Entering an SSH password¶
Here we will attempt to SSH into a server and enter a password programmatically.
It is recommended that you just
ssh-copy-id to copy your public key to
the server so you don’t need to enter your password, but for the purposes of
this demonstration, we try to enter a password.
To interact with a process, we need to assign a callback to STDOUT. The
callback signature we’ll use will take a
queue.Queue object for the
second argument, and we’ll use that to send STDIN back to the process.
Here’s our first attempt:
from sh import ssh def ssh_interact(line, stdin): line = line.strip() print(line) if line.endswith("password:"): stdin.put("correcthorsebatterystaple") ssh("10.10.10.100", _out=ssh_interact)
If you run this (substituting an IP that you can SSH to), you’ll notice that
nothing is printed from within the callback. The problem has to do with STDOUT
buffering. By default, sh line-buffers STDOUT, which means that
ssh_interact will only receive output when sh encounters a newline in the
output. This is a problem because the password prompt has no newline:
Because a newline is never encountered, nothing is sent to the
callback. So we need to change the STDOUT buffering. We do this with the
_out_bufsize special kwarg. We’ll set
it to 0 for unbuffered output:
from sh import ssh def ssh_interact(line, stdin): line = line.strip() print(line) if line.endswith("password:"): stdin.put("correcthorsebatterystaple") ssh("10.10.10.100", _out=ssh_interact, _out_bufsize=0)
If you run this updated version, you’ll notice a new problem. The output looks like this:
a m o f f a t @ 1 0 . 1 0 . 1 0 . 1 0 0 ' s p a s s w o r d :
This is because the chunks of STDOUT our callback is receiving are unbuffered,
and are therefore individual characters, instead of entire lines. What we need
to do now is aggregate this character-by-character data into something more
meaningful for us to test if the pattern
password: has been sent, signifying
that SSH is ready for input.
It would make sense to encapsulate the variable we’ll use for aggregating into some kind of closure or class, but to keep it simple, we’ll just use a global:
from sh import ssh import sys aggregated = "" def ssh_interact(char, stdin): global aggregated sys.stdout.write(char.encode()) sys.stdout.flush() aggregated += char if aggregated.endswith("password: "): stdin.put("correcthorsebatterystaple") ssh("10.10.10.100", _out=ssh_interact, _out_bufsize=0)
You’ll also notice that the example still doesn’t work. There are two problems: The first is that your password must end with a newline, as if you had typed it and hit the return key. This is because SSH has no idea how long your password is, and is line-buffering STDIN.
The second problem lies deeper in SSH. SSH needs a TTY attached to its STDIN in order to work properly. This tricks SSH into believing that it is interacting with a real user in a real terminal session. To enable TTY, we can add the _tty_in special kwarg:
from sh import ssh import sys aggregated = "" def ssh_interact(char, stdin): global aggregated sys.stdout.write(char.encode()) sys.stdout.flush() aggregated += char if aggregated.endswith("password: "): stdin.put("correcthorsebatterystaple\n") ssh("10.10.10.100", _out=ssh_interact, _out_bufsize=0, _tty_in=True)
And now our remote login script works!
email@example.com's password: Linux 10.10.10.100 testhost #1 SMP Tue Jun 21 10:29:24 EDT 2011 i686 GNU/Linux Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS Welcome to Ubuntu! * Documentation: https://help.ubuntu.com/ 66 packages can be updated. 53 updates are security updates. Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS Welcome to Ubuntu! * Documentation: https://help.ubuntu.com/ You have new mail. Last login: Thu Sep 13 03:53:00 2012 from some.ip.address firstname.lastname@example.org:~$
How you should REALLY be using SSH¶
Many people want to learn how to enter an SSH password by script because they want to execute remote commands on a server. Instead of trying to log in through SSH and then sending terminal input of the command to run, let’s see how we can do it another way.
First, open a terminal and run
ssh-copy-id yourservername. You’ll be asked
to enter your password for the server. After entering your password, you’ll be
able to SSH into the server without needing a password again. This simplifies
things greatly for sh.
The second thing we want to do is use SSH’s ability to pass a command to run
to the server you’re SSHing to. Here’s how you can run
ifconfig on a server
without having to use that server’s shell directly:
ssh email@example.com ifconfig
Translating this to sh, it becomes:
import sh print(sh.ssh("firstname.lastname@example.org", "ifconfig"))
We can make this even nicer by taking advantage of sh’s Baking to bind our server username/ip to a command object:
import sh my_server = sh.ssh.bake("email@example.com") print(my_server("ifconfig")) print(my_server("whoami"))
Now we have a reusable command object that we can use to call remote commands. But there is room for one more improvement. We can also use sh’s Sub-commands feature which expands attribute access into command arguments:
import sh my_server = sh.ssh.bake("firstname.lastname@example.org") print(my_server.ifconfig()) print(my_server.whoami())