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Title : Clear Uncluttered SSH client config with Ansible
Author : Remy van Elst
Date : 21-12-2014
URL : https://raymii.org/s/blog/Clear_Uncluttered_SSH_client_config_with_Ansible.html
Format : Markdown/HTML
Openssh allows you to configure parameters like username, port, proxycommand,
key and more in the ~/.ssh/config file. If you have many servers this file can
become cluttered and maintaining it can become a not so nice task. This simple
guide shows you how you can use a conf.d directory with seperate smaller files
which gets converted to the big config file by Ansible.
I need to manage a lot of linux servers. With a lot I mean almost a thousand
servers. Some of those servers require VPN, some of those servers are clusters
and some of those servers require a seperate key, username, port or
configuration. I don't like the big `~/.ssh/config` file which, in my case, is
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I much rather prefer the `conf.d` type structure with a lot of small files.
OpenSSH does not support this, however, Ansible has the [assemble] module
which, given a set of files or a folder, assembles a configuration file based on
all the given files.
Using this Ansible module together with a `local connection` we can assemble the
configuration file on our own machine.
Create the `~/.ssh/conf.d` folder:
Split your configuration up in smaller parts, like below:
$ ls -larth ~/.ssh/conf.d
-rw-r--r-- 1 user user 396 Sep 27 14:07 defaults
-rw-r--r-- 1 user user 216 Sep 27 14:07 client1
-rw-r--r-- 1 user user 4812 Dec 10 04:03 client2
-rw-r--r-- 1 user user 216 oct 5 08:37 client3
Copy the following Ansible playbook locally:
- name: SSH config assembler
- assemble: src=/home/user/.ssh/conf.d dest=/home/user/.ssh/config
Don't forget to change the username to yours.
And run it:
You now have the big `~/.ssh/config` file generated out of the small files.
My `defaults` file contains the following:
# Start Defaults #
RemoteForward 8022 localhost:22
The `clientX` files contain specific client configuration:
Host web22 web22.example.org
ProxyCommand ssh -W %h:%p -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa web-jumphost
To read more about the ssh client config file, see the manual page:
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