So my university supplied access to a server with backslashes, like this:

ssh portoalegre\\[email protected]

and I decided to copy my public key there to be more secure (and not having to type the password every time). This works fine! However ... I then decided to set an entry in ~/.ssh/config so I could just login using

ssh university

But it didn't worked. It keeps asking me for my password. Here is the entry I setup on the config file:

Host university
  Hostname university.server.br
  User portoalegre\\15280433

What am I doing wrong? How should I escape/handle those 2 backslashes in the config file? I'm using a Ubuntu Desktop machine to connect to the server via its default terminal.

1 Answer 1


The \\ in your SSH command really represent a single \ (try echo portoalegre\\[email protected] and see what that displays). So the first thing to try is to use a single backslash in your SSH config:

Host university
  Hostname university.server.br
  User portoalegre\15280433
  • Awesome! That worked. The instructions supplied said in unix/linux we needed to use 2 backslashes, and 1 in windows/putty. Did not tried with a single backslash. Thanks man!
    – Vini.g.fer
    Sep 29, 2018 at 13:42
  • 2 backslahes in the command line, one backslash escaping the second, because bash uses backslashes for special purposes. But your id only has one and that's what the SSH config needs.
    – xenoid
    Sep 29, 2018 at 13:49

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