Is there a way to disconnect from an SSH session that has become unresponsive without killing the whole terminal? Specifically I'm using konsole, and the machine I'm working with sometimes hangs, but doesn't actually die (thus killing the connection). So SSH just hangs and I have to close the terminal and open a new one to try to ssh back into it or do anything else. Is there a way to effectively ctrl+c out of an ssh session?


One way is to use the ssh escape character. By default this is "~", but it can be set manually with -e option when invoking ssh or via EscapeChar in your ssh config. To kill the hung session this will often work:


As pointed out by Gilles this is only recognized immediately after hitting Enter.

  • 27
    Actually this will work regardless of what is happening on the remote machine. What you've experienced is that ~ is only active immediately after you've pressed Enter (otherwise it would be too intrusive). Oct 9 '10 at 0:04
  • 4
    Perfect, I wish this was documented better somewhere, I've never seen to use this before
    – Falmarri
    Oct 9 '10 at 0:18
  • 5
    In (at least) Portuguese keyboards double tap ~ and then .
    – rsilva4
    Mar 11 '13 at 21:10
  • 1
    I was trying to ~^C, not understanding where to place the <kbd>Enter</kbd>, but ~. (as . apparently means to quit) followed by enter did the trick.
    – mazunki
    May 15 '20 at 21:56

Just to clarify, hope this helps newcomer.

  1. Press Enter

  2. Press ~ (shift + `)

  3. Press .

Cursor will return to local prompt.

  • 1
    This is much clearer than the accepted answer.
    – proximous
    Feb 22 at 22:39
  • 1
    Well, certainly helped me.
    – ferit
    May 2 at 16:06

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