:34
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    If you don't know how to do it, and can't be bothered to look it up, why did you post this answer? – amphetamachine Nov 28 '11 at 8:32
  • 4
    Not really an answer – gabe. Dec 5 '11 at 23:24

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