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I have something of a difficult situation : our company has a webserver in a remote data center that's, at the moment, only accessible by SSH and the firewall is not easily modifiable because the techs at the data center are unreliable and unreachable lately (not my choice of data center, and switching is not an option at the moment). Are there any browsers or plugins out there that will let me browse over an SSH connection ? I can browse with links and lynx on the SSH command line, but that doesn't give me access to various functionality I need, and it's too hard to find things in the web application running on a Tomcat server on the box that I need access to. Does anybody have any suggestions ? We're already working on getting direct access to the web application by having the firewall opened up, but I need something better in the mean time.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

First, you need to create a SSH Tunnel. Tutorial can be found here (Sections Create Your SSH Tunnel and Adding a SOCKS5 Proxy to Firefox. Remember to clear the text in No Proxy for

Second, simply browse your website by entering http://localhost

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You might have interest in SSH port forwarding. The SSH client listens on a specified port, then forwards all data sent to that port to the remote server.

For example, on your machine, you would run:

ssh -L 12345:localhost:80

This will SSH to, and start listening on port 12345 on your machine. Then you would open a web browser and go to http://localhost:12345/. Your SSH client will forward this to the remote server and connect to localhost:80 on that end. The response will be sent back to you.

You can try reading this article that describes the process in a little more detail.

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You could set up a proxy on one of the internal servers that translates SSH to HTTP. This would be useful if you have difficulty changing the firewalls but can manage servers inside.

With some more thoughts and answers here, I like Stephen's trick of port forwarding.
It is more elegant(+1). I'd suggest a couple of more options on the same:

ssh -f -N -L 12345:localhost:80
  • -f will force ssh to run as a daemon
  • -N will disallow ssh from executing remote commands (forward port only)
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